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Surrogacy, The Kim Kardashian effect and the case for surrogacy reform

Jun 20, 2019   ·   4 minute read

Recently Kim Kardashian’s fourth child arrived. Not via a stork but via a surrogacy arrangement. This is her second baby born via a surrogacy arrangement.

There is a massive amount of media coverage about everything the Kardashians do. We are bombarded with images of what they wear, who they meet and we know that something is ‘’in’’ if the Kardashians are doing it. Does that mean that having a baby by surrogacy is the latest thing? By all accounts, Kim Kardashian and her husband chose to have children by surrogate for medical reasons. In the USA, the choice was hers to take.

Accordingly top UK surrogacy lawyers do not anticipate that surrogacy will be the next ‘’in thing’’ but they do hope that the arrival of a second baby by surrogacy arrangement in the Kardashian household will continue the discussion on surrogacy in both the USA and the UK. Bringing surrogacy into mainstream discussion can only be a good thing for both surrogates and intended parents.

Top surrogacy solicitors welcome the news that the Law Commission is going to look at the case for reform of UK surrogacy law.


The Law Commission surrogacy proposals

The Law Commission has recently put forward proposals that could make UK and international surrogacy easier for intended surrogate and intended UK parents namely:

  • The creation of a surrogacy regulator;
  • The setting up of a national register to allow children born through surrogacy to access information;
  • Intended parents would become the automatic legal parents when a child is born to a UK surrogate. The Law Commission propose safeguards and a requirement for the surrogate and intended parents to take independent legal advice. Current UK surrogacy law says that an intended parent has to apply to a court for a parental order after the baby’s birth. Until a parental order is made, the intended parents do not have any legal status or rights in relation to their child. The Law Commission proposals would change that;
  • In UK based surrogacy cases the removal of the requirement that one of the intended parents has to have a genetic link to the child;
  • In international surrogacy cases, the requirement for intended parents to apply to a UK family court for a parental order would remain in force but the Secretary of State may be given the power to recognise surrogacy arrangements from some overseas countries without the intended parents having to apply for a parental order in the UK;
  • In international surrogacy cases, the Law Commission is not recommending a change in nationality law. However, the Law Commission proposes changes to reduce the time taken to process applications for registration of surrogate children as British citizens and to shorten the time for the production of British passports.


How would the Law Commission proposals affect surrogacy?

Top surrogacy solicitors emphasise that the Law Commission has only made reform proposals. It is far from certain that the Law Commission proposals will become UK law. The proposals are out for consultation. The consultation process will end on the 27 September 2019. In addition, even if the Law Commission proposals are accepted parliamentary time will have to be made to make the necessary legislative changes. With the political uncertainty, changes to UK surrogacy law may not be a high government priority.

For intended parents looking to have a baby through a UK or international surrogacy arrangement the Law Commission proposals would go some way towards simplifying the surrogacy process. However, for most intended parents looking at the option of surrogacy, the best surrogacy solicitors would not recommend waiting to pursue the dream of having a child through surrogacy. That is because the Law Commission proposals might not come to fruition and, even if they do, the wait for surrogacy law reform may be far too long for families to want to delay their family and surrogacy plans.


For information about current UK surrogacy law and applying for a parental order after a UK surrogacy or international surrogacy contact Evolve Family Law on +44 (0) 1477 464020 or email Robin Charrot at