27 Jul 2020
As we embark upon a gradual exit following lockdown, many are looking about their lives and activities with caution. For some, that may mean considering divorce. Partner Nicola Wilburn-Shaw has some advice.Read more
The first same-sex couple to have obtained IVF treatment on the NHS will welcome a baby boy in August 2020, with the assistance of a surrogate hired through a private company. Will this highlight the need for Surrogacy Law reform?
Recent news developments, coupled with the highly successful BBC drama The Nest, have highlighted surrogacy issues in the UK and the need for reform.
The UK’s surrogacy laws were written in the 1980s and it is easy to see why those involved in modern UK surrogacy have identified an urgent need for reform. In the UK, there are many concerns for the parties involved in surrogacy:
Considering the above, it is not surprising that parents are calling for reform to clarify the framework. Some judges have also described how the law is ‘conflicting’ and have called for better regulation of surrogacy in the UK.
Further issues were also highlighted in the recent Supreme Court case of Whittington Hospital NHS Trust v XX (2020). Although this case relates to clinical negligence, with the claimant seeking damages to fund surrogacy arrangements, it has kept surrogacy in the news and shows that more parents will rely on surrogacy arrangements in the future.
More parents want to find surrogates to assist them, and with same sex couples successfully using IVF on the NHS with a surrogate, it is clear that parents and reproductive clinics need a framework that will assist all involved. The framework needs to be clear and not difficult to interpret. The Law Commission is reviewing surrogacy law, but many parties would welcome a legal mechanism that enables the intended parents to be recognised as the child’s legal parents from birth, and UK law that reflects reality and works with parents and children born through surrogacy in the UK and abroad. Written surrogacy agreements before conception would also assist and safeguard parties. Parents will hope that recent cases and news coverage will prompt this reform and provide clarity for all involved.
"Many parties would welcome a legal mechanism that enables the intended parents to be recognised as the child’s legal parents from birth."
Johnathan Casey, solicitor
7 Jun 2020
The new "no-fault" legislation aims to overhaul divorce law and reduce family conflict, and comes following overwhelming pressure from senior judges, lawyers, politicians and members of the public amid calls for reform. Parallel changes would be made to the law governing the dissolution of a civil partnership. Managing Partner Amanda McAlister explains.Read more
5 Jun 2020
There is a lot of speculation in the media at present about the impact that lockdown is having on our economy. For those divorcing, the potential impact on the housing market is particularly difficult, given that the main asset owned by most couples is their house. Partner Fiona Wood examines the issues.Read more
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