Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Parental Orders Regulations 2018: A Change in the Law

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 03 January 2019 10:44

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Parental Orders) Regulations 2018

Before Christmas, Parliament completed dealing with an issue that might sound small to some but was shown to me to be very important to constituents involved.  More people may now become the legal parents of children born through surrogacy in the UK.


The key change is that a single person will no longer be barred from becoming a parent after a surrogacy arrangement.  To date, only couples could.  The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Parental Orders) Regulations 2018 have been remade to sit alongside the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, and it's that change which will allow a single person to apply for a parental order to become a child’s legal parent after a surrogacy arrangement.  Previously, only couples in enduring relationships could apply for parental orders, the mechanism used to transfer legal parenthood from surrogates to intend parents.


This legal disparity, which has existed since 1985, when laws enabling surrogacy were first introduced, has now been rectified and I am pleased to have supported this change in law as I know this issue will be important for so many of my constituents.


In the run up to this crucial vote, I corresponded with, and met, Jason a constituent from Norwich North, who was in the public gallery of the House of Commons when the final vote was made.


Jason says “Even though I had to sit through 5-6 hours of Commons debate for a 30-second vote, it was worth it. I have waited over 5 years for this moment to come – and I wasn’t going to miss it. This should resolve the legal complexities that made it very difficult for me to use surrogacy in the UK as a single person. I would like to thank everyone who has helped get this change through. This includes Surrogacy UK, Members of both Houses of parliament, officials at the Department of Health & Social Care, plus the many, many individuals in the surrogacy community who have lent their support to myself and others in this. I now look forward to taking the next step in my journey to becoming a parent and starting my family”.


I was pleased to see this meaningful legislative change go through, and to welcome a constituent to Parliament who has such a keen interest in this process.


In 2019 many more important issues are being debated in Parliament which will have a direct impact on all of us here in Norwich North. I look forward to these future debates and continuing to work for those positive changes which will make life better for everyone in Norwich, and the UK as a whole.