This is a very thoughtful short piece by Dr Calum McKellar, a leading bioethicist, about the Law Commission's consultation on its proposals to reform the law governing surrogacy arrangements in the UK. The consultation recently closed.
One of the key aims of the proposed reforms is to change the legal process through which legal parenthood is transferred from the surrogate to the intended parents. At the moment, the intended parents must wait and make an application to the court after the child has been born. The proposed reforms would allow the intended parents to become the child's legal parents more or less automatically at birth. Although the Law Commission stopped short of clear proposals, its report also hinted at a future move towards formally allowing surrogates to be paid by intended parents, over and above reimbursement of their reasonable expenses and compensation for loss of earnings.
As Dr McKellar notes, these issues give rise to a number of extremely complex and difficult ethical questions, which the Law Commission's consultation has almost entirely failed to acknowledge, much less answer.
Why the Law Commissions' consultation paper on surrogacy reform was incomplete