Recommended changes in Law for Surrogates and Intended Parents


The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the independent regulator of fertility treatment and human embryo research. They regulate all fertility clinics in the UK and make decisions about how clinics operate.  They work independently of the government. The main statute in this area of law is the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.

There have been significant developments in fertility treatment since the act was passed and it is accepted amongst practitioners that it now needs updating. On 23 November 2023, the HFEA issued a report setting out their recommendations for changes in the law.

The full report can be found here.

The most significant recommendations which impact on surrogate and intended parents are:

  • The act should be changed to remove donor anonymity from the birth of any child born from donation
  • Clinics should be required to inform donors and recipients of the potential for a donor’s identity to be discovered
  • All donors and recipients should have counselling before starting treatment
  • There should be automatic record sharing between clinics and NHS central records

The recommendations will particularly change the landscape for intended parents using donor eggs or sperm as their child would be able to discover the identity of the donors who played a vital part in their conception.  The requirement for counselling will greatly assist with this.

Louise Eady, Partner and Head of the Modern Family & Surrogacy Team said:

“Overall, as practitioners in this field we support the recommendations and the updating of the law generally. The recommendations are positive. The law surrounding fertility is 30 years old and needs modernising to keep up to date with technology and people’s views”.

For more Information

Pinney Talfourd support both intended parents  and surrogates in terms of the legal process. We have a number of offices across Essex and London and offer face to face and online consultations. If you are seeking surrogacy legal advice, please feel free to contact either Louise Eady or Remyhs Baker.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Louise Eady, Partner in the Family team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of December 2023.



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