The ethical and legal issues surrounding surrogacy have hit the headlines over the last few weeks as a result of the comments of Mr Justice Hedley on 19 May, who highlighted the difficulties he faced when asked to give retrospective judicial authority to commercial surrogacy arrangements made abroad. He said that Judges were focusing on the best interests of children born to a surrogate but he pointed out there was a tension between the interpretation of statute and the welfare of the surrogate child.

Mr Justice Hedley said “Commercial surrogacy is a highly controversial matter ethically and at the end of the day, by the time the case gets to me, the best I can do is focus on the welfare of the child”. The Family law Judge recommended that prospective parents should take immigration advice before embarking on a surrogacy arrangement abroad.

In this country, the legal issues surrounding parenthood and surrogacy, particularly immigration, are complex. Further information can be found on our factsheet, please click here.