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Resolution’s Call for Change and Reform in the Family Court System

Resolution – First for Family Law, have now released their ‘Vision for Family Justice’ within which they set out their position in relation to where and how changes need to be made to address the current issues facing the family court system. A link to the full document is below.

This includes their thoughts on the current Surrogacy law and proposed changes/reforms that they consider should be made in order to provide more certainty for individuals involved in this process. It is very positive to note their support for the recently published report by The Law Commission of England and Wales and Scottish Law Commission, which proposes a new pathway for domestic UK surrogacy. 

There is, at present, a high level of uncertainty for both the surrogate and the intended parent(s) in particular regarding who is identified as the legal parent of the child on birth and the potential withdrawal of a surrogate’s consent. The proposed new pathway will enable intended parents to be legal parent(s) of the child from birth – provided certain conditions are met. Which would be a very welcome change and provides an immediate recognition of the intended parent(s) as the child’s parents from birth. 

With regards to consent, the proposed changes will still ensure that the surrogate retains a right to change her mind – which is only right. However, the changes would enable the Court to prioritise the lifelong welfare and best interests of the child in the absence or withdrawal of the surrogate’s consent and ensure that Parental Orders can be made, where it would be correct to do so, without it. This again will provide additional reassurance to the intended parent(s) who can quite often feel powerless under the current legislation.

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