• April 20, 2024
 Inquires about collection of surrogacy data: Government responds regarding recording limitations

Inquires about collection of surrogacy data: Government responds regarding recording limitations

Conservative Baroness Jenkin of Kennington has raised questions in Parliament regarding the collection and publication of data concerning Parental Orders awarded through the Family Court for England and Wales in cases of surrogacy.

In her inquiry, she sought clarity on the government’s plans to categorise such orders based on different surrogacy arrangements, including those involving commercial surrogacy abroad, surrogacy within the UK using the surrogate mother’s own egg, and surrogacy involving a third-party egg donor.

In response to Baroness Jenkin’s query, Lord Bellamy, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, outlined the challenges associated with recording and categorising such data. He explained that the current recording system only tracks the total number of parental orders without the capability to differentiate between various types of surrogacy arrangements. Lord Bellamy highlighted that obtaining such detailed information would necessitate manual searches of court records, which would incur disproportionate costs.

Lord Bellamy also referenced the joint report by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission, titled “Building families through surrogacy: a new law,” published in March 2023. The report presents recommendations for a comprehensive framework to regulate surrogacy in the UK, including proposals specific to the family court system. The government is currently reviewing these recommendations and plans to issue a comprehensive response in the future.

While considering potential actions in response to the Law Commission’s report, the government intends to evaluate the feasibility of collecting data on surrogacy arrangements. Lord Bellamy emphasised the importance of avoiding piecemeal changes and instead incorporating data collection within broader reforms, which may require fundamental adjustments to existing IT systems.

Baroness Jenkin’s inquiry sheds light on the complexities of recording surrogacy data and underscores the government’s commitment to deliberating on comprehensive reforms in this area before implementing any changes to data collection practices.

Katie Johnson, Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Contact: katie.johnson@todaysmedia.co.uk

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