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UK intended parents’ characteristics, experiences, and views on surrogacy law reform

Horsey, Kirsty, Arian-Schad, Mimi, Macklon, Nicholas, Ahuja, Kamal (2023) UK intended parents’ characteristics, experiences, and views on surrogacy law reform. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 37 (1). Article Number ebad004. ISSN 1360-9939. (doi:10.1093/lawfam/ebad004) (KAR id:100523)


What are intended parents’ experiences of surrogacy, understandings of the law, and views on legal reform, and how do these compare with those of surrogates? We conducted an online retrospective survey of intended parents who had treatment with a gestational surrogate in two clinics between March 2014 and October 2021. The 61 respondents ranged in age, occupation, and household income. Generally, they reported higher household incomes than surrogates, though this was not universal. Just over half of the respondents were heterosexual, while almost half were in same-sex male couples. Most were White. Over half met the surrogate through a non-profit surrogacy organization or ‘online’. Most successfully established a pregnancy on their first surrogacy journey; in most of these cases, the surrogate delivered a child. Most respondents believed surrogates should not be the legal mother and there was general support for proposed reforms that would recognize intended parents as legal parents from birth. More ambivalence was apparent in relation to finances though expense models were preferred over payment models. There was general support for advertising. The UK anticipates draft new surrogacy legislation in spring 2023. This study could inform public and parliamentary debates in the UK and elsewhere. Moreover, the results from this survey can assist in the development of good practice models for the care of intended parents on the surrogate pathway.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/lawfam/ebad004
Uncontrolled keywords: UK, Gestational surrogacy, Law reform, Intended parents, Legal parenthood, Advertising
Subjects: K Law
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Kirsty Horsey
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2023 17:25 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 12:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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