Equal Rights for both Intended Parents in Surrogacy

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2013 National Women's Conference
17 October 2012
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that despite surrogacy being legal in the United Kingdom the intended parents have few legal rights unless they happen to be male. An intended father can gain shared parental responsibility as soon as the child is born by the child being registered in his name, with him named on the birth certificate as the father, or by immediate application for a parental responsibility agreement.

An intended mother however has to wait 6 weeks before they can apply to the courts for a parental order to give them full and permanent parental rights over the child, this can be a very lengthy process.

Conference welcomes the government’s announcement that it intends to extend adoption leave and pay rights to parents who receive a child through surrogacy, and who intend to apply for a parental order. This announcement is a victory for UNISON which has been campaigning, lobbying, negotiating and pursuing legal cases on behalf of members affected by this unfair loophole in the law.

However, conference believes that intended mothers should have rights on a par with maternity rather than adoptive rights, which would also allow for time off for pre-natal appointments and the birth of the child.

Conference calls upon the National Women’s Committee:

1) To work with the NEC to develop a strategic campaign to raise awareness and support on these issues, from both members and the public

2) To work with the Labour Link to encourage Labour to support the legal right, for both parents to have parental responsibility from birth, and for maternity rights for the intended mother, in this current Parliament and to make sure it is part of the legislative programme of future Labour Governments.