Navigating UK Surrogacy Law: Gay Men’s Journeys to Parenthood




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title




Peer reviewed


Technological advances have revolutionised the field of reproduction, giving rise to growing numbers of people worldwide utilising surrogacy arrangements as a method of family building. UK surrogacy law remains embedded in 1980s legislation. Whilst recent changes to UK parenthood law have removed some of the structural barriers to parenting via surrogacy, current laws do not adequately reflect the rapidly changing realities of surrogacy within the 21st century. It has been suggested that this may be fuelling an increase in travel to countries with well-established commercial surrogacy programmes, enforceable surrogacy agreements and less restrictive legal requirements.

Drawing on interviews from my PhD study of gay men’s use of surrogacy to achieve parenthood, this seminar will present participants’ accounts of the tensions created by the present UK surrogacy law and the way it impacted upon their procreative decision-making. The recommended changes to UK legalities that they suggested to ease this pathway to parenthood for future commissioning parents will also be discussed.

These findings contribute to the on-going campaign to reappraise UK surrogacy law to ensure surrogacy practice is fit for purpose in meeting the needs of modern families.



Surrogacy, Law, Gay Men, Parenthood


Norton, W. (2018) Navigating UK Surrogacy Law: Gay Men’s Journeys to Parenthood. British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference: Reproduction and the Law: transformations, responsibilities and uncertainties in the 21st Century, De Montfort University, Leicester, 24th May 2018.


Research Institute

Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)