UK fertility regulator HFEA had made to export gametes and embryos for commercial surrogation illegal and law also prohibited profitmaking surrogacy agencies from operating in the UK consistent with the ban on commercial surrogation.

Commercial surrogacy in England could be made abroad by post

The strong pressure of the increasing business surrounding this practice has softened the HFEA strict regulation allowing intended parents via surrogacy agency exporting gametes and embryos whichever would be the means. It is a step to allow commercial surrogacy in the UK.

“There is no need for them to ask whether their patients plan to involve a paid surrogacy agency”

In this respect, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine – ASRM in its issue “News December 2020” published an article evaluating favorably the achievement obtained with the liberalization of the measure that legalizes the commercial surrogation of English citizens abroad (read HERE). It says “U.K. fertility clinics will now be able to export eggs, sperm or embryos for patients wishing to pursue surrogacy under the General Direction rules. They do not need advance permission from the HFEA and there is no need for them to ask whether their patients plan to involve a paid surrogacy agency or a compensated surrogate. They just need to liaise with the receiving clinic overseas to confirm they meet all the right quality standards and confirm that the patient’s consent to the export, something which should be straightforward in most cases involving U.S. fertility clinics.”

The author continues highlighting the immediate effect of the decision. “[…] HFEA Chief Executive, Peter Thompson, has explicitly confirmed in his letter to NGA Law and Brilliant Beginnings (leaders of surrogacy in this country) that the change is of immediate effect. This is good news for patients wishing to export their eggs, sperm, or embryos overseas for the purposes of international surrogacy, who can now be confident in their ability to do so in the midst of a pandemic even if they cannot travel themselves.”

In our opinion, HFEA has made a decisive change in supporting commercial surrogacy abroad.


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