HC Deb 15 March 1994 vol 239 cc558-9W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to review surrogacy arrangements; what inquiries she makes as to the expenses paid for surrogate pregnancies; how many children were born to surrogate parents in 1993; what counselling and information is given to surrogate and natural parents prior to insemination; whether the surrogacy parenting centre was approved by her Department; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville

The Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 prohibits the negotiation of surrogacy arrangements on a commercial basis and advertising of or for surrogacy services. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 amended the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 so as to make clear that surrogacy arrangements are unenforceable by or against any persons making them.

There is no requirement for voluntary organisations concerned with surrogacy to be approved by the Department. Where treatment is being undertaken by a centre licensed under by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority surrogates and couples will be assessed and offered counselling in accordance with the HFEA's code of practice. Copies of the code of practice are available in the Library.

Information on the number of children born to surrogate parents in 1993 is not available.