Scottish clergy are objecting to proposed changes in British surrogacy laws, changes they say would lead to the commercialization of pregnancy and exploitation of women and babies.
According to the UK Sunday Times, the Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales have just concluded a four-month consultation period with the goal of substantially altering existing laws pertaining to surrogacy, which were written in the 1980s and are considered outdated.
The new proposal removes a surrogate mother’s legal guardianship of her child immediately after birth, “creating a new ‘pathway’ to legal parenthood for intended parents. It also calls for the establishment of a national register to allow those born through surrogacy arrangements to uncover information about their origins and how they were conceived,” the outlet reported.
The Bishops Conference of Scotland, which represents eight dioceses, maintains that courts ought not have authority to scrap the consent of the mother in any circumstances.
At present, the surrogate and her spouse are the legal parents until a post-birth process is completed by the adoptive parents. The proposed changes would make the intended parents the legal parents at birth.
Although the Roman Catholic Church is officially opposed to the practice of any form of surrogacy in its doctrine, the Scottish bishops say in their submission that this right to consent to transfer of parenthood “is a fundamental safeguard which protects the rights of the surrogate as the biological and legal mother of the child.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter