S1, Ep 5. Surrogacy – a relationship, not a transaction

Zaina Mahoud completed her bachelors’ degree at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and moved to the University of Exeter to pursue her law degree. Following her LLB, she completed a masters’ degree in intellectual property law. She is a currently undertaking a Wellcome Trust funded PhD at the University of Exeter, looking at surrogacy regulation in the U.K. and in California from a socio-legal and medical perspective. Her research is concerned with how legal frameworks affect the experiences of surrogates, in terms of their autonomy and health and wellbeing, and so she’s working with surrogates, lawyers, academics and healthcare practitioners to co-create her interviews and has already started her interviews in the U.K. 

In today’s episode we discuss the current law surrounding surrogacy in the UK and the latest proposals to reform the law governing surrogacy.   

We also discuss overall attitudes towards surrogacy, and the reasons many are misinformed on what surrogates actually do, and how the law isn’t matching the expectations of the surrogates or the intended parents – so it really is failing both sides.

 We also talk about Zainas’s current work and PHD that she is undertaking in relation to surrogacy and how she became passionate about surrogacy reform.

If you are a surrogate and would like to take part in Zaina’s work visit her website here: https://surrogacyreform.com

You can find the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper here: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/surrogacy/


The Law we discuss and definitions: 

Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985

Human Fertilisation Embryology Act 2008

Parental Responsibility is defined in s 3(1) Children Act 1989 as being:

“all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”.

Child Arrangements Order

Child Arrangements Orders were introduced in April 2014 by the Children and Families Act 2014 (which amended section 8 Children Act 1989). They replace Contact Orders and Residence Orders.

A Child Arrangements Order means a court order regulating arrangements relating to any of the following:

  1. With whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact; and
  2. When a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.

Traditional or Genetic Surrogacy 

For more information on these types of surrogacy you can visit:


Commercial or Altruistic Surrogacy 

Commerical Surrogacy and Altruistic Surrogacy are compared here:



Cases mentioned: 

Re W [2013] EWHC 3570

Summary available on Family Law Week: https://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed121608


Podcasts about surrogacy:

Surrogacy: a family frontier 

The Birth Hour

Resolve Podcasts 

Hope Works 

The Fertility Podcast 

Creating a Family 

There are many more brilliant ones you can find online either by searching or visiting player fm here.


Contact me if you have any questions:

Email: voicesoffamilylaw@gmail.com

Website: http://www.voicesoffamilylaw.com

Twitter : @voicesoffamlaw

Instagram: @voicesoffamlaw

Researching Reform’s blog post about our recent interview:

Researching Reform

Researching Reform was very kindly invited to talk about the issues surrounding forced adoption in the UK, by Chloe Lee, a pupil barrister and the host of family law podcasts Voices of Family Law.

During the interview we spoke about the unique nature of adoption policy in the UK, the challenges the system faces in improving family intervention and cases we worked on involving forced adoption.

Chloe asked poignant questions about the ways in which forced adoption affects families and children, and the problems that irrevocable orders cause in the context of child development and parental health.

You can listen to the podcast here.

The podcast is part of a series looking at issues within the family justice system like adoption, transparency and access to justice. The series is an important addition to the growing conversation around family law and child welfare.

For those who use iPhones, you can…

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S1, Ep 1. Access to justice is open to all.. like the Ritz hotel

In this weeks episode I interview Mr Cyrus Larizadeh QC. We discussed how our justice system has become unaffordable to many and how the destruction of our legal aid system particularly in the area of family law has left people vulnerable to exploitation and left the very people that need it most unrepresented.

We also discuss the ways people are trying to access justice by using charities and law-centres to get free representation (known as pro-bono in the legal world). Also, how the increasing number of direct-access barristers are offering a different route to representation.


Cyrus Larizadeh QC




Contact me if you have any questions:

Email: voicesoffamilylaw@gmail.com

Website: http://www.voicesoffamilylaw.com

Twitter : @voicesoffamlaw

Instagram: @voicesoffamlaw

Welcome to the blog for the Voices of Family Law podcast. A new monthly podcast hosted by myself, Chloe Lee, chatting to guests about current issues faced in family law and what can be done to tackle those issues


“Genuine equality means not treating everyone the same, but attending equally to everyone’s different needs.”
— Terry Eagleton