Becoming a legal parent and the consequences of legal parenthood
  1. Do you agree that welfare considerations (whether it be the welfare of the child or the welfare of the child’s mother) are irrelevant to questions of birth registration?
  2. Is legal parenthood essentially a matter of genetics? Do you agree with Bainham that those ‘legal effects, which are peculiar to parenthood, are fundamental to the genetic link’?
  3. Should the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 in 2000 have dictated a different approach to determining paternity disputes? Could the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re F (A Minor) (Blood Tests: Parental Rights) [1993] Fam 314 be reconciled with the contemporary demands of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights?
  4. Should the legal regulation of assisted reproduction begin from the clear premise that everyone has a right to be a parent? Should access to fertility treatment depend on whether or not the treatment is to be privately funded by the patient?
  5. Are the provisions on determining parenthood under the HFEA 2008 as revolutionary as they may at first appear? Should the law recognise the ‘need of a child for a father’?
  6. Is the HFEA 2008 right to confer legal motherhood on the gestational mother? Should this approach be applied in the context of surrogacy?
  7. Have the courts interpreted the requirements for a parental order in a surrogacy case in a way which deprives them of any real significance? Consider the various proposals for reform – what safeguards, if any, do you think should be in place to regulate surrogacy arrangements?