The Minister for Equality, Justice, Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento MP, on the 5th February took to Parliament a Bill for an Act on surrogacy. The Bill had been published on the 28th January and was brought to Parliament by the at the earliest possible opportunity following a certificate from the Chief Minister abridging the normal six-week requirement of notice.
The Act then came into force on the 9th February after publication of an extraordinary Gazette and the provisions contained in it are therefore now law. The Minister has said she is pleased to note that certain provisions are already being used and that at least one application has been accepted by the Supreme Court of Gibraltar for a parental order under the Act.
Today the Minister for Equality has published additional legislation in this area namely the Births and Deaths Registration (Amendment) Rules 2021. These regulations amend the Births and Deaths Registration Rules to allow for the recording of information in a birth or still-birth entry relating to a woman who is a parent by virtue of section 9 of the Surrogacy Act 2021.
The coming into force of the Act and the making of these Rules are the latest steps in enhancing equality in Gibraltar by the Minister for Equality and this Government. In this case, ensuring equality in reproductive rights for persons and couples, be they same sex or not. Previous milestones have included amendments to the Crimes Act regarding hate crimes and hate speech, Civil Partnerships for all couples (not just same sex) and subsequently legislating for same sex marriage, and also legislating to introduce protection from discrimination for transgender people.
'This new legislation will have a positive effect to the lives of some people and demonstrates the current and ongoing commitment of the Minister for Equality and the Government to continue with this important agenda despite the difficulties faced currently with the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.'
The Minister for Equality, Justice, Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento MP, said: "This is another important step towards achieving the Government's agenda of equality in all its forms in Gibraltar. The Act allows for a legal framework for all who are currently unable to conceive to be able to become parents through surrogacy.
“The children born to surrogates will be legally recognised as the children of the intended parents with all the legal protection that this entails.
“This again shows that what this Government aims for is a more modern and inclusive society for all. I would like to thank the Government's legal team, and in particular Michael Podesta, and the Ministry for Equality for bringing this forward and also all the stakeholders who have been part of the consultation process and who have positively engaged and assisted in ensuring that the law will be fit for its very important purpose."