The Government has announced it will change the law to allow single people to bring up surrogate babies, in what has been branded an attack on family values.
The change will come after a High Court judge ruled last year that only allowing couples to bring up surrogate children breached the human rights of single people.
The move has been widely criticised by family advocates, who pointed out that research shows children develop best in families with two parents who are in a permanent relationship.
The landmark case in question was brought by a British man who wanted to obtain a parental order – which must be granted by the High Court to anyone wishing to parent a surrogate child – after he paid an American woman £30,000 to give birth to his child.
According to Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen, Minister for the Cabinet Office, the ruling means the Government will now amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 to allow single people to raise surrogate children.
She also said the changes were needed because the law was struggling to “keep pace with 21st century attitudes and lifestyles”.
Head of Communications at The Christian Institute, Ciarán Kelly, said the change was another erosion of marriage and the family.
He said, “All the evidence shows that children do better when raised by their mother and father – and best of all when those parents are married.
“It is beneficial to the children. It is beneficial to society. Why does the Government want to undermine this?”
Dr Trevor Stammers of the Family Eduation Trust, called the move “an assault on the child and traditional family life”.
Robert Flello MP, vice-chairman of the All Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, said that the priority should be the child.
“The right for the child to have two parents is deliberately overlooked. A child has the right to be brought up in a loving family by its mother and father and that should be the starting point for Government and society.”