Surrogacy, Three Years On

Tomorrow my twins will turn three years old.  As the months since they were born are starting to roll in to years, I’m feeling more removed from our surrogacy experience.  Life is moving on, and it’s only natural for me to feel reflective at this time of year. surrogacy wordcloud It’s felt good to share our journey and I am still actively following the progress of surrogacy in the UK and around the world.

Surrogacy seems to have become very normalised within the world of celebrity, and there have been many recent surro-birth announcements in the US, joining such luminaries as Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert DeNiro and Ricky Martin. Elton John and David Furnish had their second son in January 2013, Giuliana Rancic had her son in August 2012 and is reportedly trying for her second surrogate child, and let’s not forget Caprice who gave birth herself within weeks of welcoming her surrogate-born baby in August 2013.

Strangely, although there was much hype in the press around the time of our twin daughters’ birth, more recently surrogacy has become a relatively quiet topic.  Although some progress has been made to regulate surrogacy and create a fairer legal process, mostly change in the last few years has been minimal. Continue reading “Surrogacy, Three Years On” »

How Much Would YOU Pay To Be A Mother? Daily Mail ask…

We were asked to take part in this surrogacy article in the Daily Mail…but declined when we realised that its primary focus was on how much money people paid to become parents…when it comes to surrogacy, money is a very personal thing and reading the piece, I’m happy we stayed more private….

Daily Mail Article: How Much Would YOU Pay To Be A Mother?

Womb Transplant – Would You?

Doctors in the UK think that they may be only two years away from being able to perform a womb transplant, which may be preferred to surrogacy or adoption.  Whilst being a medical miracle on one hand, judging by the comments left on the Daily Mail website, this surgery is not a popular idea to everyone.  And as someone who has had more cause than most to ruminate on this very matter, I must admit that reading about it today has made me feel just the slightest bit queasy. Continue reading “Womb Transplant – Would You?” »

Surrogacy Book Review: Love Child – Our Surrogate Baby

By Rona Walker (Bloomsbury, 1990)

You can probably tell by the hair styles in the book jacket photo that these guys were some of the earlier UK pioneers of modern surrogacy!  Rona Walker (not her real name) was expecting her first baby when disaster struck – tragically her baby was born prematurely and did not survive, and she subsequently suffered a severe postpartum hemorrhage which led to a hysterectomy.  She and her husband were devastated, and it wasn’t long before she looked to surrogacy as a way to create their longed-for family.  Continue reading “Surrogacy Book Review: Love Child – Our Surrogate Baby” »

Surrogate mum’s ‘equal rights’

The debate continues in the UK…should the same maternity rights be awarded to women who become mothers through surrogacy as for women who become mothers naturally or through adoption?  Well, I for one can’t think of a single reason why on earth not.  Can you?

Shoshanna Berkley on ITV News

At the moment a mother through surrogacy is not entitled to any leave – paid or otherwise - until she has a parental order in place.  Then she is only entitled to 13 weeks unpaid parental leave.  Continue reading “Surrogate mum’s ‘equal rights’” »

Surrogacy ‘Trend’ For Celebrities

Elton John did it.  So did Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Ricky Martin did it ages ago, and Elizabeth Banks has just done it.  Even Robert De Niro did it – twice. As for Beyoncé, did she or didn’t she?

Funny that surrogacy has become such a ‘celebrity trend’ these days.  The attention celebrity surrogacy receives is, however, a double-edged sort for us ordinary folk who have surrogate babies.  Continue reading “Surrogacy ‘Trend’ For Celebrities” »

Surrogacy Maternity Leave Tribunal

Definitely some winds of change taking place on surrogacy in the UK.  Finally someone has put their head above the parapet and demanded equal rights as a new mother to maternity leave.  A Newcastle Employment tribunal has referred the case to the European Court of Justice in order to consider whether a mother through surrogacy has a right to paid maternity leave to bond with her baby, establish breast-feeding and develop her family life.  The claimant feels that the law should encompass new mothers and not just gestational mothers, and given that she looked after the baby from an hour old and breast-fed for three months, many would think it was hard to disagree. Continue reading “Surrogacy Maternity Leave Tribunal” »

British Birth Certificates for USA-born Surrogate Babies

usa british flagWell it took nearly a year, but our surrogate twins finally got their British Birth Certificates issued last week.  Unlike when a baby is born naturally, it isn’t simply a case of applying to the registrar and filling a in a form.  Continue reading “British Birth Certificates for USA-born Surrogate Babies” »

Surrogacy Book Review: The Gift of Surrogacy – Will and Hope have a Baby

Will and Hope Have a Baby: The Gift of Surrogacy By Irene Celcer (Graphite Press, 2007)

This book forms part of collection of stories for children born via extraordinary reproductive circumstance and also includes sperm and egg donation editions.  I agree with the author, a mental health professional, that children born through assisted reproduction should benefit from their parents being upfront about their beginnings.  They have a right to know, and it is our duty as loving parents to ensure that the messages they receive are both truthful and age-appropriate.  We would like our twins born via surrogacy to be proud of the efforts so many people made to bring them in to the world, and to know how wanted and cherished they are.  Continue reading “Surrogacy Book Review: The Gift of Surrogacy – Will and Hope have a Baby” »

Surrogacy Maternity Leave Inequality

“If you and your husband, wife or partner are having a child through surrogacy you will not normally be eligible for statutory maternity or adoption leave. However you will be eligible for unpaid parental leave once you have got a parental order.” So says the DirectGov website advice on Maternity Leave.

Why?  There is clearly a level of discrimination taking place here.  Having a child, a baby, through whatever means…giving birth, adopting or with the help of a surrogate mother, should be considered equal upon the baby’s arrival and the family should be supported by Government policy. Continue reading “Surrogacy Maternity Leave Inequality” »