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” »

Legal Parents! Our Surrogacy UK Parental Order Granted

Family photo Parental Order at High Court
Feeling Happy! Outside the UK High Court after being granted our Parental Order

We are feeling so happy as today we became our children’s parents.  Sounds kind of strange, but until today my biological children, our little twins, were not considered legally our children because they were born with the help of a gestational surrogate.  British law recognises the surrogate mother as the legal mother, and if she is married or co-habiting, her husband or partner as the legal father.  No matter that we are the biological parents, or that when they were born in the USA we were issued US birth certificates for our babies which clearly name us as the only parents. Continue reading “Legal Parents! Our Surrogacy UK Parental Order Granted” »

Couple who used Indian surrogates can bring children up as their own rules judge

Couple who used Indian surrogates can bring children up as their own rules judge – Telegraph

Childless couple allowed to keep babies born through Indian surrogate – Telegraph

In summary, a British couple paid Indian surrogates to give birth to their children and have just been granted parental orders in the British High Court.

Once in a while these stories appear in the national press, but interestingly parental orders are issued to UK parents of international surrogate babies much more often than is reported.  At our first hearing in the High Court we were one of three couples appearing that day requesting parental orders!

However, this is the first time I am aware of where a surrogacy arrangement in India has been publicly granted a parental order.  The Judge, in this case Sir Nicholas Wall, has to feel confident that the amount paid would not ’overbear the will of the surrogate’, and this can be more questionable in India due to the low average earnings.

Nonetheless, parental orders have been duly granted and above all, the welfare of the children was again considered paramount in an echo of similar cases where Justice Hedley has published similar outcomes.  All good news for British couples looking in to international surrogacy to overcome infertility.

 

International Surrogacy Conference in Aberdeen

There was a Hague Conference at the end of August at the University of Aberdeen to debate international convention on surrogacy, not dissimilar to the Child Abduction and Adoption conventions. There were practitioners and academics attending…I wonder if any surrogates or Intended Parents were actually there? I suspect people who have been through it on a personal level would have much to add to the debate – at the end of the day it’s about creating families and it can be hard to remove the emotive element when considering what to do to create international understanding. Continue reading “International Surrogacy Conference in Aberdeen” »

Surrogacy Book Review: And Then There Were Three

And Then There Were Three: ‘The Exceptional Story of a Remarkable Family’ by Ian Mucklejohn (Gibson Square Books, 2005)

This sweet autobiography tells of a how a single man from the UK pursued surrogacy in the USA and had triplet boys. Continue reading “Surrogacy Book Review: And Then There Were Three” »

Family held after trying to smuggle surrogate babies out of Ukraine

Family held after trying to smuggle surrogate babies out of Ukraine | World news | The Guardian.

This case made me shudder. What a terrible story and one which would make any of us undertaking surrogacy abroad think twice. France has a zero tolerance approach to surrogacy and this couple, no different from us except nationality, resorted to such desperation to get their surrogate twins back to France from the Ukraine that they were caught smuggling them in hidden in a chest in the back of a van.  I’m told that the twins are still stuck in nationality limbo with their parents living as exiles while they fight French immigration laws. Continue reading “Family held after trying to smuggle surrogate babies out of Ukraine” »

Surrogacy: going public…

Surrogacy. Some people look at you strangely, not quite understanding the word’s meaning. And fair enough. It’s not every day you meet a woman who has a biological child carried through gestation by a surrogate mother and handed to her at birth. But then maybe you have never met someone who couldn’t carry their own baby and had the determination, drive and imagination to make the dream of having a biological child through surrogacy a reality. Or maybe you are that person too, with those same dreams? Continue reading “Surrogacy: going public…” »