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” »

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” »

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” »

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” »

Surrogates: I’m Pregnant With Their Baby

BBC1 – I’m Pregnant with Their Baby (A surrogate story, aired August 2011)

Interesting look at 3 British surrogates, and it seemed to me to be quite a balanced view.  Very brave of everyone to take part, showing the process warts and all.  I know from our experience that we felt incredibly private throughout the process and would not have been comfortable being so public about our surrogacy experience at the time.  I take my hat off to them.  Ultimately this kind of program increases awareness of surrogacy and helps people understand what motivates people to do become surrogate mothers.  It won’t be too many years from now that the UK is more desensitised to surrogacy as a way of creating longed-for families and it becomes more common, like IVF did some years ago (well, maybe not quite that common, but you get my drift).

Rebekah Brooks baby: Phone hacking scandal boss expecting child by surrogate mother

Rebekah Brooks Surrogate baby: Mail Online.

Any loving parent-to-be who needs to turn to surrogacy is someone I can feel empathy and admiration for.  But Rebekah Brooks…she’s not exactly  ideal poster-girl now is she!

She’s currently on police bail due to phone hacking and is high up there as one of the most reviled women in the UK today.  Newspapers, ironically, are respecting her privacy and not reporting on who the surrogate is.

Rebekah Brooks has said that she wants to ‘recognise their own good fortune by working in some way to help others facing similar challenges.’  I totally get that sentiment – it’s my philosophy exactly.  I hope she isn’t purely paying lip service to it though.  Surrogacy does deserve a higher – and more positive – profile in the UK. Ms Brooks…feel free to subscribe to my posts…