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” »

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” »

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” »

Surrogacy Book Review: The Kangaroo Pouch

A story about surrogacy for young childrenThe Kangaroo Pouch: A story about surrogacy for young children by Sarah Phillips Pellet

Surrogacy is a pretty complex area to get your head around, and it’s especially challenging to explain surrogacy to children.  How do you educate your children when you are acting as a surrogate, when you are the intended parents of a surrogate baby, or indeed when trying to explain the unique circumstances of your child’s birth story when they themselves were delivered by a surrogate mother?  Continue reading “Surrogacy Book Review: The Kangaroo Pouch” »

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” »

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” »