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” »
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?
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’” »
Well 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” »
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 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” »
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” »
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.
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).
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” »
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…