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” »

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” »

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.

 

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).

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” »

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…