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. 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.
Maternity rights for intended mothers through surrogacy has still not been granted. Given that adoptive parents have the same rights as biological parents for parental leave, this discrimination seems embarrassingly archaic in modern Britain. New legislation to change this position is expected by 2015.
Whilst on the subject of British law, Parental Orders now seem to be issued as standard in the High Court. Any intended parent with good intent could expect to be awarded legal parentage of their surro-offspring. Despite a long list of pre-requisites including being part of a couple and limited levels of payment to a surrogate, so far to my knowledge there hasn’t been a situation that the Judge has not accepted. Certainly, I would feel far more relaxed going through the High Court today than three years ago as the sheer volume of successful parents has built confidence for so many more.
International surrogacy continues to grow in popularity, and most recently Intended Parents in China have become very active. From a UK perspective, India seems to dominate the press, as their surrogate-economy continues to boom. Most recently the Indian Government has encouraged the import of frozen embryos from overseas for the purpose of surrogacy. This is likely to open up the possibility of a baby through surrogacy to a whole new segment of people in the UK. When I read this latest news, I wondered if our Californian frozen embryos might take to the sky in their liquid nitrogen suitcase for a spin over to Mumbai. Then I look at our precious trio of children and remember how far we’ve come in the last three years, reflecting on our journey with all the love and gratitude in the world, would we really do it again….?