Source Daily Mail
A surrogate who refused to abort a baby suffering a heart defect after his biological parents ordered her to do so has spoken out about the emotional rollercoaster she has been on, one year after she gave birth to the child.
Source Bio News
Sixty-two percent of private IVF patients paid ‘more than they expected’ for treatment, according to the first national patient survey by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
The UK fertility regulator released annual statistics showing that 60 percent of IVF cycles are now privately funded and that 74 percent of patients over the past two years paid for one or more ‘add-on’ treatments, up from 66 percent in the previous two years.
‘Patients often feel pressure to opt for add-ons and many are understandably keen to explore every option to improve their chances of having a baby, but such treatments should only be offered where there is proof they work’ said the HFEA’s Chair, Sally Cheshire.
Source Today Singapore
SINGAPORE — A gay Singaporean doctor will be allowed to adopt his five-year-old biological son born in the United States through a surrogate mother.
In a landmark decision on Monday (Dec 17), the High Court overturned an earlier ruling that rejected the man’s bid.
Delivering the three-judge panel’s decision, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said that granting the adoption order in this case would “violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units”, but this concern is not powerful enough to ignore the need to promote the welfare of the child and regard it as paramount.
This is the first adoption application here by someone who has openly declared himself to be homosexual and living with his same-sex partner.
Source Metro UK
Mark* has known since he was a teenager that becoming a father would not be straightforward.
At 16, he was diagnosed with leukaemia and treatment for this left him infertile. Luckily though, he was able to store sperm before he began his cancer treatment – giving him the hope of fatherhood in the future. However, despite his clinical need, Mark is being denied access to NHS fertility treatment because the body that plans and controls health care services where he lives – West Sussex – sets its own arbitrary criteria for who can and can’t access it.
Sorry, Nash is cranky right now,” apologises Bec Kalpakoff, from Perth, while she calmly tends to a fussy infant in a busy café.
She is not flustered by being a first-time mother, but ordering a coffee is proving a frustration — Bec cannot speak the language in the city where her son was born.
She called the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv home for five months after a surrogate mother gave birth to her twins, Nash and Indi.
Bec is one of thousands of hopeful parents using Ukraine’s liberal surrogacy laws each year.
Conceiving a child through surrogacy in Ukraine with a donor egg costs between 30,000 to 40,000 euros, not including travel or legal costs.
Business is booming after other countries — including Thailand, Nepal and India — have cracked down on foreigners using local services.
Source Daily Mail
Carole Horlock had said baby number 15 would be her last.
But at 52, Britain’s most prolific surrogate mother is hoping to have her 16th.
She is currently looking for couples or single mothers and aims to become pregnant early in the new year.
If successful, Miss Horlock will give birth just before her 53rd birthday – making her the world’s oldest commercial surrogate.
She said: ‘I’m determined to get pregnant one last time with a surrogate baby and I’m actively searching for a couple or single mother to help.
Source Legal Cheek
It has remained fundamentally unaltered for over 30 years.
Former head of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir James Munby, has called for the amendment to the current law regarding surrogacy payments. He asserts that “society is moving on and the challenge for lawmakers is what steps, if any, we take to accommodate those changes into our legal framework”. Under UK law, women are banned from advertising themselves as surrogates or receiving payment other than to cover ‘reasonable expenses’. However, Munby argues that the reality is a market does exist in the UK as payments are “dressed up as expenses”.
Source Daily Mail
Severe illness caused by powerful IVF drugs has hit a seven-year high, with almost 800 women rushed to hospital in the last five years.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or OHSS, causes women’s ovaries to expand dangerously and in severe cases can leave victims fighting to breathe with blood clots in their lungs.
A new report from a fertility regulator reveals 52 women were diagnosed with severe or critical OHSS in 2017-18.
The statistics raise concern that fertility clinics are giving women high doses of drugs to boost their ovaries so they produce more than the normal one egg a month.
Source DNA India
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in a pioneering move, has decided to grant special maternity leave to an employee who became a mother via surrogacy.
In line with the state government’s circular from the General Administration Department dated November 9, 2016, it is binding on the civic body to grant special leave of 180 days for woman employees to take care of their children born from surrogacy. The decision was implemented from January 2016.
Though the employee was eligible for leave, her application was rejected because she didn’t apply in advance, which is mandatory for special leave. She applied again on 7th March 2018 and the civic administration requested BMC’s General Assembly to sanction the leave on humanitarian grounds.
Source Eurek Alert
As more and more parents travel overseas to find a surrogate, a new study published in Human Fertility is the first to compare the experiences of those who carry out surrogacy in the UK with those who go abroad. The research highlights important problems faced by parents, which could influence UK surrogacy law.
A new study is the first to compare the experiences of people who have carried out surrogacy in the UK with those who go overseas, for example, to countries such as USA, India and Georgia. The research, led by Dr Vasanti Jadva at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, in collaboration with NGA Law and Brilliant Beginnings, surveyed over 200 people who had either already had a child through a surrogate, were in the process, or were planning a surrogacy arrangement.
Source The Sun
A WOMAN acting as a surrogate for her sister has claimed her three children “hate” her for carrying a baby that’s not their sibling.
Writing in the Parenting forum on Reddit, the user Kelsey_Hyl revealed how her sister suffered a prolapsed uterus after the birth of her first child.
Describing her sister’s heartbreak, the user wrote: “She had to have prolapse surgery to remove her womb [after childbirth] which meant she couldn’t have any more children.”
The mum-of-three described how her sister was left “devastated” by the news and fell into a depression afterwards.
A year after her sister’s surgery, the woman offered to carry a baby for her and added that her sibling was “thrilled with the idea and fully on board with it”.
Now carrying her sister’s second child, the woman admitted that her husband wasn’t so keen on the idea at first but said “if it’s what [she] wanted to do then so be it”.
Source Above The Law
The world faces an ongoing struggle on the question of how to think about and regulate surrogacy — the act of a woman carrying to birth a child for another. Some countries, such as Germany, have strict bans on surrogacy, and even threaten prison time for those arranging or undertaking surrogacy. On the other hand, there’s California, as well as a number of American states, which provide a welcoming environment with statutory protections for all parties involved. But no country better demonstrates the policy controversies and extreme confusion on surrogacy more than the country of Cambodia.
When Grayson van Vliet entered the world last week, he had the beginnings of a full head of hair, two tiny hands to press against his face, and a big sister.
Plus a hat, because babies get those right away.
He also has both his mother and the woman who’s been pregnant with him for the last nine months.
Grayson’s mother Kimberly is unable to carry a child because of breast cancer treatments which — even though she’s been declared cancer-free — will continue for another seven years.
The 37-year-old said she and her husband Derek considered a lot of options, including limiting themselves to only one child.
Source The Guardian
One of the UK’s most senior family judges, James Munby, has called for the UK to relax the rules against paying surrogates. His comments are spot-on: the law needs to catch up with the realities of modern surrogacy.
For decades it has been customary in the UK for surrogates to be paid between £12,000 and £20,000. Having handled hundreds of UK surrogacy cases (not just complex and international surrogacy cases, but also routine, everyday UK cases), I have seen only a small minority where there has been no element of benefit or compensation. The family court now routinely authorises payments to surrogates of more than their expenses, both explicitly in the high court and implicitly in the magistrates’ court, where sums are accepted at face value. The case law makes clear that payments will always be authorised after the event where this is in the child’s best interests. There has never been a case where an order transferring parenthood has been refused.
Source The Times
In 2009, a patient of mine attempted suicide because I told her she wasn’t eligible for IVF. The almost unbearable sting of this news was made sharper still because, had she been a patient at a hospital just five miles away, she would have instantly qualified for treatment.
The accusation that our health provision is subject to a “postcode lottery” has screamed from newspaper headlines for years, a hot potato scalding the fidgety hands of politicians until they manage to change the subject. But unlike much tabloid health hysteria (“Crayons cause cancer!” “Mouthwash linked to dementia!”), this is something doctors have always accepted as true. And now we have the data to back it up.
Source Daily Mail
Britain should lift the ban on payments to surrogate mothers, the former head of the family court has told The Mail on Sunday.
In a wide-ranging interview, Sir James Munby also defended the right of women in their 50s and 60s to have children because ‘today’s 60 is like yesterday’s 40’. And reflecting on dramatic changes in society, he spoke of how those who have ‘gone down the surrogacy or same-sex marriage route’ are no longer treated as ‘people with horns’.
Sir James, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales before his retirement in July, said serious consideration should be given to abolishing restrictions on commercial surrogacy.
On March 3 a liquid nitrogen storage tank at the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland failed. More than 950 patients lost over 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos. The hospital attributed the tragic incident to “human error”.
More than 70 aggrieved patients have brought over 40 lawsuits against University Hospitals of Cleveland, although most of these claims have been consolidated into a single case. But one couple, Wendy and Rick Penniman, has attempted to sue on the basis of “wrongful death”. Their lawsuit seeks to establish that embryos should be treated as legal persons and that the life of a person begins at conception.
The “chain of profound implications for other families” dismays three bioethicists and lawyers writing in Annals of Internal Medicine, Eli Adashi, of Brown University; I. Glenn Cohen, of Harvard; and Dov Fox, of the University of San Diego. They believe that a ruling in favour of the plaintiffs could lead to limits on abortion, stem cell research and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“It would be a sad irony if a legal claim aimed at protecting the rights of those who lost their ability to reproduce had the effect of limiting the reproductive rights of countless others,” the authors write.
A ruling that embryos are persons could be used as grounds to limit abortion rights, the authors point out, as well as to potentially restrict research on embryonic stem cells. There could be implications for the future of IVF as well.
Source The Times
Our surrogate Melissa’s uterine cyst is technically an abnormal sac filled with fluid, but it may as well be a broken traffic light in the middle of Clapham Junction for the inconvenience and anxiety it’s causing us. We need to wait a few more days to find out if it has been resolved.
It is not lost on me how uncomfortable it feels to be “inconvenienced” by how a stranger’s body is functioning. It seems controlling and I definitely don’t like it; first, for the reality of the whole thing — woah, I am enlisting a stranger to do what my body cannot — and second, for the “employment” aspect. That is the huge elephant in the room where surrogacy is concerned.