According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), surrogacy refers to the arrangement where “a woman is artificially impregnated, whether for monetary compensation or not, with the intention that the child is to be the social child of some other person or couple”.
Commercial surrogacy often involves a fee paid to the surrogate mother. By hiring a surrogate mother, you are essentially hiring a woman to carry and deliver a child for you.
With more people facing fertility issues and couples increasingly seeking alternative routes to have children, there is a growing number of UK families created through surrogacy.
In the last three years, the number of children being born through surrogacy has almost tripled according to figures from the Ministry of Justice Family Court.
Surrogacy is no longer a taboo – along with adoption it has become an accepted alternative to traditional child birth. It has even recently featured in the Archers on Radio 4 and has been put into the headlines by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who have recently used a surrogate to have their baby, Chicago.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law Senate Bill 6037, which substantially updates and improves Washington’s version of the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA).
The UPA is the law that addresses how people are legally recognized as parents. This update strengthens protections for LGBTQ parents and non-biological parents, while maintaining the protections for rape survivors created by the 2017 Rape Survivor Safety Act.
Same-sex couples who are considering gay surrogacy to conceive their families should examine the serious risks of unregulated programs overseas, said Bill Houghton, founder of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide.
As same-sex couples increasingly look for options to conceive children, many are choosing programs in countries without basic protections, according to Bill Houghton, founder of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide. Some destinations popular with gay couples have no specific legislation on surrogacy. This opens the door to unregulated programs with serious risks.
Andrew Powell, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, considers recent developments relating to surrogacy law, including new guidance, as well as the latest cases concerning administrative errors and the HFEA.
H (A Child: Surrogacy Breakdown)  EWCA Civ 1798 (17 November 2017)
Like so many of the reported surrogacy cases in this jurisdiction, in H (A child: Surrogacy breakdown)  EWCA Civ 1798 the court – on this occasion, the Court of Appeal – highlights once more some of the complexities of surrogacy in the absence of any form of regulation.
The facts of this case can be summarised as follows. A and B were a male same-sex couple who entered into a surrogacy agreement with C and D who were a heterosexual married couple. A’s sperm and a donor egg resulted in C’s pregnancy with H. The parties’ relationship broke down subsequently and communication between them ceased. After the birth, the solicitors representing C and D wrote to A and B to inform them that they no longer wished to follow the terms of the agreement and would not provide their consent to the making of a parental order (one of the essential ingredients under s54 of the HFEA 2008).
Children risk being “commodities” as surrogacy spreads, UN rights expert warns
GENEVA (6 March 2018) – Children face becoming commodities as surrogacy arrangements become more prevalent, and urgent action is needed to protect their rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children has warned.
“There is no right to have a child under international law,” said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, who presented a report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. “Children are not goods or services that the State can guarantee or provide. They are human beings with rights.
The UK’s Department for Health and Social Care has released new guidelines advising that children born via surrogacy be told of their origins.
The guidelines, released last Wednesday, are intended to “ensure LGBTQ+ individuals are given equal care, and that all surrogates and intended parents are treated with due dignity and respect”. The document states:
Research suggests that openness, confidence and transparency about a child’s origins from an early age (pre-school) is the best way to talk to children about their identity and origins. Your fertility counsellor should have given you the opportunity to explore how you feel about telling a child about their origins, and fertility counsellors would be happy to help you reach a decision about this at any time, as your thoughts and feelings about if, when and how to do this may change over time.
LGBT people have gradually stepped out from shadows over the last 50 years, not only transforming our own lives, but those of our families and communities. A generation or two ago, the children we raised were born of previous heterosexual relationships. This began to change in the 1970s and ‘80s, aided by helpful court rulings that reflected cultural sea change in attitudes toward gay people in general. In 1997, New Jersey became the first state to allow same-sex couples to adopt jointly.
Adoption, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and surrogacy are now viable avenues available for LGBT individuals and couples. Ultimately, the choice of how to build your family (adoption vs. fertility treatment) is a personal decision based on many factors. Those who seek help from assisted reproductive technologies want to have children with whom they share a genetic connection. What is this path like?
Government guidance has been issued for couples considering surrogacy in England and Wales, for the first time.
Two sets of guidelines have been released, one for surrogates and intended parents, and the other for healthcare professionals working with them.
Couples planning to enter into an agreement with a surrogate are recommended to use written agreements covering conception, expenses and any planned relationship between the surrogate and the child. They are also encouraged to use established surrogacy organisations in the UK to find a surrogate, rather than travelling abroad to clinics or using informal arrangements.
Actress Sunny Leone on Monday surprised everyone by announcing the birth of her sons Noah and Asher via surrogacy.
She had adopted a girl, Nisha, in 2017.
Leone took to Twitter to post a picture of herself along with husband Daniel Weber and their three children.
Leone captioned it: “God’s plan! June 21st, 2017 was the day Daniel and I found out that we might possibly be having three children within a short amount of time. We planned and tried to have a family and after so many years [our] family is now complete with Asher Singh Weber, Noah Singh Weber and Nisha Kaur Weber.”
Surrogacy support groups and family lawyers have criticised the government’s planned new laws on surrogacy, which they say will force 80 couples a year to go abroad to have children.
The government’s deadline for submissions on the planned Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, which will set up a new regulatory regime for surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproduction, closed last week.
The Central Administrative Tribunal has come to the aid of a woman, working in the Ministry of Law & Justice, who was denied maternity leave as she had begotten her children through surrogacy.
The Tribunal directed the Ministry to sanction 180 days of maternity leave to the woman citing three high court’s verdicts which have held that the commissioning mother is also entitled for grant of maternity leave.
The woman is working as a Personal Assistant in the Legislative Department, Official Language Wing of Ministry of Law & Justice. As she was unable to conceive due to medical issues, she entered into Gestational Surrogacy Agreement with another woman.
More than 3,000 women travel abroad for cheap assisted human reproduction treatments every year, a leading fertility doctor has estimated.
Dr John Kennedy, medical director of Virtus Health, the largest provider of fertility services in Ireland, said the figure included those who travelled to get conventional IVF treatments, egg donation and surrogacy services.
He said it was difficult to get exact figures because some women travelled without informing their fertility doctors, but that 3,000 was a reasonable estimate. The average cost of a cycle of IVF in Ireland is between €5,000 and €7,000, but can cost less than €3,000 in some eastern European countries. Dr Kennedy said these countries were always going to be cheaper, but there could be differences in quality of care.
Senate Bill 6037 allows for paid surrogacy in the state of Washington
Sometimes I have the pleasure of telling you a story and sometimes the story just tells itself.
It’s safe to say a number of area lawmakers have had some tough days during the current legislative session in Olympia but the past 24 hours just might have been the toughest for Reps. Liz Pike (R — 18th District) and Vicki Kraft (R — 17th District) and others.
Pike, Kraft and their fellow lawmakers were on the floor of the house until after midnight in the a.m. hours of Wednesday. I spoke with Kraft by telephone this morning and I believe she told me that she was still testifying on the floor of the House of Representatives after midnight.