We are change-makers and innovators, who create positive change for families created in different ways and for LGBT+ parents and children.
We are regular media voices championing progressive reform for LGBT+ families, surrogacy, assisted reproduction and trans rights, including on the Radio 4 Today Programme, Woman's Hour, national and international news and all the UK's major newspapers - see our media area for more. We also speak at debates and conferences in the UK and internationally, including at the House of Lords and together with speakers such as Supreme Court Justice Baroness Hale and the Bishop of Oxford Lord Richard Harries.
In 2013 we launched Brilliant Beginnnings, the UK's first surrogacy agency to offer a professionally-managed surrogacy service. Working together with NGA Law to provide a holistic surrogacy service, Brilliant Beginnings matches intended parents and surrogates in the UK, supports intended parents going overseas and offers exceptional care to UK surrogates. Brilliant Beginnings and NGA Law are also prominent campaigners for surrogacy law reform.
We have supported Stonewall (including helping to author their guides for lesbian and gay parents), Mermaids and other prominent LGBT charities. Helen is a member of the HFEA’s National Donation Strategy Group and a former trustee of the National Gamete Donation Trust. Natalie is a former trustee of Fertility Network UK and is a member of the Donor Conception Network.
We have worked with the Department of Health (including helping to author its first ever government guidance on surrogacy), contributed to the Law Commission's surrogacy law reform project, helped the Passport Office to write accurate guidance for parents through donation and surrogacy, and advised the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on surrogacy and legal parenthood. We have also provided training and education to private organisations, including Facebook, Google, ITV Coronation Street and more.
2020 - Solving international surrogacy challenges during the pandemic
We successfully lobbied the UK government to create a new emergency passport process for stranded surrogate babies in April 2020, and in October 2020 persuaded the HFEA to permit the export of eggs, sperm and embryos overseas for surrogacy to enable intended parents to conceive.
2019 - Opening surrogacy to single parents
In January 2019, UK surrogacy legislation was changed to enable single parents to apply for parental orders, something which removed discrimination but also in practical terms enabled single mums and dads to access UK surrogacy for the first time. It was the result of a long battle we fought going back to 2008, when our founder Natalie Gamble first raised the issue of discrimination when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was going through Parliament. This having not been remedied, we found a single dad through US surrogacy willing to challenge the law and in 2016 won a landmark ruling against the government that the law was discriminatory and incompatible with the Human Rights Act. This resulted in the change in legislation which finally came into effect in 2019.
2018 - Gender recognition reform
We campaigned (and continue to campaign) for law enabling transgender and non-binary people to change their birth certificates through a modern process of self-identification. We gave evidence to the government consultation, and were interviewed on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour as a voice supporting trans rights.
2015 - Maternity leave rights for surrogacy
Before April 2015, parents through surrogacy had no right to maternity leave or pay. We ran a long campaign which began with a 2008 letter (backed by various national charities) asking the government to address the lack of maternity leave rights for parents through surrogacy, and then continued through a media campaign and a 2012 Private Members' Bill introduced by John Healey MP. Finally in 2015, new regulations were passed by Parliament creating a specical form of adoption leave for surrogacy which now give parents (including gay and single dads) the right to the equivalent of maternity leave and pay.
2013 – HFEA surrogacy policy
We worked with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to help it introduce its first ever surrogacy policy, and surrogacy-specific consent forms. facilitate and support surrogacy.
2010 - British nationality for surrogate children
We successfully persuaded the Department of Health to include a law change in new draft regulations which enabled children born through surrogacy abroad to become British automatically on the grant of a parental order.
2009 - Embryo storage for surrogacy
We persuaded the Secretary of State for Health to change the law on embryo storage, so that intended parents through surrogacy could (in the same way as parents storing for their 'own use') store embryos for longer than five years.
2008 – Legal rights for same-sex parents (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill)
Our founder Natalie Gamble was a prominent voice in favour of progressive reform during the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. She supported the new rights for same-sex parents to be named on birth certificates together and the abolition of the requirement for fertility clinics to consider the child's 'need for a father' before offering treatment. In the face of significant opposition from prominent members of Parliament, Natalie was quoted extensively in the House of Commons, interviewed on the Radio 4 Today programme and across the national press, and spoke in the House of Lords on the eve of the Parliamentary vote. She was nominated for Stonewall's Hero of the Year award, and subsequently invited to meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, in recognition of her work.