Our and NGA Law’s journey over the last ten years has been a real whirlwind. We have had some big moments, as well the less obvious but no less significant achievements: the families we have supported through difficult times, the babies we have been a part of bringing into the world, and working as part of a team which cares so passionately about exceptional client service and making a difference. As a team, everyone has played a part in what we have achieved, including:
Surrogacy and fertility cases which have moved the law forward – we are known for our surrogacy and fertility law work and our cases which have taken the law to new places. Since representing the first parents to get a parental order after international surrogacy in 2008, we have worked with more than a thousand families through surrogacy and been the lawyers involved in more than twenty reported fertility law cases, many high profile and all changing the legal landscape.
Launching Brilliant Beginnings – in 2013, we launched our sister organisation, a non-profit surrogacy agency which offers a unique fully-managed screening, matching and management service for surrogacy in the U.K. and helps parents exploring their options and going to the US and Canada for surrogacy. We love helping families with the practicalities of surrogacy as well as the legal issues – it means our professional service is rounded and complete.
The campaign for surrogacy law reform – We have been talking about reform for more than a decade and we aren’t done yet! We have been influential in making strong strides already (winning changes to the law on storing embryos for surrogacy, maternity leave rights and in 2016 winning a declaration of incompatibility with the Human Rights Act which just a few months ago led to Parliament equalising the law for single parents). But there is more to do. We won’t stop raising awareness and advocating calmly for progressive change until the law recognises and reflects the true nature and positivity of ethical surrogacy.
LGBT family law – We represent all kinds of families in our divorce and children law work, but we are known particularly as leading lawyers for same-sex couples and transgender families. It’s not just that the law is often untested in these kinds of family law cases and needs a creative and strategic approach; embracing difference and giving confidence to families made in non-traditional ways is something that comes from our hearts.
Defending transgender rights – While the U.K. is progressive when it comes to LGB issues, we still have a way to go with the T, with some media discourse promoting hostility and doubt about transgender identities. We know such views are on the wrong side of history and we have passionately supported trans families as well as speaking out for progressive law reform.
Policy work behind the scenes – Over our life as a firm we have embraced every opportunity to work with government and other public bodies to improve law, policy and practice, including contributing to the UK’s guidance on completing passport applications for parents of children born through assisted reproduction, the HFEA Code of Practice, research in conjunction with Cambridge University, the government’s first ever official surrogacy guidance, inclusion of HIV patients in U.K. fertility treatment and much more.
So what about the next ten years?
Well, we aren’t going to stop challenging the rules to enable modern families to evolve and be represented dynamically and confidently in law and life. We will remain at the cutting edge of legal practice, offering an exceptional client service as a leading modern family law firm. We may have done lots already but there is still so much more to do. We can’t wait.
Natalie and Helen, NGA LawFamily Law, fertility law, Helen Prosser, LGBT families, Natalie Gamble, Natalie Gamble Associates, NGA Law, single parents, surrogacy law