We were thrilled to host a reception at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday evening to celebrate the change to UK law giving parents through surrogacy rights to maternity leave and pay.
NGA co-hosted the reception with John Healey MP, and it was attended by the Minister for Equality Jo Swinson, key UK professionals and influencers, and the parents who have worked with us for so long in different ways to make this change happen. It was wonderful to see so many children and parents, and a testament to how important this change is for real families.
Natalie, John and the Minister spoke about the landmark Children and Families Bill, which from 2015 will give parents through surrogacy the same rights to time off work to care for their newborn children as other UK parents. It represents a legal recognition, for the first time, that intended parents are responsible for their children from birth. We know well that new parents through surrogacy can be in a vulnerable position, whether because they have not been able to have their children in the way they had hoped, or because they are same sex parents anxious about whether their family will be accepted. That vulnerability is made worse by the lack of parental recognition UK law applies when their children are born. The change giving maternity rights is therefore a huge step forward, and not just for its practical effect, but for the message it sends.
But there is more to do, and we want to see full legal recognition of surrogacy families, beyond just the right to time off work when their child is born. Brilliant Beginnings’ surrogacy campaigning was launched publicly at the event, with Natalie advocating the need for further change and explaining what Brilliant Beginnings will be doing to make that happen. You can read more about our call for change on the Brilliant Beginnings blog.
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