NGA has been quoted in a long piece in today’s Independent about the Law Commission’s announcement that it plans to review UK surrogacy law. Highlighting the many problems with the existing laws, and the consensus across surrogacy organisations and MPs that reform is urgently needed, the piece also quotes us as on the issue of international surrogacy:
“Natalie Gamble, a fertility lawyer, said deficiencies in the law were driving parents overseas to have children via surrogates. “The US is the go-to destination,” she added. “It’s safe and very well regulated but it’s also very costly.”
Parents unable to afford American services travel to countries including Ukraine and Georgia, where the screening and counselling processes for surrogate mothers are less stringent, while legal changes have reduced numbers in India and Thailand.
Even if couples are legally recognised as a child’s parents abroad, UK law dictates that the baby’s mother is the woman who gave birth and her husband is the father. Parental orders can take months to be granted, leaving babies legally parentless and stateless.
Ms Gamble said there was no evidence of surrogates frequently changing their minds and seeking to keep children, but that any new law must protect the rights and intentions of everyone involved in surrogacy. Her legal firm represented the first parents to come before British courts over surrogacy abroad in 2008 but now estimates there are between 500 and 1,000 cases a year, with most being heterosexual couples.
The UK’s leading surrogacy lawyers
Find out more about how we support families through surrogacy