Baby Gammy case sparks debate about surrogacy law reform

NGA_Stock_073We have been busy over the last few weeks speaking to the media about the baby Gammy case and why surrogacy law needs to be brought up to date.  Amidst a storm of media discussion about the law and ethics of international surrogacy, Richard was interviewed by the Guardian, Helen by BBC World Service and Nicola was interviewed by the Telegraph, Sunday Times, BBC TV news and various BBC Radio programmes including Radio 5 Live and the Radio 4 Today Programme.  Nicola was also interviewed as an expert witness for leading ethics discussion programme The Moral Maze.

The case that hit the headlines involved a Thai surrogacy arrangement and twins who were born to an Australian couple.  One of the twins, known as Gammy, had Down’s Syndrome and was allegedly left in Thailand with his surrogate mother whilst the parents took his twin sister back to Australia.  This triggered outcry and a fierce global debate about how we can better regulate international surrogacy arrangements.

Cases like this are rare, and we work with hundreds of parents who conceive much-wanted children through surrogacy.  It is always important to keep in perspective that surrogacy is far more often a positive experience, which leads to the creation of cherished families.

But there is currently no global system of laws governing surrogacy.  The gaps between national laws can leave children exposed because the parents who commission their birth have no legal responsibility for them.  That is why we are campaigning to see UK surrogacy law changed, to recognise parents who conceive through surrogacy as legal parents from the very start.

We also want to see a properly regulated system for surrogacy in the UK so that fewer parents need to go overseas.  Restrictive surrogacy laws in countries like Australia (and the UK) are driving increasing numbers of parents to conceive through surrogacy in third world countries like Thailand and India, where there are often ethical concerns and a tenuous legal backdrop which can change rapidly. In the wake of baby Gammy, we are managing anxious clients concerned about whether the Thai government’s inevitable crackdown will jeopardise their ability to bring their expected children home.

You can read more about international surrogacy law here and about how we think UK surrogacy law needs to change.

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