We are a campaigning law firm and have a steady record of winning changes to law and policy. But there is still lots more to be done.
Our current campaigns include:
- Maternity leave rights for parents through surrogacy (find out more)
- Better law on surrogacy (find out more)
- Promoting acceptance of same sex parents and non traditional families
- Ending discrimination against single parents building families
Here are some highlights of what we have already achieved:
Making international surrogacy possible for British parents. In 2008 we persuaded the English High Court to make a groundbreaking decision ratifying a foreign commercial surrogacy arrangement, the first court decision of its kind. We went on to win various other cases which have pushed the boundaries further, and created a precedent legal solution for British couples conceiving through surrogacy abroad.
Winning rights for lesbian parents and gay dads to be named together on UK birth certificates. Natalie was a prominent champion of the changes while they were being debated in Parliament in 2008. She spoke at a public debate in the Houses of Parliament on the eve of the House of Lords vote (alongside ex HFEA Chair Baronness Deech and Bishop of Oxford Lord Richard Harries) and spoke prominently across the national media defending the changes to secure their passage through Parliament. Children conceived from April 2009 can now have two legal female parents in the UK, and children conceived to gay dads through surrogacy can now have two male parents.
Getting abolished the ‘need for a father’ clause (which for many years stopped lesbian and solo mothers from accessing fertility treatment in the UK). In 2009 Natalie spoke out prominently against discrimination in who can access treatment, and was quoted as an expert on the floor of the House of Commons in the televised free vote debate. The vote was won, and fertility clinics now have to consider a prospective child’s need for ‘supportive parenting’ which does not discriminate against different family forms.
Enabling children born through surrogacy abroad to become British. In 2010 Natalie was asked to act as expert adviser to the government on surrogacy during their review of the parental order regulations. One of her recommendations, to ensure that children born abroad should become British automatically on the grant of a parental order, was made law, something which has secured British nationality for many children born through surrogacy abroad.
Ending discrimination in the embryo storage rules. In 2009, we represented parents Melanie and Robert Gladwin, whose embryos in storage faced destruction because the law gave them only a limited storage time because they would be used in a surrogacy arrangement. In a last-minute government u-turn, changes were made to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (just days before it was due to come into force) to ensure that Melanie and Robert’s embryos were saved. Embryos in storage for surrogacy are now treated legally in the same way as other embryos.
To be involved, show your support or share your story, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter @NGambleAssoc