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India faces criticism after officials issued new rules barring foreign gay couples and single people from using surrogate mothers to become parents. Commercial surrogacy is a booming industry in India, and in recent years the ranks of childless foreign couples looking for a low-cost, legally simple route to parenthood have been joined by gay couples and singles.
Sir Nicholas Wall, the President of the High Court Family Division, has made public his decision to give parenthood to the British parents of twins born through surrogacy in India. The President said the issues were of “considerable public importance” and he wished to endorse the previous judgments of Mr Justice Hedley in other similar cases.
Alice Jolly and her husband knew they could offer a loving home to one of the thousands of British children awaiting adoption. So why were they forced to go abroad instead and use a surrogate to get the child they longed for?
Parents Michelle and Paul (names changed) spoke to BBC Radio 4′s World at One today about their experiences of international surrogacy, and the problems with surrogacy law in the UK. Their legal case (in which we represented them successfully) was reported anonymously by the High Court last December (as Re L (a minor) 2010) and received national press coverage at the time. Michelle and Paul took the brave decision today to speak about their personal experiences, in order to highlight the difficulties they have faced.
Theresa Erickson, a high profile Californian attorney specialising in assisted reproduction law (self-styled online and in the media as ‘the surrogacy lawyer’) pleaded guilty last month to charges relating to her involvement in a baby selling scam. The case has sent shock waves through the US assisted reproduction law community, which is reeling at the disgrace of one of its best known members.
The High Court has made an unprecedented order awarding parenthood to a deceased father of a baby boy born through surrogacy in India. A couple, known only as Mr and Mrs A, entered into a surrogacy arrangement and their son was born in India on 12 April 2010. But Mr A tragically contracted liver cancer during the course of the proceedings and died, leaving the High Court to make a landmark decision to award parenthood to the mother and her deceased husband.
International and UK regulations have simply not kept up with the reality of surrogacy
Determining parenthood is a complex business. When paternity tests revealed that the child Stephen Quinn had raised as his own was in fact the biological offspring of David Blunkett, Quinn attracted palpable sympathy with his declaration: "I will not draw a distinction between biological and non-biological – we are not buying Persil or Daz."