I am regularly asked what the legal situation in the UK is with regards surrogacy and the one thing that most people are unaware of is that a contract signed in the UK between Intended Parents and a Surrogate is actually not legally binding and it is just a piece of paper with "intentions" written on it. The whole process in the UK is built on trust, which is a great way to create an enduring relationship but potentially can lead to the worst outcome if this relationship breaks down.
This past week Nick Clegg spoke to Pink News and took some questions on a lot of same-sex related topics but the one that jumped out at me was that he mentioned the need for surrogacy reform:
Question – Surrogacy: What are your views on the legalisation of surrogacy for gay couples? The UK doesn’t seem to have a cogent law on this. And it’s a lot safer being pregnant for nine months than being a farmer for nine months. It seems to me it should be legalised and regulated.
Answer - Families come in all different shapes and sizes – and there will almost certainly be more and more gay couples considering adoption or surrogacy in the future. It’s great that so many gay couples are looking to start a family, and government should support these couples as much as possible. I agree this is an area that needs further investigation. We should be learning from the experience of couples who have used surrogacy, and looking at how full legalisation has worked in places like California.
My friends Nick and Rory are campaigning a lot on this specific topic and have launched a petition to bring about "fair and ethical surrogacy built on a legal framework" so I wonder now that Jessica is stepping down after this election which politician will aim to continue Jessica's great work?
Pink News article:
Nick & Rory's campaign: