Surrogacy

Surrogacy has been in the news a lot recently after a high profile case involving baby Gammy, born to a Thai surrogate for an Australian couple. The surrogate gave birth to twins only to have the parents reject one twin who was born with Downs Syndrome. The story took a turn for the worse when it was established that the father in possession of the other twin, was actually a convicted Paedophile in his native Australia. Surrogacy in Thailand had allowed him a way to get around national adoption/surrogacy laws preventing him from becoming a father. This story created an outcry both in Thailand, now attempting to ban the removal of surrogate babies from their country, to Australia and the rest of the world. Surrogacy and its pitfalls/legality are very much in the public eye at this month.

What may not be known is that Surrogacy is legal in the UK, provided it is not done for profit. The Surrogates reasonable expenses associated with the pregnancy can be covered but no baby can be “bought” from a surrogate. For this reason many surrogacies tend to involve family members or friends as it unusual, but not unknown, for a surrogate to do this for a couple they do not know, that said this does happen. There are specialist solicitors around the country who deal with surrogacy agreements and the law that surrounds the arrangement.

As clinical negligence lawyers we have encountered  medical mistakes resulting in the loss of a patient’s ability to conceive and carry a baby or the partial loss of fertility requiring IVF treatment with or without egg donation. The loss of the ability to conceive or carry a child can be one of the most devastating outcomes of medical negligence to a woman. If this has occurred we can advise you on your possible claims.

Joanne Dennison – September 2014