Surrogacy and the law
In surrogacy situations the law gives motherhood to the woman who gives birth. ‘When the law was set up in 1990 the priority was to protect women conceiving with donor eggs
(to make sure they were the legal mother even though they were not genetic parents),’ Natalie Gamble
, the UK’s leading fertility lawyer explains.
‘In surrogacy situations however, since motherhood goes exclusively to the surrogate, the intended parents have to go through a legal process to reassign parenthood, which takes many months’.
This is a stressful situation for new parents especially as they legally aren’t recognized as such, even if they are the child’s biological parents. Whilst parenthood is reassigned the surrogate is legally responsible meaning that the intended mother is without rights to maternity leave, even though she is caring for a newborn.
With such complications, perhaps not surprisingly (18%) thought that the responsibility of becoming a surrogate is ‘too great’ and thought that laws onsurrogacy should be revised. Whilst for the most part, (75%) agreed that surrogacy ‘gives childless couples the ultimate gift,’ the legal issues surrounding this issue put many people off.