1. 1.We attended court last November to support this Surrogate Mother (SM) in the case to ‘set aside’ the Parental Order. We understand this case to be a one of a kind which was won on the basis of consent which we will explore in an upcoming blog but first some background…
2. The SM’s relationship with newly-introduced Commissioning Parents (CPs) progressed quickly and the first donor egg conceived embryo was transferred within 6 months. There was no long history of friendship and this all took place without guidance of an agency. #surrogacy
3. When that transfer failed, a second attempt was made, this time via artificial insemination and the egg of the SM. She was pregnant by Nov 2019. This woman is the genetic mother and birth mother of her son.
#Mother #SurrogateMother #ParentalRights
4. A genetic link with at least one CP is currently recognised in law as important for surrogacy.The Law Commission proposes to change this by allowing ‘double donation’ for some UK surrogacy agreements meaning CPs will have no genetic link to babies they commission. #Surrogacy
5. By the Spring of the following year the relationship was breaking down. The little boy was born in Sept 2020 and within hours the baby was removed from his mother and in full-time custody and care of the CPs.
#Surrogacy #MaternalRights
6. The application for a parental order was made 2 months later,the SM declined to sign it, although she felt under pressure to do so she stood firm making it clear she had changed her mind, she wanted to remain in the child’s life & did not agree to transfer her parental rights.
7. Consent is central to this case. It is legally recognised that it must be given freely and unconditionally and only if you are fully informed of what you are agreeing to.

#Surrogacy #ParentalOrder #LawReform #MaternalRights #Motherhood
8. Where the relationship in a surrogacy agreement has broken down, consent is considered ‘unique’ and the written statement of the SM clearly shows she does not agree to relinquishing her parental rights.
9. It is important to recognise that consent can also be withdrawn, whether that be for medical treatment, sexual intercourse or the transfer of parental rights.
#consent #InformedConsent #Coercion #Surrogacy
10. The ‘cooling off’ period currently permitted within the law will change drastically should the UK law be amended to mirror commercial surrogacy arrangements with a pre-birth order as the Law Commission propose.
#InformedConsent #MaternalRights #Surrogacy
11. Central to this case is the Contact Order which was initially met by the CPs but later disregarded despite a judge’s order. Contact between the mother and her son was denied.
#Motherhood #ChildsRights #Surrogacy
12. As the Contact order was originally the basis on which the PO was agreed to by the SM, her consent was *conditional*. In court, there was some recognition of the SM being under ‘considerable judicial encouragement’ at the time. #Coercion #Surrogacy #ParentalOrder
13. It was agreed by the Court of Appeal that the PO should never have been granted but it is unclear as to what happens next from all parties involved.
For more on this we suggest reading the full judgement:

14. As tomorrow is the final date for the CPs to appeal the judgment we wanted to take this opportunity to share this woman’s experience with her permission. @bindelj

15. We are proud to have been able to support this woman throughout this court case and if you have experienced #surrogacyregret we hope to hear from you. You are not alone. Stopsurrogacynowuk.org
Explanation of #consent from the court case. Image

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More from @WombsNotForRent

Sep 2, 2022
Thread: The gift of life. Is there any appropriate repayment for such a gift? In USA whilst commercial surrogacy is awash with tropes of surrogate mothers as “angels” giving the “gift of life” payment in the region of $30-50 K is the norm. Why be generous with a post birth gift?
In the UK the “altruistic” concept is carefully nurtured, with payment limited to “reasonable” expenses only, so post birth “gifts” are expected to be more generous.
A recuperative holiday is the norm, approved by a judge.
It’s funny how those “reasonable expenses” so often add up to a going rate of around £15,000.
Read 10 tweets
Jun 22, 2022
Norwegian Minister for Children and Families Kjersti Toppe says that as it illegal to use a surrogate mother in Norway it should not be permitted to use a surrogate mother abroad. worldakkam.com/norwegian-fami…
Toppe said that she wanted to criminalize the use of surrogate mothers abroad: “... the disciplinary provisions form *an attitude* and support the seriousness of the legal provisions. The important thing is to clarify that *this is prohibited*."
This follows the statement on surrogacy from Ukraine's Children Ombudsman, Mykola Kuleba, calling #surrogacy the “exploitation and slavery of women who decide to become a surrogate mother" and “making money on the sale of children”. #babybuying
Read 7 tweets
Apr 29, 2022
Really interesting 168-strong survey, though a shame that only 2 surrogate mothers responded, so with an unintentional focus on those who benefit from #surrogacy it collects key data with balance provided. Our analysis follows. Epic 🧵 1.
2. Same sex respondents (9), 5 admit to using ‘legal loopholes’ to access #commercialsurrogacy in #Ukraine – laws there only permit infertile heterosexual couples to apply for #surrogacy
3. Reason for choosing #surrogacy: #adoption was restricted or not available (this refers to other countries, UK does not discriminate legally against same-sex couples) but #surrogacy can be either expensive or cheap.
Read 29 tweets
Apr 22, 2022
So interesting to listen to Clémence from @PdfQuebec

Where states are keen to promote #surrogacy it seems they all sing from the same songbook.

Only consult with interested parties or “stakeholders” ie lawyers, hopeful commissioning parents, fertility clinics.

Exclude feminists and women’s organisations.

Quebec ✅ UK @Law_Commission
Low minimum age of surrogate mothers. ✅

Quebec: 21 UK: 18
Read 10 tweets
Apr 4, 2022
Thread: When is a mother a mother?

Many People have heard of Baby Gammy, the Thai boy born to a surrogate mother and rejected by his Australian commissioning parents due to his having Down’s syndrome whilst they kept his twin sister. Gammy’s mother opted to raise him herself.
Not so many people are familiar with Britain’s own Baby Grammy, a twin girl who was cruelly rejected by her commissioning mother who kept the sibling baby boy.

Woman rejected disabled surrogate baby as a ‘dribbling cabbage’.

In the USA the mother of Seraphina Harrell refused the demands of commissioning parents to abort baby Seraphina due to her serious congenital abnormalities even after being offered $10,000 to do so. The Harrell’s (her surrogate mother & husband) adopted her and cared for her.
Read 22 tweets
Mar 11, 2022
We are a grassroots, single-issue, campaign group focussed on #surrogacyreform but with 2m refugees, more fleeing, others trapped, unable or unwilling to leave their homeland #Ukraine it’s impossible to remain focused on #uksurrogacy
With media outlets, politicians and agencies focusing on the commissioning parents, some journalists like @thedalstonyears see #internationalsurrogacy for what it is – the peak of entitlement, never more clear than during times of conflict.
@thedalstonyears “The Irish Independent, for example, reported on a County Kerry couple who had brought their son back from Ukraine without making any reference to their surrogate, presumably left postpartum in a war zone…
Read 10 tweets

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