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The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill started its journey through the House of Commons yesterday (Monday), and leading fertility patient organisations are calling for the government to look again at the issue of surrogacy law.

"Patients conceiving through surrogacy suffer serious legal difficulties" says leading fertility law expert Natalie Gamble of solicitors Lester Aldridge, speaking on behalf of Surrogacy UK, COTS, Infertility Network UK, the Progress Educational Trust, the Donor Conception Network and Fertility Friends UK "and the government need to address this urgently while the HFE Bill is going through."

Surrogacy patients suffer in a range of areas. For one thing, a mother has no right to maternity leave if she conceives a child through surrogacy, and so cannot take time off work after the birth to care for her newborn baby without risking losing her job.

"The government's stance seems to be that too few babies are born through surrogacy to warrant special provision being made for them, but this doesn't help those patients who are caught by this very difficult situation" says Carol O'Reilly, head of Surrogacy UK.

Another problem is that surrogacy patients are only able to store their own eggs or embryos for a very short period of time. Extended storage regulations were put in place to help women who face infertility as a result of things like cancer treatment, and allow them to preserve their own eggs or embryos for many years to enable them to start a family later in life. However, they specifically don't apply to women who need the help of a surrogate mother to carry their child.

"It is utterly arbitrary that the rules benefit women who have had their ovaries removed after cancer, but not those who have had hysterectomies" says chief executive of Infertility Network UK, Clare Brown.

Finally, patients going abroad for treatment get the raw end of the deal from parenthood rules which were put in place to benefit patients having treatment with donor eggs or sperm.

"When a child is born to a surrogate mother, the surrogate is the legal mother and her husband is the legal father, even if the surrogate is carrying the biological embryo of both intended parents" explains solicitor Natalie Gamble. "This can cause enormous problems, particularly in cases involving foreign surrogates, where a child could potentially be left stranded in a foreign country with the British parents unable to bring him or her home."

Natalie has been working with the fertility patient organisations to try and bring these issues to the attention of the Department of Health. "The initial response has not been entirely supportive" says Natalie "and we are attending a meeting with civil servants later this week to try and persuade them to amend the HFE Bill before it is too late."

Sarah Norcross, Director of the Progress Educational Trust says: "We need to get surrogacy law right while we have the chance. Otherwise we may be waiting another twenty years for another opportunity to review it. Surrogacy is no longer an exotic rarity we can afford to ignore, and the law need to be fit for the realities of the twenty-first century."

For further information please contact:
Hannah Griffiths on Tel: 01202 786138
Email: [email protected]

For general information about Lester Aldridge please visit the website: www.lesteraldridge.com

Note to website owners - this is a press release, please feel free to duplicate it (without changing content) on your website.

Regards,
Tony
 

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Go Natalie!!!
Really pleased to see FF supporting this move.
Lizi.x
 

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About time ::)
 
G

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Blimey - when you read it like that it makes it so clear how utterly ridiculous some laws are :eek: :eek: :mad: ^bigbad^ ^bigbad^...go for it Natalie!

xxx
 

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:), hope things change :)
 

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I really hope that they sort out the parental order sitaution out as well, about the 'being married'.  I totally agree it makes a farce having no mat/adoption leave for mothers as what the Gvt are saying is that the baby doesn't need its mother - yet they are investing more and more into mat/pat leave, surestarts etc etc trying to give babies a better start in life for the future.

Many IVF consultants don't even realise the complexity of the law, mine even told me that 'the law is an ass' when I said that couples had to be married for parental orders etc.

L x
 

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Great to see FF supporting this. Would a petition help? Couples requiring surrogacy seem to be positively discriminated against which is disgraceful.
dx
 

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The law is so stupid sometimes, it does need updateing

MC xx
 

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Does anyone know how to set up a petition on that govt website thingie?  I don't think I can do it from France but I think it would be a good way to spread the word.....
 

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^pompom^ GO NATALIE  ^pompom^ GO NATALIE

Lets hope they take a serious look at this and move with the times.  Surrogacy is becoming more and more popular so the law certainly needs changing.  I feel the need to burn my bra or something  ;D ;D ;D
 

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I have no idea how to set up a petition but would be very happy to sign one
We have been looking recently into surrogact and all the rules are very daunting
Nikki
 

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Natalie

You are wonderful. Just started on this surrogacy and feel completely discriminated against. No decent books for a start.No maternity leave absolutely disgusting yet there can be adoption leave, what is the difference. In fact most adoptions are of children who are less needy than newborns. None of us choose to be in this position. We would all love to have our babies in the natural way. Just think that the law is a complete Ass when it comes to Surrogacy and thank everybody who are trying to make the changes.

A huge Thank you. I really hope you are successful.

Lots of love Jaybxx
 

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lgft said:
We need 200 or more signatures and we have 29!! we have 6 days to do this.

If you are intending to help us PLEASE do not put it off another day ...

There are more than 40 children-to-be that NEED YOUR HELP!

Petition - http://petitionthem.com/...ect=detail&pet=4207

Template letters - http://www.a-little-wish.co.uk/Pages/Articles/Surrogacy/SurrogacyCampaign.aspx

This post contains an unconfirmed link/information and readers are reminded that FertilityFriends.co.uk or its owners are not responsible for the content of external internet sites
dunnit! Come on girls (and guys) it takes 2 minutes, please sign the petition if you agree that the current legal set-up is unfair. We spend long enough complaining about the status quo with regard to infertility treatment, it would be a shame to miss an opportunity to take a stand...

x
 

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Thanks all you lovely ladies - we're going to press for this one as the Bill's going through its smaller committee stage and I'll keep you posted.  We don't want to miss the chance while this area of law is being looked at.

What would be really helpful would be for any of you who have been personally affected by any of these issues mentioned to get in touch with me by PM or email ([email protected]) if you would be happy to be cited as a named or anonymous case study.  Giving real life stories really helps MPs to argue for amendments to the Bill.  All the issues have arisen from real cases I'm dealing with, but the more the merrier!

Thanks

Natalie
 

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♥JJ1♥ said:
I really hope that they sort out the parental order sitaution out as well, about the 'being married'.
Just to add that that's already in the Bill - once it goes through, unmarried and same sex couples will be able to apply for parental orders as well as married couples. I've also asked the Department of Health to open parental orders up to single men and women too, as there's no reason not too.

Natalie
 

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I just tried to click on the link for the petition but it says page cannot be found. Am I already too late?
 

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Go Nathalie!!!

Sorry Shell, it says the same for me too (though I have already signed it).

Lizi.x
 
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