People considering surrogacy will now be able to find out more information on this route to becoming a parent, as the government has published the “first of its kind” surrogacy guidance for England and Wales.
The government states the numbers of people using surrogacy to become legal parents has significantly increased year-on-year since 2012, so it has made the new guide available on gov.uk.
They said the increase reflects the broadening diversity of families, with more LGTBQ+ couples and people with fertility difficulties turning to surrogacy.
“We know that surrogacy can be a complex journey which is why we have created a guide fit for modern society, one which balances the need for emotional support with clear legal explanations, for surrogates and intended-parents alike,” said health minister Jackie Doyle-Price.
Doyle-Price continued: “This is much-needed clarity to help people decide if surrogacy is for them and I am certain that it will become the ‘go-to’ trusted source for advice and reassurance as ever more people use surrogacy to start families.”
Commenting on the guidelines, Sarah Jones, chairperson of Surrogacy UK said the not-for-profit was pleased tohave worked collaboratively with the Department of Health and Social Care on this guidance.
“It is vital that we help surrogates, intended parents and children to have a positive experience and that we support this modern form of family building,” she said.
The guide stresses the importance of:
:: Using endorsed surrogacy organisations to help intending-parents to find a surrogate and vice versa, instead of using risky, informal arrangements.
:: Agreeing a written surrogacy agreement to cover everything from how the baby will be conceived, to expenses and potential future relationships between the surrogate and child.
:: Undertaking surrogacy in licensed clinics in the UK rather than going abroad.
:: Recommending parents who use surrogates support their child to understand how they were born.
Parents Helen and Sean Greenwood, who had their first child thanks to the help of a surrogate, welcomed the news. “After many years of infertility, we were lucky enough to have a daughter through surrogacy, thanks to our amazing friend, Caroline,” they said.
“Although we had a huge amount of support through Surrogacy UK, clearer guidelines regarding the surrogacy process would have made things go even more smoothly.”
Read the guide ‘Having A Child Through Surrogacy’ online.