Surrogacy in the UK Needs New Guidelines

According to researchers, as there is now no regulation for surrogacy in the UK, mothers and babies are at risk of exploitation and due to this they have called for the introduction of new guidelines.

This warning was published this month in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in a review entitled Surrogate pregnancy: ethical and medico-legal issues in modern obstetrics.Many people are wondering whether the surrogate mothers will be assigned some kind of maternity leave.

It turned out that many healthcare professionals said they sometimes did not know what to do from an ethical or legal standpoint when it came to surrogacy.

After the UK laws on surrogacy, the intended family should not have to pay the surrogate mother anything else than her reasonable expenses.

Surrogacy contracts are not recognized by the law so the woman who gives birth to the baby is considered the legal mother.

Even when talking about host surrogacy and the woman who gives birth is not actually genetically related to the baby, she is again considered its legal mother.

Researchers wonder how surrogacy has worked in the past, as there were no clear figures about it.

Since 1985, about 800 children have been born from surrogate mothers in the UK. The expenses for such an event are around £15,000.

This review also claims that because of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFEA) Act 2008 more unmarried and same sex couples would search surrogacy mothers as they now have the same rights to become parents as married couples.

In the words of obstetrician Celia Burrell, who co-authored the review, new guidelines were essential.

“We are calling for additional legislation and guidelines to prevent women and babies being exploited, provide safeguards for children and guide professionals.”


Nick Clegg To Announce Flexible Parental Leave

All parents-to-be will be able to share up to an year of parental leave, according to new rules, which are set to come into force in 2015. The new rules will be announced by Nick Clegg and according to them, both parents will be able to share the 52 weeks parental leave in a way suitable for them, with the only exception of the first two weeks after the baby`s birth. After the first two weeks, mothers can get back to work and share the parental leave with their partners.

At the moment, new mothers can take a maximum of 52 weeks of leave after the birth of their child, while fathers are entitled to two weeks of statutory paternity leave of their own.

Nick Clegg says: “From 2015, the UK will shift to an entirely new system of flexible parental leave. Under the new rules, a mother will be able to trigger flexible leave at any point – if and when she feels ready. ”That means that whatever time is left to run on her original year can be taken by her partner instead. Or they can chop up the remaining time between them – taking it in turns. Or they can take time off together – whatever suits them. The only rule is that no more than 12 months can be taken in total; with no more than 9 months at guaranteed pay. And, of course, couples will need to be open with their employers, giving them proper notice.”

Back in time the idea of flexible parental leave has been scrapped, because of a strong opposition from businesses, backed up  by Conservatives. The main reason for that opposition was the fact that estimations showed that this might have a negative effect on the whole business structure , especially for small businesses, having in mind the current economic situation.

In addition to the flexible parental leave, the fathers-to-be will be able to take unpaid leave, in order to attend medical consultations and appointments with the expectant mother “Lots of fathers will tell you that these moments are when it can start to feel real for them,” Clegg will explain. “This new right means no father will ever need to miss out.”