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.”