A celebration - National Surrogacy Week

2nd August 2018 Family Law

This week marks the very first National Surrogacy Week in the UK. More and more families are settling on it as a way of starting or extending their families. It is now a really viable option. Its rise to prominence is in part due to its popularity with the rich and famous (see Cristiano Ronaldo, Kim Kardashian, Tom Daley), but also simply down the heart-warming stories from ordinary people whose lives have been touched by surrogacy.

Our lives can often be quite serious. Our news feeds are often full of tiresome stories and, as family lawyers, we deal with difficult legal issues on a daily basis whether this is relating to fertility law or family breakdown.

Let this blog entry be some welcome respite. In the blogs that follow, we will address some of the very important legal issues in relation to surrogacy. For now, to mark the start of National Surrogacy Week, I just want to explain a handful of the many reasons why this firm is so passionate about surrogacy.

1) It helps people have a family: It may seem obvious but for so many people a family life is their most fundamental ambition. As family lawyers, we see first-hand just how important people's children are to them. For many, having children is not an easy journey and fertility issues can be difficult to navigate, medically and emotionally. Surrogacy continues to help so many people access that most basic desire. Any means that helps people have happy children is a cause for celebration in our book.

2) Modern families: Although society is modernising, there are no doubts that members of the LGBT community still face many struggles. There is a lot of work to be done by everyone in society to overcome that. Surrogacy is just one way in which members of that community can hopefully assert their equal status. Whether a child has two fathers, two mothers, non-binary parents or any other alternative family structure: nurturing homes are nurturing homes. Helping to establish happy families within the LGBT community is something this firm takes a lot of pride in.

3) Faith in humanity: So many couples that have been through a surrogacy journey will be very keen to tell you: altruism is not dead. Carrying someone's baby is probably one of the greatest acts of kindness that is humanly possible, especially as it is illegal to do so for any financial gain in this country. The women willing to be surrogates are extraordinary and we would sing their praises from the rooftops if we could!

4) A friend for life: It is entirely up to the intended parents and the surrogate how they manage their relationship throughout pregnancy and the child's life. For many, a surrogacy journey creates a strong bond between parents, surrogates and the child that will come to be a life-long, fulfilling relationship almost akin to family.

(Of course, that is not for everybody and it is absolutely fine to keep a degree of privacy and separation. It is always best to take legal advice and tackle how the arrangement will work at the outset. We are of course more than happy to help with this, so if you are considering surrogacy, do get in touch. It will be our pleasure to guide you through the process.)

Our team of experts are on hand to assist please do not hesitate to get in touch should you need any assistance.

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Joe Ailion is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Family department

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