I was delighted to join the debate on BBC World Service Have Your Say on Friday 20 February 2015 following the ban of commercial surrogacy in Thailand.
The programme offered varied views and experiences about commercial and altruistic surrogacy. Gwen Robinson, Asia Editor for Nikkei Asian Review, explained background events in Thailand which led to the Thai government’s decision to ban commercial surrogacy in Thailand last week. the programme also featured a US surrogate mother, Minette Briant, Dr Margaret Somerville, Professor and Founding Director at Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, Montreal, Hans Hirsh, a parent through overseas surrogacy, Natalie Smith, a parent through UK surrogacy, Dr Nayna Patel and a UK surrogate mother, Sarah Jones.
To listen to the whole interview click here.
The issues raised by surrogacy will be further debated at the Families Through Surrogacy Conference in London on 21 March 2015, where I will be a keynote speaker. For more information click here.
Interest in surrogacy continues to grow around the world. Surrogacy is becoming more common as a family building option, whether on an altruistic, commercial, host or straight basis.
For some heterosexual couples, surrogacy is an attractive option when IVF treatment has failed and when faced with the often daunting, lengthy and uncertain adoption process.
Surrogacy can also deliver the prospect of a genetically related child, which can be a powerful incentive for many people struggling to conceive naturally and for same-sex couples.
For gay male couples looking to start a family, surrogacy can offer parental autonomy as opposed to entering a co-parenting or known donor arrangement which can involve three or more adults.
Celebrities continue to endorse surrogacy, capturing public interest and raising the profile of surrogacy around the globe.
More jurisdictions than ever before are opening their doors to surrogacy, providing an increasing choice of surrogacy destination for intended parents. Some foreign jurisdictions endorse surrogacy on a commercial basis and offer binding surrogacy contracts and a pool of prospective surrogates and donors, which can seem an attractive option for some intended parents when faced with legal restrictions limiting the practice of surrogacy in their home country.
However, surrogacy law and practice remains an evolving area. There is no international unification of laws surrounding surrogacy and this can create a range of legal problems for intended parents looking to cross-borders and enter into international surrogacy arrangements to create a much wanted family.