Leading fertility lawyer dismisses claims new surrogacy laws would not promote strong families

Fertility lawyer Natalie Gamble dismisses claims new surrogacy law plans puts parents before children

Single parents of surrogate children may soon be legally recognised

Monday, May 23, 2016

Leading fertility lawyer Natalie Gamble has dismissed claims that plans for new surrogacy law will put the rights of parents before those of children.

Following a court ruling earlier this month, ministers are considering changing legislation to allow single parents whose children are born through surrogacy to receive a parental order, meaning they are legally the mother or father of the child.

Previously only couples were entitled to apply for the order, while single parents could apply instead to adopt their surrogate children.

Opponents of the proposed change have claimed that the new law will not promote strong families. But Gamble, who has her own donor-conceived family, insists this is not the case.

"I always find it terribly frustrating when people talk about not putting children front and centre," she told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "It is completely putting the child front and centre.

"It's about the fact a child is living in legal limbo, with a parent who isn't their legal parent, and that is very wrong.

"Parental orders are really important because they put parenthood in the right place. There's a growing call for the whole of the law to be reformed so it recognises surrogacy arrangements."

Gamble also revealed that parents whose children are born through surrogates are usually excellent care-givers.

"It takes an enormous amount of planning [to have a child through surrogacy]," she said. "It's not surprising that all the research evidence shows that parents who go through that level of care and planning end up being very good parents.

"The UK has a very proud tradition of recognising non-traditional families. We take a very open approach to same-sex parents and we should be very proud of that.

"This is about [correcting] one glaring anomaly in the law."