Crackdowns on cross-border surrogacy continue

Credit: Flickr — Michelle Tribe, Big Bellies

The options for surrogacy continue to change. Thailand has introduced laws banning foreigners whereas India, Nepal & Cambodia have implemented bans while they review their laws. Many intended parents who assumed they could access surrogacy in countries like India are having to completely rethink their plans.

Meanwhile increased demand means Canadian surrogacy agencies are reporting waiting times of 6 -18 months to locate a surrogate. Waiting times in the US are also increasing.

As a result, there is pressure on domestic surrogacy and countries as diverse as Greece, Kenya & Laos have started attracting UK surrogacy clients, shut out of other nations.

To help intended parents and potential surrogates navigate difficult journeys, Families Through Surrogacy is holding its fourth annual conference in London on 11 March 2016. The conference will bring together intended parents, surrogates and surrogacy experts from the UK, USA, Canada, Ukraine and Asia to understand how best to ensure that surrogacy is conducted safely and responsibly amidst this flux.

“The rise in UK citizens accessing surrogacy abroad, coupled with recent changes in many countries, underscores just how important this type of event is,” said Sam Everingham, parent of two girls born through surrogacy and Founder of Families Through Surrogacy. ”As a non-profit, promoting best practice is our aim. So we’re delighted to be bringing experts and parents together in London to share their experiences with all those trying to create a family.”

“These events importantly provide surrogates with the chance to tell their stories,” says Everingham. “The conference is a once-yearly chance to learn first hand about surrogacy, and about how to minimise the chance of things falling over.”

“1 in 7 couples in the UK, approximately 3.5 million people, experience difficulties conceiving. Events like this provide a valuable forum for those wanting to build a family through surrogacy” said Louisa Ghevaert, leading UK surrogacy, fertility and family law expert. “The law relating to surrogacy in the UK is outdated. Reform is needed to remove legal uncertainty for intended parents and surrogate born children. This together with the lack of international harmonisation of surrogacy law means intended parents need to ensure they fully understand the legal issues and pitfalls before they begin their journey to parenthood”.