Surrogacy expert Louisa Ghevaert contributes to landmark surrogacy report
Louisa Ghevaert, Head of Michelmores' Fertility and Parenting team has contributed to a landmark report, 'Surrogacy in the UK: myth busting and reform' – a report which sheds light and brings into focus the practice of surrogacy in the UK and calls for legal reform.
Published by Surrogacy UK, and written by legal academic Dr Kirsty Horsey in collaboration with the Surrogacy UK Working Group, the report busts a number of pervasive myths that have informed the surrogacy debate in recent years.
According to the report, far fewer Britons seek surrogacy overseas than previously thought. This dispels the myth that international surrogacy has become commonplace for intended parents from the UK.
The report found there is a widespread rejection of any move towards commercialisation of surrogacy. The report also found that 27.1% of respondent surrogates received less than £10,000 and the mean amount was £10,859, representing reimbursement of expenses and demonstrating that surrogacy is a relationship and not a transaction.
Also highlighted in the report is the overwhelming support (75% of survey respondents) for legal reform to better represent how surrogacy works in the UK. The report shows that both surrogates and intended parents want to remove the legal uncertainty over parenthood at the point of birth. Furthermore, the report finds that 72% of surrogates are opposed to being able to change their mind about handing the baby to the intended parents at birth.
'Surrogacy in the UK: myth busting and reform' surveyed over 400 surrogates, intended parents and other interested parties in the UK surrogacy community – and is the largest survey of its kind.
Louisa Ghevaert, Partner and Head of Fertility and Parenting at Michelmores, who contributed to the report, said:
"This first of its kind report shines a light on the reality of surrogacy in the UK.
“Surrogacy law is outdated and it leaves surrogate born children and their families in limbo.
“Legal reform is important, to provide much needed clarity to people undertaking surrogacy in the UK, to reflect their needs and wishes and to protect the welfare of surrogate born children. It matters because these are real children and families that are being created through surrogacy in the UK"
The Surrogacy UK Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform, which oversaw the report, comprises of: Natalie Smith, trustee, Surrogacy UK, Sarah Jones, chairperson, Surrogacy UK; Dr Kirsty Horsey, senior lecturer, Kent Law School, University of Kent; Louisa Ghevaert, partner, Michelmores LLP and Sarah Norcross, director, Progress Educational Trust.