Simon and James talk about their hopes to become parents
It’s a very strange feeling to have found a wonderful person, fallen in love, planned the wedding, bought the family home… and then not be able to have the children together that you so desperately want. That is the situation my partner and I find ourselves in. We would so love to have a family together. We love our niece and nephew and our god-children and feel blessed to have them in our lives. We have had the privilege of watching so many of our close friends become parents and learning from their parenting highs and lows. We know it’s very hard work and eyes are wide open about that. But we also see the joy of providing a happy, loving and stable home to children as they grow.
For James and I to have a child, we will need a very special person in the UK to come into our lives and agree to be a surrogate. Understandably, such people are few and far between. Being a surrogate is an incredibly selfless act that can be life-changing for a couple like us, who are yearning to have children. Of course adoption is a route some people take but we would dearly love to be biologically linked to our child. We have looked at other options such as going abroad to find a surrogate, but have decided that it is simply not feasible for us because the costs are so very high.
We fear we have a very long journey ahead of us to find that special person who could help us by being a surrogate. We can’t help feeling that our journey is being made that much longer by the current legal situation here in the UK, which is something of a quagmire. James and I believe that the legal uncertainty in the UK is putting off potential surrogates and so we wholeheartedly support the case for reform. There are quite a few changes that we would like to see to make surrogacy a more clear and simple path, both for the surrogate and the intended family.
We would like to see the introduction of surrogacy agreements being put in place at the outset for UK surrogacy arrangements. This would mean clear statements of intention and would allow clarity and security for all involved. We also believe that parental orders should be made pre-birth so the intended parents can be the legal parents from birth where there is no dispute. We would also like to see an end to discrimination against children born through surrogacy to single and non-biological intended parents.
Another important legal clarification that would be very helpful to all involved in surrogacy would be a clarification that compensation for inconvenience can be paid to UK surrogates, if they wish. We understand it is already routinely paid and so why not have clarity for everyone?
Surrogacy usually involves a couple yearning for children and dependant upon a remarkable and selfless person coming forward to give them life-changing help. We ask the government to make this difficult journey a bit easier for us by giving us a legal environment where everything is clear and fair for us all.