The number of ‘parental orders’ granted to couples who have commissioned children from foreign surrogate mothers has risen by almost 150 per cent since 2007, according to a report in the Independent.
133 such orders were granted in 2011, up from just 47 just five years earlier. Parental orders transfer legal responsibility for a child from its birth mother to the commissioning parents. The figures were published in the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.
Commercial surrogacy is legal in a number of countries, including the US and India, but banned in the UK, where only non-commercial surrogacy arrangements are permitted.
Marilyn Crawshaw, a senior lecturer in the University of York’s department of social policy, told the Independent:
“We have clinicians in this country who have links with overseas clinics. That was stopped with international adoption years ago. I don’t think the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has been strong enough on this”.
“There is concern about child trafficking. The World Health Organisation held a meeting on this. One report described a surrogacy ring in Thailand in 2011 in which 13 Vietnamese women, seven of them pregnant, had been trafficked for the purpose of acting as surrogates. Other reports have highlighted concerns about the exploitation of Indian surrogates.”