A British couple are set to become the parents of two separate sets of twins via surrogate mothers in India, the BBC reports.
Both sets of twins are due in March next year.
The unnamed professional couple, in their 30s, are from Bedfordshire. They travelled to India earlier this year to try their luck at a commercial surrogacy clinic in Mumbai, after years of unsuccessful fertility treatment in the UK, which had resulted only in two miscarriages.
The husband told the BBC:
“I thought to myself why wait and why waste any time and go through ups and downs and attempts again. We’ve had a long ten-year journey with this.”
At the clinic, the embryos were created from the couple’s eggs and sperm.
The man explained:
“We had six embryos in the fridge and typically you would use one surrogate, but I thought get me two surrogates and implant three in each.”
Several weeks later, the BBC reports, the couple received a phone call from the clinic telling them that one of the two surrogate mothers was pregnant with twins. The call was followed days later by another: the second surrogate was also pregnant with twins.
The wife recalled:
“They found two heartbeats in the second surrogate. The clinic was panicking because it’s never happened before. They asked us – is this what you want? Otherwise tell us now and we’ll do the necessary.”
But the couple insisted on keeping all four children.
They told the BBC that they have no plans to meet the surrogate mothers, however, with the wife explaining:
“She’s doing a job for us, how often do you communicate with your builder or your gardener? She’ll get paid…we don’t need to see her. As long as she’s healthy and delivers my babies healthily, she’s done a job for us.”
When the couple bring the four babies back to the UK, they will need to apply to apply for a ‘parental order’ in the courts. Such orders permanently transfer the legal status of parent from surrogates to the commissioning couple.
Applicants must be:
“(a) husband and wife,
(b) civil partners of each other, or
(c) two persons who are living as partners in an enduring family relationship…”
There are significant legal restrictions surrounding surrogacy in England and Wales. Surrogacy arrangements made for profit are illegal, under the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985. Only expenses can be paid. Any surrogacy arrangements which do take place are also not legally binding.
This blog has run quite a few stories on the law and surrogacy and if you are considering surrogacy you are strongly advised to read them. I am also always happy to answer questions posted here.