I noted on the BBC’s London news tonight, another Surrogacy story regarding a hospital, compensation and commercial Surrogacy in the US. I am not extending any political view, though Tara and I had another talk today about ‘FAMILY’!
When clearing up last night just before bath-time, I came across a letter scribbled on an envelope, no doubt meant for the ‘Elf Mail’ service leaving from the living room fireplace. Reading the letter did bring a few tears to my eyes. I have now had another chat with all of the children (about Surrogacy) tonight, bar Aaliyah as she was at her Gymnastics class with Sindy.
If you can not make out the writing in tonights photograph, though Tara is a great writer for 6, almost 7 years old, I will express her words now! Remember, we have talked about Surrogacy in the past and all of the children have the knowledge of a baby being blessed into being from three separate elements – an egg, some fertiliser and a tummy. The tummy of course needs to be that of a woman.
Anyhow, this is what she wrote: “Dear Mum – What did you give to me for my birthday. I hope you had fun at my birthday party. Love Tara x❤️o
It wrenched my heart when I read it. There are a few ethical questions to be considered. There are also one or two legal matters and global differences in the written word of the law that should be looked at!
We had such a hard time with our 5 x separate parental orders with the U.K. courts. Our rights to be parents here in the UK were seriously set at a disadvantage. Remember that we chose international commercial (compensated) Surrogacy because the U.K. Law seemed so very behind with its bias for the surrogates rights above that of the genetic (intended) parents rights. Okay, so compensated Surrogacy was our choice and that had me personally thrown to the four winds for Eighteen months of my life spanning 2013, until almost 2016.
Yes, if our surrogate was an altruistic surrogate who used her own egg to help us have a family, she would have every right to be a third parent. That idea cannot be denied… that was not however what we chose when we both decided to become parents. Too many cooks can seriously spoil the broth.
Our route was explored and followed as we realised that an egg donor isn’t generally part of the planned parenting scenarios, much like sperm donation there is an element of something being gifted. This fact is one that is unified within the laws of pretty much all governments and the laws that they abide by. However. In the case of the surrogates (for us), they were also chosen with the idea that they were single women (independently empowered) and any financial betterment would significantly improve theirs and their individual own family lives. We did not want any party being coerced into something that was not 100% their choice.
Well there you go. These choices were part of our family’s story and this is very well documented in my novel Eighteen Moons (available on the Amazon platform).
I have tried to be as open with our family story with the children as possible. I will remind you that we have always maintained the reality that there are three elements to being gifted life – an egg, some fertiliser and a tummy.
I know that Tara is still only six years old (almost seven). But I really hope that knowing that she has two loving parents will be enough for her? There was never any intention that Tara needed a ‘Mum’ and that is the simple truth. In these modern times – one parent families are normal. Be that a single mum or indeed a single dad. Two mums have always existed, though in the past, been generally unreported! Being an openly Gay Dad was a real and obviously open option when this countries laws allowed for gay marriage, wasn’t it?
John and I were the ‘Family Planners’, the progenitors of our family, not our egg donors or the compensated surrogates.
But alas, convention leaves our Tara imagining a third parent, a mother! I know it can’t be easy for her to comprehend, though Amritsar’s more analytical thinking does give her an advantage on understanding the reality of our own family and its origins.
It did upset me that clearly Tara would like a ‘Mummy’. I know that it must be drawn from peer pressure, the norm at the school gate. They go to a ‘Christian’ school however and I really do hope that there is no misguidance from that element of our children’s daily lives! I also must add that I really hope that it is not the children in her class that may have picked on her for the fact that she has two dads, not a mum and a dad! As clearly two dads are not physically able to generate a child. I know this will not be easy for them as they grow and hopefully blossom into the beautiful human beings that they were born to be. They will of course, live and learn as we all must do.
In the case I heard on the news tonight about an NHS trust making a woman infertile and her seeking the help of IVF in the USA – how very dare they (with the UK law in their favour), assert that the financial compensation should not be able to help her and her aspirations regarding family planning in The United States, being assisted with her frozen eggs and the help of a surrogate.
As for Tara – she knows that she is loved very much.
On a final note, British fertility law and that of assisted reproduction really does need a major rethink. The tears from earlier today were not the first tears to be shed regards my legal legitimacy as a parent – the outdated laws in this country (and the general idea of social acceptance) should be reconsidered in the reality of this, the 21st century in modern day Britain.
We love you very much Tara – both of us, your parents Xxx