Surrogacy – Then no-profit law loosened. Difficulty,as I see it, is the exploitation of third world economically poor women.

Children’s Health
Childless couples win the right to pay surrogate mothers
Childless couples will be able to pay surrogate mothers large sums of money to have babies for them, following a landmark High Court ruling.

The money paid to the surrogate mother had been described as ‘compensation’ rather than expenses Photo: ALAMY
By Martin Beckford and Tim Ross 10:00PM GMT 08 Dec 2010 daily Telegraph

A senior family court judge allowed a British couple to keep a newborn child even though they had technically broken the law by giving more than “reasonable expenses” to the American natural mother.
Mr Justice Hedley said the existing rules on payments were unclear, and that the baby’s welfare must be the main consideration. Only in the “clearest case” of surrogacy for profit would a couple be refused the necessary court order to keep the baby.
His comments, among the first in recent years on the subject by a senior legal figure, will be taken by many infertile couples as a welcome sign that they can now pay women to bear children for them without fear of breaking the law, and so be denied a family.
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However it will also likely lead to renewed calls for the existing law, rushed through more than 20 years ago after a famous case, to be tighten up in order to discourage “rent a womb” commercial surrogacy.
Mr Justice Hedley said in the High Court on Wednesday: “It is clear to me that payments in excess of reasonable expenses were made in this case.”
In addition, the money paid to the surrogate mother had been described as “compensation” rather than expenses.
However the judge went on to describe the concept of reasonable expenses as “somewhat opaque” and added: “Welfare is no longer merely the court’s first consideration, but becomes its paramount consideration.
“The effect of that must be to weight the balance between public policy considerations and welfare decisively in favour of welfare.
“It must follow that it will only be in the clearest case of the abuse of public policy that the court will be able to withhold a (parental) order if otherwise welfare considerations support its making.”
Mr Justice Hedley warned that the courts would continue to consider the amount of money paid in each individual case, to ensure that a market is not established.
“Notwithstanding the paramountcy of welfare, the court should continue carefully to scrutinise applications for authorisation (of payments)… with a view to policing the public policy matters…and that it should be known that that will be so.”
Surrogacy was regulated in Britain in 1985, after Kim Cotton was paid £6,500 to carry a child conceived using her own egg but the sperm of a man whose wife was infertile, in what is known as “straight surrogacy”. In “host surrogacy”, embryos are created through IVF using the eggs and sperm of both intended parents are transferred to the surrogate mother.
Under the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, companies were banned from brokering deals between couples and potential mothers for profit. All arrangements have to be based on trust rather than money, and are not legally binding. Only “reasonable expenses”, which now can average £15,000, are allowed and must be agreed upon by the parties.
In 1990, another law introduced the system of Parental Orders which couples must obtain following the birth in order to be regarded as the surrogate baby’s legal parents, rather than the natural mother.
Amid concern that parents were able to pay over the odds, a review commissioned by Labour suggested that expenses be defined more strictly but its recommendations were not implemented. The only recent change to the law came earlier this year, when unmarried couples and homosexuals in civil partnerships were allowed to become surrogate parents for the first time.
It is estimated that each year just 70 women in Britain have surrogate babies, but many more couples desperate to start a family now travel to countries such as India where the “reasonable expenses” will be far lower.
In the current case, the unnamed British couple had made contact with a woman in Illinois, where no restrictions on payments to surrogate mothers apply. Her baby had been allowed to enter Britain on temporarily on a US passport, but the judge granted a Parental Order so it can now stay in the country with its new parents.
Mr Justice Hedley agreed that the criteria, which also require that the surrogate acted of her own free will and that one of the couple must be a biological parent of the baby, had been “fully met” by the “most careful and conscientious parents”.
However some have criticised the implications of his comments that payments above “reasonable expenses” were acceptable.
Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “Children are not commodities to be bought and sold. It is not the case that everybody has the right to a child, whatever the cost.
“The regulations that we have in this place regarding surrogacy are supposed to ensure that there is no element of profit in the whole process.
“Once a line is crossed within the system where profit has essentially been made, this leads to a weakening in the regulations and the effectiveness of the law and will lead to more situations like this.”