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Do you remember the Indian law proposal to regulate commercial surrogacy? The proposal included both domestic and foreign surrogacy, but was mainly an attempt to curb international commercial surrogacy. Now, the British government might be undertaking their own steps to put an end to surrogacy tourism those couples who pay their surrogate beyond her expenses could lose the rights to their child.

Commercial surrogacy, in other words paying surrogate mothers to carry a child, is against the law in Britain. British law allows couples to compensate a surrogate mother for the medical and other expenses that she incurs are a result of the pregnancy, but not to pay her a fee for being a surrogate mother. This is one of the reasons some British couples have decided to take their quest for a baby outside of the UK, and engage in surrogacy tourism. The United States, the Ukraine, and above all India are common choices. But just because the practice doesn't break any laws in their... gestational host countries does not give British intended parents the right to do whatever they want, apparently.

Fertility lawyers dealing with surrogacy cases have seen an increase in the number of sharp responses to international surrogacy from British authorities. They say that couples who choose to use a surrogate abroad and pay her for gestating their child could lose the right to that child altogether. Court cases over parental orders are nothing new. Several cases have already been to the high court, and a judge has already ruled several times that parental rights would be granted, despite explicitly noting that the surrogate was paid above and beyond her expenses, meaning that it was all too obvious the surrogacy was a commercial one. One judge, in particular, has been soft on the parents. Mr Justice Hedley has ruled in favor of parents who used a surrogate more than once. But rather than assuming that a good lawyer and some time is all that is needed to get their children safely to the United Kingdom citizenship included intended parents using a surrogate mother might want to think twice about what will happen. What if a parental order is refused? In the best case, what you thought would be a short stay in India (or some other country) might turn into a lifetime!

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