The UK’s Department for Health and Social Care has released new guidelines advising that children born via surrogacy be told of their origins.
The guidelines, released last Wednesday, are intended to “ensure LGBTQ+ individuals are given equal care, and that all surrogates and intended parents are treated with due dignity and respect”. The document states:
Research suggests that openness, confidence and transparency about a child's origins from an early age (pre-school) is the best way to talk to children about their identity and origins. Your fertility counsellor should have given you the opportunity to explore how you feel about telling a child about their origins, and fertility counsellors would be happy to help you reach a decision about this at any time, as your thoughts and feelings about if, when and how to do this may change over time.
The document also tells healthcare workers that parents should be accommodated in maternity hospitals alongside a surrogate mother:
Wherever possible, it may be advantageous for surrogates and IPs [intended parents] to be accommodated away from the other mothers on the post-natal wardd to maintain privacy at a sensitive time.
Restrictions on visiting hours and overnight stays have “been found to be an issue for male, same-sex IPs”.
Jackie Doyle Price, Parliamentary Undersecretary for the Department of Health, said that the new guidelines balanced “the need for emotional support with clear legal explanations, for surrogates and intended parents alike”.
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