Surrogacy may be growing in popularity but, as this blog post points out, complications are also on the rise. The author discusses how surrogacy laws in the UK have motivated many potential intended parents to make arrangements overseas, and emphasizes the need for greater international regulations as well as updated domestic laws.
First published in 2011, under the same title, this report raises an alarm about the risks of multiple pregnancies in assisted reproduction, resulting from the common practice of transferring multiple embryos. Maternal complications, according to the report, include increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, peripartum haemorrhage, operative delivery, postpartum depression, and heightened symptoms of anxiety and parenting stress. Multiple pregnancy is also associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of preterm birth, which is a leading cause of infant mortality and long-term mental and physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and chronic lung disease.
This blog is published by a UK-based law firm that specializes in modern family law and has, reportedly, handled many of the UK’s leading cases on surrogacy, assisted reproduction, and LGBT families. It analyzes the rejection of an appeal by a same-sex couple for parental rights and physical custody of their surrogate-delivered child, currently living with the gestational mother in compliance with an earlier court order. It discusses the significance of the case for same-sex intended parents living in the UK and provides suggestions to address “common fears” related to perceptions that surrogacy arrangements frequently involve legal disputes and can result in gestational mothers being granted parental rights.
Another case – the fifth in the UK – recently tested the country’s legal framework around international commercial surrogacy. In November, a court ruled against a gestational mother’s attempt to keep the child, but complicated matters by granting her restricted visitation. While UK courts have historically decided parental disputes based on the best interests of the child, there are calls for more consistency when such disputes emerge. All eyes are on the Law Commission, which is expected to tackle the issue in the near future. Watch this space.
In this commentary, Dr. Geeta Nargund at CREATE Fertility, discusses the increase in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) reported by fertility clinics in the United Kingdom.
In the author’s opinion, a report published by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) “obfuscates” real data – a 40 percent rise in hospital admissions with severe OHSS. She suggests the HFEA prioritize this “alarming statistic” and focus on reversing the trend, offering the following recommendations: a reduced dose of stimulation followed by GnRH agonist to trigger ovulation, with an option of cryopreservation of all embryos; and abandoning the use of the “long downregulation” protocol, employed in many IVF treatment cycles, and a switch to antagonist cycles.
In line with others in the field, Nargund also emphasizes the need for informed consent – placing the responsibility for this on providers – and rigorous documentation of the effects of stimulation protocols (including the drugs and dosages used).