A British woman, now in her mid-30s, was tragically left infertile at the age of 29 after her medical providers negligently failed to diagnose that she had cervical cancer over a four-year period. By the time her cancer was diagnosed, she had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. While the aggressive measures effectively treated her cancer, they also eliminated her chances of becoming pregnant.
When she fought Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) in court, the young woman was awarded 580,000 British pounds in damages. However, her request for damages to pay for additional expenses she’d asked for to cover the cost of working with a surrogate in California was initially denied on the grounds that commercial surrogacy is still illegal in the U.K.
After appealing the lower court’s decision, the woman was ultimately awarded additional damages to pay for the expenses of surrogacy in the U.S. However, the court was clear that its decision in this case should not be seen as a precedent for future cases, stipulating that the plan to use a foreign surrogate must be reasonable. In addition, the court noted that seeking assisted reproductive treatments in another country must also be deemed reasonable, given that unpaid surrogacy is already available in the U.K.
Another factor considered was the extent to which the other country’s systems are established to protect the interests of all parties involved – the gestational carrier, the intended parents, and the child. California’s assisted reproduction laws are designed with all parties’ interests in mind.
For the young woman at the center of this case, who battled the NHS for surrogacy compensation after having battled cancer, this decision effectively eliminates financial barriers to being able to work with a California-based gestational carrier.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we are passionate about helping people realize their dreams of becoming parents, and we are committed to helping protect our clients’ rights. Contact us to learn more today!