With same-sex couples now receiving equal rights in areas of family law like marriage – and additional rights in terms of the availability of civil partnerships – it is no surprise that a larger number of same-sex couples are also looking to start a family via surrogacy.
Surrogacy and sperm donation can both also be used by mixed-sex couples who are unable to conceive together due to one partner’s infertility, and sometimes also by individuals who want to have a child but are not in a relationship.
Whatever the reason for making a private sperm donation or surrogacy arrangement, it is essential that the future role of the donor or surrogate is clearly defined from the outset, before conception takes place. Without discussing and defining their role right from the start, there is a much greater risk of a dispute arising later, for example if they demand access to a child that is biologically ‘theirs’.
The different reasons why a surrogate may be needed can be emotionally challenging, and some couples may also feel there is a social stigma associated with using a surrogate, which can lead to some arrangements taking place behind closed doors, and with little frank discussion beforehand.
A family mediator can help you to overcome any awkwardness or reluctance you might feel to discuss the important issues – the responsibilities the donor will have, the access they will be permitted, and so on – so that everyone knows exactly where they stand and can give true informed consent for their role in the arrangement.
Like any other mediation process, the aim is to make things faster and less stressful for all concerned, while avoiding the need for costly litigation or court action. Emotional distress is minimised, and your mediator will keep all parties fully informed about their rights and what they are agreeing to.
With the help of a mediator, you can enter into a surrogacy agreement with peace of mind about each party’s future role, ensuring that the process is much less stressful, which in itself is an important consideration for a healthy pregnancy as you prepare for your new roles as parents, or as the donor or surrogate in your arrangement.
After the Mediation
By using accredited family mediation techniques and by simply being there for you when you need it, Marcia Mediation will take you way beyond this uncertain time so that you and your surrogate are both aligned towards the happiness of all parties.
A pioneer for mediation since commencing legal practice as a family solicitor some seventeen years ago Marcia has worked exclusively as an independent mediator since 2004, focusing initially on family mediation, and latterly on work place mediation.
Marcia’s accreditations include both Work Place and Family Mediation and she is a qualified child consultant practitioner. Her associations include the Professional Mediators Association and Resolution.