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The Rumplestiltskin Law

(182 Posts)
Barracker Fri 07-Jun-19 14:59:27

There is a consultation happening regarding surrogacy.

Here is a link to the Law Commission on the subject.

It's key aim is horrifying.
To sever all rights of a woman over the child she has created with her body, the moment she gives birth to it. Presumably, to sever her rights before she gives birth, in fact. To contractually grant someone else ownership of her body and the child within it.

"Creating a new surrogacy pathway that will allow, in many cases, the intended parents to be the legal parents of the child from the moment of birth."

I'm calling it what it is. The Rumplestiltskin Clause.

I'm taking your child, and there's nothing you can do about it. A deal is a deal. Your body is mine. Your human rights were forfeit when you signed the contract.

It's the stuff of nightmarish fairytales.
Rumplestiltskin was not the good guy.

#TheRumplestiltskinLaw

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 07-Jun-19 15:02:55

This is terrible. Others will be along to discuss this properly but I'm just aghast.

FermatsTheorem Fri 07-Jun-19 15:06:27

How prescient Mary Warnock was back when she chaired the committee on embryology and assisted conception, when she argued against commercial surrogacy on the grounds that it was a form of slavery.

That proposal is a violation of women's rights and a form of slavery - babies become commodities.

MiffysMissingSock Fri 07-Jun-19 15:10:02

I heard this yesterday and literally felt like I was in the early days of the hand maids tale tv series.

Barracker Fri 07-Jun-19 15:13:04

I feel ill.
Asserting third party ownership over women's pregnancies, and removing her own rights as a mother before her baby is even born.

Yup. I feel ill.

FloralBunting Fri 07-Jun-19 15:13:37

Yes. I'm not I've got any spare capacity for this right now, but by 'eck, this is not right.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 07-Jun-19 15:17:00

If the baby isn't genetically related to the surrogate, then would this not provide her with some protection, so she wouldn't literally be left 'holding the baby' if the genetic parents changed their mind eg due to sudden financial issues, divorce, wrong sex, disability?

If you are going to go down legalising commercial surrogacy (which I'm not convinced you should), then if the baby isn't related to the surrogate, would this be such a bad thing?
I'm assuming there would also be legal safeguards regarding the surrogate having had to have counselling and legal advice before conception.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 07-Jun-19 15:18:39

So not for Rumplestiltskin or Handmade's Tale as in both cases the baby was related to the mum.

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Fri 07-Jun-19 15:22:33

That's the reason commissioning parents travel to the US. They don't want the mother to have the right to change her mind.

They want to ensure that the child has no link to their mother and the mother has no rights.

Some commissioning patents have no empathy for the children they are commissioning and the women they use.

Good laws are not informed by people who have no empathy for others.

Anon992 Fri 07-Jun-19 15:27:28

As a gestational surrogate I welcome this consultation. The current law is woefully outdated. The proposal is for a new pathway which mandates health checks, legal advice and counselling for all parties prior to entering into a surrogacy agreement, all to be overseen by a regulator. This will help protect all parties to the agreement.

The automatic allocation of legal parenthood to the IPs at birth is something deeply wanted by myself and by every other surrogate I have talked to about this. We don’t want more babies of our own - if we did, we would have them! - and we definitely don’t want to be left “holding the baby” if the IPs change their minds. At the moment when the baby I am carrying is born I will initially be legally and financially responsible for him/her.

This is a really difficult topic, and the Law Commission have been consulting with informed parties for many months before launching this consultation paper to the wider public. They have also looked extensively at other models used internationally as part of this. Hundreds of hours of research have gone into this paper. I appreciate it is highly emotive but if you read the full paper you should get a feeling for how well thought through and evidence based the proposals are.

Barracker Fri 07-Jun-19 15:27:51

if the baby isn't related to the surrogate, would this be such a bad thing

Would you advocate that for women who've conceived a wanted baby with IVF and donor eggs?
Not genetically related = no rights over the baby inside your body?

Sovereignty must remain with the woman. Her body, her baby, right up until the moment she signs away her parental rights freely, without coercion to the child which is already born.
You cannot sever the rights of a mother to a baby that is still within her body.
And you cannot sever the rights of a mother who has just experienced childbirth.
The consent given to forfeit one's maternal rights over the baby that has been grown and born from a woman's body must only ever happen in circumstances where a woman is able to do so with full capacity to consent freely and without reservation.
Women can and do change their minds about their babies being given away. And they must always have the opportunity to retain that right.

Women's body = women's rights over that body, and any baby born from it.
Sacrosanct.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 07-Jun-19 15:28:04

I just disagree with surrogacy. This was always going to happen if there were going to be 3 people who had their biology equally or even partially involved.

Haworthia Fri 07-Jun-19 15:29:36

These men are in favour though, so that’s A-OK.

Dustin Lance Black wants to make the UK’s laws the best in the world, which is basically all you need to know about the proposals.

sergeilavrov Fri 07-Jun-19 15:32:17

I agree with Anon992. This consultation serves to protect the majority of surrogates, given the extensive limitations already in place. This will provide a lot more security for all parties, and will allow for clarity on what is a tricky legal situation in the UK.

Kapeka Fri 07-Jun-19 15:34:17

Would you advocate that for women who've conceived a wanted baby with IVF and donor eggs?
Not genetically related = no rights over the baby inside your body?

Donar situation - rights with birth mother
Surrogacy in which the child is not genetically related - rights with genetic mother

For me, when I think of the donar situation I think of the baby as the birth mother's despite there being no relation, but when I think of a surrogate situation I don't view the birth mum as the real mum. If anything, I think the birth mum is the Rumpelstiltskin who would steal the surrogates baby.

Kapeka Fri 07-Jun-19 15:34:50

the genetic parent's baby*

TeenTimesTwo Fri 07-Jun-19 15:36:34

IVF is different. In IVF the egg /semen / embryo have already been donated to the woman/couple.

My, not particularly informed, opinion is more with Anon992 .
It is clearly totally different if the surrogate is using her own eggs.

I do have various other issues with surrogacy. But I don't see why a surrogate who has freely entered into surrogacy with upfront advice, counselling etc, should have more legal rights and obligations over a non related baby, than the intended parents (provided they are genetically related).

Kapeka Fri 07-Jun-19 15:37:07

Women can and do change their minds about their babies being given away. And they must always have the opportunity to retain that right.

No. If my mother told me today that I was not her genetic child, but was a surrogate baby that she decided to keep, I would be fucking angry because she took me away from my real mum and family.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 07-Jun-19 15:42:08

We adopted.

But if instead my eggs and DH's sperm had been used to create an embryo and we had paid (not currently allowed) Anon992 to gestate the baby (with all the massive implications that would have for her), if we changed our mind because the baby was born disabled why should she have the obligation to care for the baby or the dilemma of whether to place the baby for adoption, and not us?

FloralBunting Fri 07-Jun-19 15:45:22

But if instead my eggs and DH's sperm had been used to create an embryo and we had paid (not currently allowed) Anon992 to gestate the baby (with all the massive implications that would have for her), if we changed our mind because the baby was born disabled why should she have the obligation to care for the baby or the dilemma of whether to place the baby for adoption, and not us?

Good questions all. Perfect illustration of why surrogacy is just a bad idea, and paid surrogacy even worse.

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Fri 07-Jun-19 15:45:54

if we changed our mind because the baby was born disabled why should she have the obligation to care for the baby or the dilemma of whether to place the baby for adoption, and not us?

If she didn't want the baby, why would there be a dilemma about adoption?

hidinginthenightgarden Fri 07-Jun-19 15:53:36

This is so much more complex than it seems. There are many cases where a surrogate has carried a baby in no way gentically theirs but have refused to hand baby over to genetic parents at birth. I do think they should be protected too.

FloralBunting Fri 07-Jun-19 15:55:38

Yes, especially if they've paid. Consumers need protection.

ChattyLion Fri 07-Jun-19 16:07:29

Looks very like the American model as PP have said. I can’t believe a public consultation about such an important issue for society is so enormously long. You’d honestly need a day to go through this and I’m not a lawyer. Are any women’s groups able to do a guide to responding to it like they did with the GRA consultation?

lorit Fri 07-Jun-19 16:07:57

" I don't view the birth mum as the real mum."

Jesus Christ, if giving birth doesn't make you the mum, what does?

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