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First UK fertility law firm launches

26 May 2009
Appeared in BioNews 509

A new UK law firm is the first in the country to specialise exclusively in fertility and parenting law. The firm, Gamble and Ghevaert LLP, has been founded by lawyers Natalie Gamble and Louisa Ghevaert to cater for a diverse range of families including lesbian couples, single women, single men, gay couples and married and unmarried couples.

Both lawyers previously acted for the parents in the High Court case of Re X & Y (Foreign Surrogacy) 2008, which tested the law for British couples going abroad for surrogacy. The case arose when twins conceived by a British father and an anonymous egg donor, and carried by a Ukrainian surrogate mother, were left parentless and stateless because of a conflict between English and Ukrainian law. Natalie Gamble also advised Andy Bathie, the first UK sperm donor to be pursued for maintenance by the Child Support Agency.

UK fertility and parenting law, a contentious field at the best of times, is currently in a transitional phase as the provisions of the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 come into force. Parenthood provisions and relevant consequential provisions have already come into force - in April 2009 - with the effect that mothers in a same sex partnership can now have their partners registered as a second female parent. Further provisions will come into force in October 2009, at around the same time as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) publishes its revised Code of Practice, and the remaining provisions are likely to come into force in 2010.

Pioneering lawyers launch UK's first fertility law firm
Gamble and Ghevaert LLP |  18 May 2009
18 April 2011 - by Ayesha Ahmad 
A couple must pay over £500 monthly maintenance to a surrogate mother who decided to keep the baby...
9 February 2010 - by Louisa Ghevaert 
A northern Indiana couple are the latest in a series of people to become embroiled in a legal battle in the US following the birth of a child conceived through surrogacy. They follow in the footsteps of a recent series of high profile and hard fought US legal parentage battles involving surrogate-born babies. As demand for surrogacy grows worldwide and its practice remains largely unregulated, surrogacy continues to raise difficult legal, ethical and emotional questions which a...
29 October 2009 - by Nishat Hyder 
Following new UK government guidelines on surrogacy published last month aimed at improving the rights of surrogacy patients, Ministers are now facing a new legal challenge calling for further changes in the law....
27 October 2009 - by Natalie Gamble and Louisa Ghevaert 
Of all the prospective parents conceiving through assisted reproduction, those in surrogacy arrangements often face the most difficult legal issues. The surrogate and usually also her husband will be treated as the child's legal parents at birth, leaving the commissioning parents with no legal connection with their child whatsoever, even where both are the biological parents....
6 April 2009 - by Julie McCandless and Professor Sally Sheldon 
The new 'status provisions', regulating who shall be treated as the parent of a child conceived via donor insemination and/or IVF, come into effect this week. In this commentary we outline how the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008) has reworked these provisions and raise a number of issues...
12 January 2009 - by Louisa Ghevaert 
Pressure for a review of surrogacy law is mounting in legal, media and political quarters following the case of Re X & Y (Foreign Surrogacy) 2008 (reported in Bionews on 14 December 2008). The case - the first to test the law for British couples going abroad for surrogacy - has highlighted the...
14 December 2008 - by Ben Jones 
A British couple this week won custody over a pair of twins born to a surrogate mother in the Ukraine. The twin babies were caught in a legal loophole whereby the expectant British couple were unable to bring the twins into the UK, as they were not...
7 January 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
A UK sperm donor has announced that a decision to make him pay child maintenance, after he donated his sperm in a private arrangement to a lesbian couple, is being reconsidered by the Child Support Agency (CSA). Andy Bathie, a fireman, donated his sperm informally to Sharon...
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