Saturday, 19 October 2013

Grant award

Professor Olga van den Akker, Dr Marilyn Crawshaw – Co Chair of Progar, and the PROGAR working group - were successful at obtaining £1,500 in funding from the Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology to host a Round Table discussion event for January 2014 focusing upon four main themes occupying surrogacy arrangements: This event takes forward desk-based research conducted in 2012 by Prof van den Akker, Dr Crawshaw and Prof Blyth which identified key deficits in data collection, policy review and the research evidence base and built on earlier work led by all 3 researchers.  Further work has been undertaken since (and is ongoing) to identify (i) additional key areas of concern and (ii) relevant individuals and organisations that would benefit from being brought together in this workshop. KEY AIMS:
  • to consider a research- and practice- evidenced approach to data collection designed to inform policy development and maximise individual and family well being for both the new family to be formed and that of the surrogate
  • to understand and take into account the multi-agency and multi-disciplinary aspects of surrogacy
  • to map the future research agenda that is needed to underpin policy and practice in the national and international context
  • to raise the focus on human rights issues and understanding, especially in relation to global surrogacy 
BACKGROUND: There have been major developments within surrogacy matters in recent years but the research and policy agenda have lagged behind.  The UK and elsewhere has seen an increase in both domestic and international arrangements often involving commercial interests.  Gay couples and single people are increasingly using surrogacy for family building.  More prospective parents from all intended family types appear willing to travel outside their country of residence to make surrogacy arrangements, including to developing countries, leading some commentators to argue that global surrogacy may have replaced inter-country adoption as a key human rights issue for children as well as for surrogate mothers. 

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