LIFE, the UK's largest prolife charity, has reiterated its opposition to surrogacy in response to a new study reported at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Nuala Scarisbrick, Trustee of LIFE, said: "We have major concerns with surrogacy arrangements in this country. It is illegal to buy a child via the Internet, yet legal to pay large, tax-free 'expenses' to surrogate mothers in exchange for the child they have just given birth to. And if a couple wishes to adopt a baby there are numerous assessments and checks to ensure they are suitable parents, while surrogacy is completely unregulated. "The reason for these differences is striking, but easily explained. In adoption the best interests of the child are paramount, but in surrogacy the child's welfare often comes a poor second best to the desires of the commissioning couple. "This new study has fallen into this trap. It has given surrogacy the all-clear, yet has centred on the feelings and attitudes of the parents (both commissioning and surrogate) while barely mentioning the children. It claims parents have a warm relationships with the child - this is hardly surprising as he/she cost such large sums of money. It claims to have found few examples of surrogate mothers unwilling to hand over the child, but there have been several in the press recently. Very little was said about the children and any conclusion about the psychological impact on the children must be treated with caution. The sample was very small (just 43). Furthermore, these children were still infants - not even of school age - so it is clearly far too early to draw the confident conclusions contained in this study. 'LIFE today reiterates its call for more research into treating the causes of infertility, now affecting around one in six couples in the UK. Instead of investing in IVF and surrogacy, let's give couples what they really want - the opportunity to conceive and have a baby of their own, not hand over their fertility to white-coated technicians and borrowed wombs. Investment for cures of infertility in the UK is woefully poor, and LIFE calls upon the government to make this one of its top priorities.'
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