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Our Journey: One Couple's Guide to U.S. Surrogacy Paperback – 30 Dec 2013
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About the Author
Richard Westoby is one of the fathers to a set of boy/girl twins born in September 2012. Richard and his partner Steven undertook surrogacy in the U.S. and learned a lot about the process during the process. Since the twins were born, Richard has become an advocate helping prospective parents learn more about IVF and surrogacy in general but predominantly about doing it in the U.S. In doing so Richard aims to help parents make informed decisions from the outset. Richard has always had a fascination with biology and on the back of his experience and his advocacy work he now also helps U.S. fertility clinics in the U.K. reach out to prospective parents. Richard has been a guest speaker on the BBC, SKY News and at multiple events focussing on alternative families. He has written this book and as well he is the author of the website www.guidetosurrogacy.com and is actively involved within the U.K. gay dad’s community in organisations such as GaySurrogacyUK and Families Thru Surrogacy. Richard lives between London and Norfolk with his partner and their twins.
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This book is for straight and gay couples (or, indeed single people) who wish to have kids but are unable to without surrogacy. Many straight couples have infertility problems but have the capacity to be great parents (just like straight couples who conceive without problems have the capacity to be good parents). Many gay couples, similarly, have the capacity to be great parents but obviously because they're both of the same sex, require surrogacy, if they wish to have kids with whom they have a genetic link. Gay rights and acceptance of gay families is a relatively recent thing, so the concept of building a family as gay parents will also take time to get more prevalent.
Surrogacy can't be paid for in the UK (only expenses) so UK residents who wish to build their family via surrogacy need to go abroad - and the US is the most straightforward route - it has less obstacles than going to other countries. That being said, there are many things to think about and look out for and Richard's book performs that role.
This book honestly lays out the steps, positives and pitfalls of US surrogacy for European residents - and in that sense it is a real labour of love for so many couples who wish to have a children.
In one part of the book Richard Westoby describes simply how he went about representing himself and partner in high court for a Parental Order. The courts are lenient towards helping with the process for those who represent themselves and it is a fraction of the cost of hiring a British Surrogacy lawyer to do the whole process. His experience may encourage people to apply for a parental order rather than ducking under the parapet and living with their child in this country without one.
Had this book have been written three years ago at the start of our own surrogacy journey I would have found it so helpful as no matter how many times people have clearly explained the process as we went along, I would forget or, feel anxious I might have forgotten something. To be able to have a book describing the complete journey and to be able to dip back into it to refresh ones memory is very reassuring and makes the journey more manageable.
To my knowledge there isn't another book like this.