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Christian lawyers call for UK surrogacy ban ahead of Europe vote

ADF International has spoken before a vote by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (pictured below), it says it expects voters to reject the proposal that altruistic surrogacies are "tightly regulated" but not prohibited outright.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour from Strasbourg, Laurence Wilkinson from ADF International said: "These are non-binding recommendations coming out of the Council of Europe, which includes countries like Ukraine and Russia.

"It's a much bigger spread than just the European Union. It's persuasive if so many countries are standing together and saying, 'this is a practise we want to condemn'".

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The vote on Tuesday evening comes after a report by Belgian's Prof Dr Petra De Sutter, a member of both the Belgian parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Dr Sutter said: "If, as is often the case, for instance a sister or a good friend of a woman who cannot carry a child to term for health reasons ...enters into altruistic gestational surrogacy agreement with the intending parents based on free and informed consent in a jurisdiction where such an agreement is legal, tightly regulated and available only to resident nationals of said jurisdiction, the risk of an adverse outcome for both the surrogate mother and the surrogate-born child is extremely small."

Currently, in the UK, the birth mother can decide to keep the baby as soon as it has been born, and any contracts signed beforehand are not accepted in law.

According to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, 201 parental order applications were filed in 2013/14 to register a baby born through surrogacy in England.

While surrogacy is outlawed in European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, it is permitted in India, Russia, Ukraine and certain US states.

Laurence Wilkinson from ADF International said the Council of Europe should not interfere, though, adding: "For the most part, it should be up to the members states to determine [their positions on surrogacy] among themselves.

"This recommendation, in its current form, cuts across that and says 'in any event, you should be giving effect that surrogacy agreements."

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