You think you’ve heard of everything, until another story juggles your brain and shocks your soul. We are not here to judge what others are doing. We don’t know the whole story but sometimes it is just too much for our brain to decipher and for our soul to digest.
A British mother of a 24-year-old son, who, in her part just wanted to fulfill her son’s ardent wish of becoming a father, became controversial after she agreed to carry his son’s child as a surrogate. In the procedure, the first of its kind, Anne-Marie Casson, 46, became pregnant using a donor egg being fertilized by her own son Kyle’s sperm.
Kyle, who have always wanted to become a father for some considerable time, is, gay and single. After surrogacy clinics across the country turned him down, and a female relative who had volunteered to be the carrier but developed some medical difficulties, Ms. Casson and her husband, Alan, decided she should step in and be the surrogate mother.
A family court judge ruled the situation was “entirely lawful” and Kyle has been allowed to adopt the baby — his son but also, legally, his brother.
Lawyers point out that family members are increasingly acting as surrogates in the U.K., but the Casson’s case is unique: Kyle is the first single man in the country to have a child through surrogacy and the first to use his mother as the carrier, as well. “I cried and cried,” said Kyle, describing his happiness at his son Miles’s birth. “I could not believe it.”
The Casson’s case has fired-up a huge controversy. the procedure may have taken place in the sterile surroundings of an IVF lab, but the participants’ close blood relation raises the specter of one of the few remaining taboos — incest. Twitter reactions to the story ranged from “nothing wrong with this” to “gross,” “disgusting” and “selfish.”
Robert Flello, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, spoke of his “many concerns and worries” about the case.
Jill Kirby, a social policy analyst, finds it “very disturbing that any mother would consider it healthy or appropriate to give birth to her son’s child. What is even more worrying is that the High Court has granted the son an adoption order, partly based on the ‘closeness’ of the relationship between the family members involved.”
Ms. Casson countered these attacks by pointing out that Miles “is not biologically tied to me, other than being his grandmother. I love being a parent as well as Kyle and for him to experience the wonders of becoming one, i would do this for him.” She and Kyle have said that friends have been overwhelmingly supportive.
Lawyer Natalie Gamble, whose firm was involved in the Casson’s case, said surrogacy using close family members has become commonplace.
“We have seen many instances where sisters, brothers-in-law, cousins, help one another out in this fashion,” she says.
“It is difficult to speak of precise numbers, but U.K. law, which does not permit advertising for a surrogate or for a surrogate to offer her services, is pushing and encouraging couples to look among family members for surrogacy.”
For Ms. Gamble, the only issue raised by the Casson’s case is a legal one. “U.K. law does not allow singles, like the son [Kyle] in this case, to apply for a parental order, or birth certificate; so the young man had to apply for an adoption order instead,” she says.
‘I love being a parent and for Kyle to experience that. I would do this for him.’
She is campaigning to change the law, which she says condemns children to forfeit “a U.K. birth certificate which reflects their true parentage, and instead must either become adopted children, or live in limbo without resolved legal status.”