We highlight two families awaiting surrogacy law
These parents have just one aim – “to ensure their children are as loved as any other in this community”
Discussing their organisation’s campaign to now bring the Surrogacy Bill 2019 into law, Equality Rights Group Chair, Felix Alvarez, today stated in a communique to the press that ‘It’s not often Equality Rights Group, as an activist and campaigning organisation, is in the happy position of being able to recognise initiative and sincere commitment from a top politician on social issues. The normal course of events is for campaigning to be a long-drawn and difficult process.
‘And yet, on this occasion, and notwithstanding the difficulties and delays that have regrettably come about as a result of Brexit and Covid-19, the Chief Minister has given us grounds to be thankful for the energy with which he is pursuing, at his own initiative, the avenues necessary to ensuring any family (regardless of gender or orientation) who find themselves in a process of surrogacy parenthood need no longer face pain or hardship. ERG has identified two same-sex families to Government, one made up of two gay men, and the other of two gay women. We are aware of opposite-sex families also awaiting legal changes to alleviate their situation, too.
‘Mr. Picardo, despite an overloaded government agenda, recognises the importance of introducing justice for surrogate parents and their children by finding ways to satisfy their immediate needs on joint parental birth registration, Gibraltar status for the child, and other sometimes complex issues that can arise in this situation and which, in the absence of new and appropriate law, is a source of frustration and anxiety for families.
‘It’s a tough situation that no parent should have to go through, and one I trust government is on its way to putting an end to soon,’ Mr. Alvarez insisted.
‘In my time as head of Equality Rights Group, there has never been a more emotive or joyous issue than helping to make possible the dreams of many couples otherwise unable to fulfill their dream. Laying the groundwork for the long-term happiness of children is, above all, a true labour of love; because bringing a change of law forward, as I believe the Chief Minister intends to do without delay, is to take away the cruel heartache from couples whose only wish is to have their parenthood fully recognised. And with one aim only: to ensure their children are as loved as any other in this community.
‘As Gibraltar’s human and civil rights campaigning organisation, we have observed with satisfaction how the introduction over the past ten years of changes in favour of more just laws across a number of rights areas (not just LGBT) has brought peace and happiness for many ordinary people across multiple sectors of our community. Changes for which this organisation strove and will continue to strive.
‘For the present, we must put a brake on the hurt that Brexit and Covid have visited upon us all. It’s time to pick up the mantle of progress on social issues once again,’ Alvarez ended.