A new UK law firm is the first in the country to specialise exclusively in fertility and parenting law. The firm, Gamble and Ghevaert LLP, has been founded by lawyers Natalie Gamble and Louisa Ghevaert to cater for a diverse range of families including lesbian couples, single women, single men, gay couples and married and unmarried couples.
Both lawyers previously acted for the parents in the High Court case of Re X & Y (Foreign Surrogacy) 2008, which tested the law for British couples going abroad for surrogacy. The case arose when twins conceived by a British father and an anonymous egg donor, and carried by a Ukrainian surrogate mother, were left parentless and stateless because of a conflict between English and Ukrainian law. Natalie Gamble also advised Andy Bathie, the first UK sperm donor to be pursued for maintenance by the Child Support Agency.
UK fertility and parenting law, a contentious field at the best of times, is currently in a transitional phase as the provisions of the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 come into force. Parenthood provisions and relevant consequential provisions have already come into force - in April 2009 - with the effect that mothers in a same sex partnership can now have their partners registered as a second female parent. Further provisions will come into force in October 2009, at around the same time as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) publishes its revised Code of Practice, and the remaining provisions are likely to come into force in 2010.