Transgender couple ready to start a family call out UK surrogacy law

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Transgender couple ready to start a family call out UK surrogacy law
Hannah and Jake Graf are ready to start a family together. [Photo: ITV]

A transgender couple have shared their concerns about the surrogacy process in the UK.

Hannah, a British army officer who has served in Afghanistan, was born male and transitioned five years ago. Jake, an actor who recently featured in Keira Knightley’s new film ‘Colette’, transitioned from female to male a decade ago.

Speaking on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ today, Hannah and Jake Graf announced they are ready to have children. The pair, who married in March 2018, have been together for three years.

“We are really, really eager to become parents,” Jake said. 

However, the pair’s concerned the UK’s surrogacy laws might make the process more difficult, because surrogates are not legally-bound to give away their baby when born. They are the child’s legal parent at birth. Instead, according to Gov.uk, legal parenthood can be transferred by parental order or adoption after the child is born.

“The law is set up so you can’t put anything into stone prior to the baby being born, so there’s a worry from both sides,” Hannah added. “Intended parents like Jake and I are worried that a potential surrogate could get attached to the baby and not want to give it over.

“Obviously, a huge scare for us. But it’s the same for the surrogate because they don’t want to be left with the child and all the legal responsibility.”

On the process, Jake added: “[It’s] terrifying. All our friends are trying and we can’t try. So we are in this sort of weird space of hoping that some kind stranger, who will hopefully become a friend, will come to us and say ‘I would like to work with you and I would like to help you’.

“It is the ultimate gift, I can’t imagine anything more selfless than wanting to give someone the joy of a child, which is something I’ve wanted for so many years.”

You can read more about how the surrogacy process in the UK works on the government website.

Jake also spoke about how his role in ‘Colette’ had allowed him to be a role model for transgender children and their parents.

“It’s the biggest honour because growing up as a young trans guy, with no role models and no one to look up to and no one to think ‘there’s hope and there is a future for me.’ It is so important to both of us, not even just for the kids but for the parents so they know their trans kids have a future and the future can be very, very bright,” he told Lorraine.

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