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Reproductive technologies
By Maxine Lattimer

On 21/5, it was announced that Kim Cotton had resigned from Cots, Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy, the network she founded in 1988 which acts as an introduction agency for people who wish to find a surrogate mother or those who wish to become surrogates. It has led to almost 300 surrogate babies in the last 10 years.

Kim Cotton carried Britain's first surrogate baby in 1985 when she was paid 6,500 to have a baby for an infertile couple. This caused a public outcry at the time, especially after it was revealed that she had sold her story to a newspaper for 15,000. When the baby was born it was made a ward of court but after seven days a court decreed that the baby could be adopted by the couple who had paid her. In 1991, she gave birth to twins for an infertile friend who did not pay her.

Kim Cotton spoke about her decision to resign, which was motivated by reports of a government crackdown on the practice: "I am resigning as chairperson of Cots and from surrogacy all together because I feel that we just can't battle on. Surrogacy will continue, in one form or another, and I don't think you can ever underestimate what infertile couples will do to overcome their childlessness. Instead of open and honest payment for surrogates, everything above board, it's going to actually drive it totally underground. Every child has a right to its origins. Any child born through donor insemination or donor egg should be told of its birthmother, and that's impossible with the laws that we have now. Adults choose to make decisions but the children don't choose to be born. So they have to be the most important consideration in any future policy making.''
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