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Surrogacy is not a new phenomenon. For thousands of years, women have nominated others to give birth on their behalf. However, technological advances such as IVF, softening of cultural attitudes and the trend for having children later have fuelled a recent boom in surrogacy. In the past two decades, it has become a global phenomenon. There are no precise figures on how many children are involved but as far back as 2012 the industry around surrogacy was worth an estimated $6bn (£4.7bn) a year . In the UK alone, the number of parental orders made following a surrogate birth has tripled from 121 in 2011 to 368 in 2018 . The true number of surrogacy arrangements may be even higher, as there is no obligation to seek such an order. Full story

26 April