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Media captionMother acts as surrogate and carries her daughter’s baby

The law on surrogacy is “backwards” and “outdated” according to a woman whose mother gave birth to a child for her.

Tracey Smith has a condition which means she is unable to carry a baby.

Her mother, Emma Miles, 55, from Lampeter, gave birth to Evie, using Tracey’s embryo and is registered on the birth certificate as her mother.

To get this changed, Tracey faces a lengthy court process, one a lawyer believes will not be changed “any time soon”.

But the new mother has called for a change in the law.

Aged 16, Tracey was told she had Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH) – meaning she was born without a womb.

It took her years to come to terms with not being able to carry a child.

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Emma Miles moved to Coventry and lost weight to carry a baby for her daughter

But her husband-to-be, Adam Smith, persuaded her to begin IVF treatment.

The process involved taking an egg from Tracey and fertilising it with sperm in a laboratory so it could be placed in a surrogate’s womb to grow and develop.

Against the odds, it was successful at the first attempt – all she wanted now was a surrogate, and her mother offered to help.

Emma was told she would need to lose six stone (38kg) in weight before attempting treatment, so she quit her job at the local Co-op and moved to Coventry to be near her daughter.

After shedding the pounds, she successfully carried the baby before Evie Siân Emma Smith was born on 16 January 2019, weighing 7lb 7oz.

But in the eyes of the law, Evie’s parents are Emma and her husband Robert – not Tracey and Adam.

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It will take a number of months before Tracey Smith is legally the mother of her daughter

They have begun legal proceedings for a parental order – which would see them changed to parents at the family court.

Numbers going through this are process rising.

In 2016, 368 parental orders were awarded to enable people using surrogacy to become legal parents – up from 194 in 2012.

Last year, the government published guidance for people involved in the process, including getting written agreements between the surrogate and parents at the start.

“If they have gone through process openly and freely, they have their beautiful child born finally and now they have to go to court and it’s quite a lengthy process,” said solicitor Rebecca Knight.

“It’s six-plus weeks before they can start and then it can take eight to 12 weeks.”

The process involves going to the family court so official documents can be updated.

Ms Knight added: “Maybe it’s possible to start earlier when surrogacy is under way but until their child is born, there is no child to think of.

“(A change) may come, but it’s not going to come any time soon.”

She said more input from clinics could help get reform.

Cariad Mam is on BBC Radio Cymru on Thursday 14 February at 12:30 GMT



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