The law: Surrogate baby can come at a hefty cost

The US state of California is recognised as somewhere where surrogacy agreements - including those made by gay and lesbian couples - are generally accepted under law. In the state surrogates can be legally paid a fee for their services with a price of £25,000 per child not uncommon, and the adoptees can apply for a pre-birth order which will ensure that they will be listed on the original birth certificate, regardless of whose egg and sperm was used in the conception.

In Britain, where it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate or for a surrogate to advertise her services, a surrogate can not be paid a fee but is eligible to "reasonable expenses". The practice has been strictly regulated since 1985 after Kim Cotton was paid 6,500 to give birth to a child using her own egg and the sperm of a man whose wife was infertile.