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UK’s first transgender parents say a nurse wouldn’t tell them where their baby was when she was born

Britain’s first transgender parents have revealed a nurse would not tell them where their baby was when she was born as they were not the child’s legal parents.

Jake Graf, 42, and Hannah Graf, 33, from south London, revealed they were both in tears while sitting in the hospital car park after trying to search for their surrogate born baby last April. 

In the UK, when a baby is born through surrogacy the surrogate mother is the legal parent of the child unless they sign a parental order transferring their rights to the intended parents when they give birth. 

Britain’s first transgender parents have revealed a nurse would not tell them where their baby was when she was born as they were not the child’s legal parents

Jake Graf, 42, and Hannah Graf, 33, from south London, revealed they were both in tears while sitting in the hospital car park after trying to search for their surrogate born baby last April.

Jake Graf, 42, and Hannah Graf, 33, from south London, revealed they were both in tears while sitting in the hospital car park after trying to search for their surrogate born baby last April.

Hannah, 33, and Jake Graf, 42, from south London,(pictured with their daughter Millie)  explained they could not find their baby when they first arrives as the Belfast hospital was mostly deserted due to the pandemic

Hannah, 33, and Jake Graf, 42, from south London,(pictured with their daughter Millie)  explained they could not find their baby when they first arrives as the Belfast hospital was mostly deserted due to the pandemic 

Speaking to Giovanna Fletcher on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, Jake, said an ‘unimpressed’ nurse told them she could not give them any information on their daughter’s whereabouts.

‘I called the ward that we had the number for and this very busy and rushed off her feet nurse said I can’t tell you where the baby is because you are not the legal parents,’ he said. 

What are the laws on surrogacy in the UK? 

In the UK surrogates are the legal mother of any child they carry, unless they sign a parental order transferring their rights to the intended parents when they give birth.

The birth mother always has the right to keep her child, even if they are not genetically related.

It’s illegal to pay a surrogate in the UK, except for medical expenses. 

‘So, you can imagine you’re in the car park and we are both nearly in tears.

‘The baby had been born an hour prior to that. 

‘And this woman is literally saying you are not her legal parents I can’t give you any information as to where she is.

‘And she said “I’m sitting here with the mother now” and I actually said “I’m with the mother in the car.”

‘This woman was obviously very unimpressed.’

Jake – who is an actor and director – explained they could not find their baby, Millie, when they first arrives as the Belfast hospital was mostly deserted due to the pandemic.

He went on: ‘There was yellow tape everywhere, it was absolutely deserted, the car park was mostly cordoned off, there was no one in any of the receptions.

‘We went in looking for anyone who could help.

Jake and his wife Hannah – who is and works in finance after retiring from the Army – were finally able to see their baby after their surrogates’ friend and birthing partner said they would let them into the ward.

‘Our baby was tiny and covered in blood and we just both held this tiny little thing and just it was a dream come true.

The couple's surrogate mother Laura gave birth to one-year-old Millie in April 2020. Speaking on Lorraine last year the couple say they never 'take for granted' how lucky they are, praising their family, friends and community for the support they've received while becoming parents

The couple’s surrogate mother Laura gave birth to one-year-old Millie in April 2020. Speaking on Lorraine last year the couple say they never ‘take for granted’ how lucky they are, praising their family, friends and community for the support they’ve received while becoming parents

The couple announced in December 2020 that they were expecting a baby via surrogate after Jake stopped testosterone for about six months in order to harvest and freeze his eggs. They are pictured at home with their daughter

The couple announced in December 2020 that they were expecting a baby via surrogate after Jake stopped testosterone for about six months in order to harvest and freeze his eggs. They are pictured at home with their daughter  

‘The NHS were amazing considering what was going on and considering that most of the hospital was closed and there was a case of Covid in the maternity ward.

‘We were allowed our own little room for the three of us we stayed probably until about 6 in the evening and they talked us through how to bathe her and change her and feed her.’

The couple’s surrogate mother Laura gave birth to one-year-old Millie in April 2020.

Speaking on Lorraine last year the couple say they never ‘take for granted’ how lucky they are, praising their family, friends and community for the support they’ve received while becoming parents. 

‘We’ve been very lucky in that we have had support from family and friends from the beginning, said Jake. ‘We have a wonderful support from the community.

Jake and Hannah Graf (pictured) cuddled their miracle baby who was born on April 14 2020 and said earlier this year they 'couldn't be happier nor more grateful'

Jake and Hannah Graf (pictured) cuddled their miracle baby who was born on April 14 2020 and said earlier this year they ‘couldn’t be happier nor more grateful’

Hannah was the highest-ranking transgender officer in the British Army before she left to begin a career in finance and to start a family. Jake is an actor

Hannah was the highest-ranking transgender officer in the British Army before she left to begin a career in finance and to start a family. Jake is an actor

‘When we were lucky enough to meet out angel Laura, our surrogate, she got pregnant first time. We are so lucky and we never ever take that for granted.’ 

Hannah revealed that Laura will ‘very much’ remain part of their daughter’s life as a family friend, calling her one of the most ‘inspiring women’ she’s ever met.

‘She is such an amazing woman,’ told Hannah. ‘We have nothing but awe and love for her. She is one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met.

‘She’s wanted to do this for years, but she agreed to go on this journey with us. We made sure we had the same outlook and wanted the same thing. She’s very much going to stay in Millie’s life as a family friend.’

Television director and actor Jake transitioned in 2008 and made the decision for a fertility clinic to freeze his eggs because he's wanted to be a father since his early 20s.

Television director and actor Jake transitioned in 2008 and made the decision for a fertility clinic to freeze his eggs because he’s wanted to be a father since his early 20s.

Television director and actor Jake transitioned in 2008 and made the decision for a fertility clinic to freeze his eggs because he’s wanted to be a father since his early 20s.

Hannah was the highest-ranking transgender officer in the British Army before she left to begin a career in finance and to start a family.

The Sandhurst-trained officer served in Afghanistan as Captain Winterbourne and came out as a transgender woman in 2013.

The parents called their daughter ‘every Christmas rolled into one’, and said that while the pandemic has been ‘awful’, they’ve appreciated being able to spend time with their new daughter.

‘Yesterday we put up the tree and Millie was eating the baubles and anything she could fit into her mouth,’ said Jake. ‘She is every Christmas rolled into one, so we are very lucky’.

He went on: ‘Covid has been awful, Hannah was on maternity leave for four months so we had months in the garden getting to know our daughter. For us, this year has been a dream come true. ‘

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