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1985: Inquiry over 'baby-for-cash' deal
Scotland Yard is investigating a surrogate mother in London following reports she is to receive 6,500 for her baby from a childless couple.

Kim Cotton gave birth to a baby girl earlier today but was forced to leave her in the care of Victoria Maternity Hospital after the London borough of Barnet imposed a court order.

The baby, who is still unnamed, will remain at the hospital until at least next Friday, when a juvenile court will decide her future.

Hospital Administrator David Davies said: "Until we hear to the contrary the baby must remain here in a place of safety."

Paying money for surrogacy is currently permitted by law, but Health Minister Kenneth Clarke has revealed that Parliament will move to ban it after MPs came under pressure to take urgent action.

The organisation responsible for arranging the surrogacy is an off-shoot of an American agency, based in Surrey.

Run by former health visitor Barbara Manning, it is expected to make thousands of pounds from the Cotton surrogacy.

Last year's Warnock Committee, which investigated human fertility, recommended that such agencies should be made illegal.

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As the law stands it is legal to pay a surrogate mother for her baby

Inquiry over 'baby-for-cash' deal

In Context
Surrogacy is legal in the UK, but surrogate mothers cannot be paid. They can accept only "reasonable expenses" for costs incurred during the pregnancy.

Kim Cotton, the mother in the famous 1985 case, went on to set up COTS (Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy) in 1988, which gives help and advice to surrogates and childless couples in the UK.

She resigned in May 1999 complaining the government was cracking down on surrogacy.

She is now managing director of Tablewhere, a china matching company based in North London. "Today I still help people but I match china rather than surrogates to couples," she told BBC On This Day.

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