Depressed surrogate mum tries for baby number eight

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The Independent Online

A woman who suffers from clinical depression is set to be a surrogate mother for the eighth time, prompting calls for regulation of the trade.

The record-breaking surrogacy attempted by Jill Hawkins is controversial, as her depression is so severe that she has previously attempted suicide. Her own family consider her role as a surrogate to have been psychologically damaging for her.

The 43-year-old said she is to provide a child to a family who has already received a baby from her.

"I was feeling particularly broody at the time and so offered to complete their family," she said. "I just wish I was 10 years younger so I could fit more in. I really love being pregnant."

Her latest decision comes despite previously claiming that a baby she delivered in 2006, Isobel, would be her last. Mrs Hawkins, who had made a 16-year career from surrogacy, has no children of her own.

Phil Willis, the chairman of the scrutinising committee for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, said: "We have to make sure women are not psychologically damaged as a result of surrogacy."