Article: The Practical Case for Legalizing Surrogacy

The Practical Case for Legalizing Surrogacy
By Ding Chunyan | Sixth Tone | March 22, 2017

I propose that we legalize altruistic gestational surrogacy — that is, procedures involving a third-party surrogate mother with no biological relation to the child, and who receives no financial compensation for taking on the role. To protect the interests of the surrogate mother, the intended parents, and the surrogate child, the government should establish clear rules specifying the qualifications for both the surrogate mother and intended parents, as well as the conditions for surrogacy, the restrictions on reimbursement, the privacy of those involved, and the child’s right to know of that it was born from the arrangement.

Citing laws that are, in the author’s opinion, “simply not up to the task of solving the current complex tangle of legal and regulatory problems related to surrogacy,” this article chronicles some key issues facing surrogacy in China today. It includes: the rampant use of non-ARTs – not covered by regulation – in surrogacy arrangements; judicial bias towards genetic parentage; precedents set by divorce cases that have not always granted custody to the more capable parent; and the rise of entities and a “black market” willing to violate law.

Legalizing altruistic surrogacy is the proposed fix by Ding Chunyan, an associate professor at the Law School of Hong Kong City University, along with the creation of a neutral oversight body. Success, however, is pinned on her proposal to ban commercial surrogacy.

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