Israeli Court Annuls Parts of Surrogacy Law Excluding Gays

AP News | July 11, 2021

In February 2020, the Israeli High Court ruled the country’s surrogacy restriction against same-sex couples and single men unconstitutional. The Court asked for changes within a year, then granted a 4-month extension after the government attributed delays to the COVID-19 outbreak. Parliament did not meet that deadline, and on July 11 the Court ruled that the amended law lifting restrictions on same-sex couples and single fathers will take effect in six months. LGBTQ advocates express that this is a “historic landmark in our struggle for equality,” noting future obstacles including legalization of same-sex marriage.

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Surrogacy Law Change: The UK Needs to Look Across The Pond

Zaina Mahmoud | BioNews | June 28, 2021

Current law in the UK automatically assigns legal motherhood to the surrogate based on gestation. To transfer legal parenthood to the intended parents, at least one parent must be a UK resident and genetically related to the baby. This commentary proposes that future UK surrogacy law reforms follow the legislation in Colorado, USA, which regulates both genetic and gestational surrogacy, requires medical screening of all parties, and recognizes non-traditional family forms.

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When a Child is Born: The Film Lifting The Lid on Surrogacy, Race, and Disability

Cath Clarke | The Guardian | June 24, 2021

The Surrogate is a film about a woman who agrees to carry a child for her best friend and his husband. Their perspectives on the agreement diverge when a prenatal test indicates the baby will be born with Down’s syndrome. In this interview, writer-director Jeremy Hersh and actress Jasmine Batchelor share their thought process behind the film that showcases a complex intersection of race, abortion, sexuality, class, and disability.

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How Many is Too Many in Surrogacy? Who is Thinking About the Children?

Dr. Marilyn Crawshaw and Professor Olga van den Akker | BioNews | June 14, 2021

Without international law to protect surrogacy-born children, an affluent few have grown their families through surrogacy for alarming reasons–the Ozturks have 20 babies to execute their dream of a large family, and a single man in Thailand currently has 13 babies out of a “hoped-for” 1000 in order to aid his possible future political election. The article claims that most of these children will not develop attachment to any main caregiver or be able to satisfy their need to know their gestational origins. More safeguarding, parental preparation, and ongoing support needs to be available to meet the psychological, social, and emotional needs of surrogacy-born children. It may be valuable to transfer some practices learned from adoption practices to surrogacy arrangements.

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Travel Exemptions Granted For IVF Tourism and Surrogacy

Caitlin Fitzsimmons | The Sydney Morning Herald | June 13, 2021

A surrogacy education charity is helping Australian citizens obtain COVID travel exemptions from the government to go abroad for IVF treatment or surrogacy arrangements not available under federal or state law. All but one state in Australia forbid commercial surrogacy and all require egg donation be altruistic, so eggs are not available and intended parents are traveling outside the country for fertility treatments. Proponents of the Australian surrogacy legislation express shock that such a charity would help citizens circumvent a law meant to protect women from the exploitative nature of commercial surrogacy. 

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Legal Rights Call For Children Born Through Surrogacy

Ailbhe Conneely | RTE | June 10, 2021

The absence of surrogacy regulation means that Irish mothers have no legal ties to children born through international surrogacy and have to apply for guardianship after two years. The Department of Health has been drafting a bill on assisted reproduction since 2017, and is expected to address concerns about surrogate requirements and regulations. The timeline for the bill is unknown, but will only recognize domestic surrogacy and is likely to consider the recent report by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection. In the article, Cathy Wheatley, mom to two surrogacy-born children, expresses desire for intended mothers to have legal recognition in surrogacy situations, “because they have two parents who love them beyond belief…and we’ll just continue to fight for their rights…”

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Reforming the Law on Surrogacy: Reflections on the APPG on Surrogacy Report and Law Commission’s Consultation Paper

Charlotte Park-Morton | BioNews | June 1, 2021

This commentary discusses two papers calling for change in United Kingdom surrogacy guidelines: the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Surrogacy Report and the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper. The language in the 2020 APPG report is reflective of current legislation, which refers to surrogacy-born children as passive subjects of protection under the law, whereas the 2019 Law Commission’s paper underlines the importance of addressing the children as individuals with rights. Moving forward, surrogacy-born individuals are expected to pressure law reform to focus on children’s access to donor information.

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Hard Labour: The Surrogacy Industry in Kenya

Naipanoi Lepapa | The Elephant | May 28, 2021

This two-part report in The Elephant and accompanying video expose the dangers of the unregulated Kenyan surrogacy industry and feature stories of exploitation of surrogates by agencies.

Article Part 1

Article Part 2

Video

Female Politicians Want to See Paid Leave for IVF and Miscarriage Ordeals Introduced

Louise Burne | Extra.ie | May 31, 2021

Sparked by a Labor Party Bill which proposed 20 days paid leave after miscarriage as well as 10 days paid leave for fertility treatment, many female politicians in Ireland have been sharing personal stories regarding their fertility journeys. Currently, Ireland is the only country in the European Union that does not offer state support for fertility treatment. During the legislative debate, several senators spoke about the emotional and physical trauma that followed fertility treatments or miscarriages and called for government-funded IVF and paid leave.

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Ethics of Surrogacy During COVID-19 Pandemic

Cathy Sakimura and Emily Galpern | Men Having Babies Blog | April 29, 2021

Men Having Babies posted this ethical approach to surrogacy during COVID, by Surrogacy360’s own Emily Galpern and National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Cathy Sakimura. This approach strives to minimize the effects of gender, economic, global, and racial inequities that impact the bargaining power of people acting as surrogate or egg donors; to ensure that surrogates’ basic rights and ability to achieve a just contract are respected; and recognizes the rights of people born through surrogacy to legal security and knowledge about their origins. Intended parents must also not be discriminated against due to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

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