‘Not Possible’: Legal Expert Explains Rules Around ‘Multiple’ Surrogates in South Africa

Athenkosi Mndende | News24 | September 20, 2021

A Russian couple had 20 infants through multiple surrogate mothers, even though neither the mother nor father had records of infertility, because they wanted to and could afford to. In this article, Adele Van der Walt, a legal expert, discusses reasons why such a case would not be possible in South Africa. South African legislation requires that there must be a permanent and irreversible medical reason why the intended mother cannot carry the birth, and that the surrogacy is altruistic. Additionally, an application to the High Court to proceed with the surrogacy arrangement  could not, in this case, show that the arrangements were in the children’s best interest.

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Gay Marriage, Adoption, Surrogacy: Revolutionary Bill Raises Hope Among LGBTQ+ Cubans

Nora Gámez Torres | Miami Herald | September 17, 2021

The Cuban government recently drafted a family code that would allow same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, and uncompensated surrogacy arrangements. Before the code passes, however, the legal framework must be approved in a national referendum, which will likely  be difficult, given opposition from religious groups. Still, LGBTQ+ allies in Cuba says the proposal already “shatters paradigms” and is “much more than what we expected,” given the repressive and homophobic history of the Cuban revolution.

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Gabrielle Union Opens Up About Her Surrogacy Journey: ‘I Always Wonder If Kaav Would Love Me More If I Had Carried Her’

Kaitlin Vogel | Parade | September 17, 2021

In her new memoir, You Got Anything Stronger?, actress Gabrielle Union discusses her surrogacy journey. After many miscarriages, a diagnosis of adenomyosis, and a number of rounds of IVF, Union and her husband decided to pursue surrogacy.  They were matched with a surrogate who delivered  their daughter, Kaavia James. Union continues to wonder how her bond with Kaavia would be different had she been the one to carry and birth her.

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Michigan Grassroots Grow Efforts to Reverse Surrogacy Ban

Ellen Trachman | Above the Law | September 15, 2021

After the Baby M legal case in 1998, Michigan and some other US states passed laws banning surrogacy. Now Michigan remains the only state with a law that threatens felony punishment for those who assist in commercial surrogacy contracts. To prepare for Michigan Infertility Advocacy Day, members of the Michigan Fertility Alliance met and shared personal experiences about the impact of the surrogacy ban on their families.

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Coast Guard Aid Society Offers Loans to Offset Fertility Costs

Rebecca Alwine | Military.com | September 7, 2021

Nonprofit organization Coast Guard Mutual Assistance recently introduced the Assisted Reproductive Services (ARS), a zero-interest loan available to military personnel who wish to use fertility treatments. The loan is available to all personnel regardless of marital status and sexual orientation, and can be reapplied for multiple times. ARS provides up to $6,000 for fertility treatments, such as intrauterine insemination, IVF, surrogacy, and other ARTs. One same-sex Army couple, who spent almost $20,000 to conceive their three children via IVF, says one ARS loan “would have covered five IUI [intrauterine insemination] treatments easily.” 

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Pandemic Pushing More Women Into Surrogacy?

Priyanka A Chokhani | Times of India | September 2, 2021

When the first wave of COVID-19 cases surged in India, small business owners and laid-off employees pawned their valuables to buy food and repay debts. When the second wave hit, there was nothing left to sell. Many women became egg donors or surrogates to help pay for family expenses. A doctor at one fertility center said, “Inquiries from women wanting to become surrogates have increased up to 10-fold during the pandemic.” Meanwhile, a proposed bill banning commercial surrogacy is under review.

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Trafficking in Newborns: Police Expose Scheme Involving Sham Marriage, Surrogacy Services

Staff | Ukraine Form | August 17, 2021

The National Police Chief of Ukraine discusses an ongoing investigation of a criminal group that trafficked in newborns under the guise of a surrogacy agency. A clinic chief arranged for foreign men to enter sham marriages and surrogacy arrangements with Ukrainian women; the men were then allowed to transport the surrogate-born children to East Asia. The police released three newborns to social services during the investigation, but at least 13 others had already been sent out of Ukraine. The chief expects more groups to be exposed and believes legislation is “too soft,” calling for lawmaker involvement.

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Make Sure New Law Doesn’t Make Surrogates ‘Useful Wombs’

Anne Else | Newsroom | August 16, 2021

New Zealand’s Adoption Act required that intended parents formally adopt a surrogate-born child from the surrogate, but this was a complicated process and sometimes left children in parentless limbo. The New Zealand Law Commission recently released two new recommended pathways related to parental recognition. The columnist advocates for the pathway that recognizes the birth mother as the legal parent at birth, who will then sign a declaration consenting to relinquish parental rights to the intended parents without a court process. She argues that this method protects the birth mother’s consent, ensures no child is stateless, and provides a simple process for intended parents to become legally recognized.

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Breanna Stewart’s Golden Journey to Motherhood

Kurt Streeter | The New York Times | August 16, 2021

Breanna Stewart is an Olympic medalist and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, who shares her journey to motherhood as a professional lesbian athlete. Stewart knew she wanted to start a family with her wife, Marta Xargay, but did not want to break her momentum in the sport, so the two hired a gestational surrogate to have a child. The article features a video with Stewart and Xargay.

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Social Media Calls Out ‘Mimi’ For Wrong Portrayal of Surrogacy: Why We Must Separate Fact From Fiction

Staff | Times of India | August 12, 2021 

A Bollywood film titled Mimi is about a woman agreeing to be a surrogate mother for an American couple, who decides to violate the contract and leave the baby with the woman. Initially, the audience appreciated that the movie was spreading awareness about a stigmatized topic. Recently, however, others on social media have expressed disappointment in the film’s complete misrepresentation of national surrogacy regulations and qualifications in place that protect the surrogate mother and prevent the scenario that Mimi depicts. Doctor Yuvraj criticizes that the writers used foul language to paint surrogacy in a negative and insensitive manner without doing their due diligence in researching facts about India’s laws first.

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