Surrogacy in the News

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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Massachusetts Issues First 3-Parent Birth Certificate

Ellen Trachman | Above the Law | August 11, 2021

Although Massachusetts courts have long legally recognized three-parent families through adoption, the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS) issued its first three-parent birth certificate in August. A family law attorney explains the importance of legal recognition and rights for parental figures in nontraditional families, 

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USCIS Updates Policy on Children Born Through Assistive Reproductive Technology

Jordan Williams | The Hill | August 5, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy regarding children born through surrogacy and IVF abroad. The new policy means that a child born to a non-genetic or non-gestational parent will be a US citizen if the parent is married to the genetic or gestational parent. This allows for greater recognition of children born to same sex couples as well as families where there are not two genetic parents. 

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Police in China Detain Head of Bogus Reproductive Health Company That Was Buying and Selling Babies

Kevin McSpadden | South China Morning Post | August 4, 2021

A Chinese reproductive technology company is under police investigation after local publication The Paper and an undercover anti-trafficking advocate exposed them for illegal surrogacy arrangements and child trafficking. The advocate pretended to be an infertile woman, and the head of the company contacted him to arrange the “purchase” of an infant girl. The child-trafficking group allegedly consists of 100 members in different regions.

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Surrogacy Law Overhaul Could End Parents Having to Adopt Their Own Children

Cecile Meier | Stuff | August 1, 2021

This article and video detail the domestic surrogacy process in New Zealand, which requires both surrogate and intended parents to receive approval from the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART). The process requires medical testing, legal evaluation, and other consultations before fertility treatments begin. A recent Law Commission proposal would no longer require adoption by intended parents if they followed the ECART process. Barrett, parent of a surrogacy-born child, shows disappointment in the component of the proposal that requires the surrogate’s consent post-birth, reasoning that this should happen before conception.

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