Surrogacy in the News

Surrogacy During the War in Ukraine

Updated June 22, 2022

See Ukraine as International Surrogacy Destination for context on the surrogacy industry in Ukraine

The Russian war on Ukraine is having a devastating effect on millions of people and the country’s infrastructure and land. One lesser-known area of anguish is the impact on newborn surrogacy-born babies, surrogates and their families, and the babies’ parents from other countries. Ukraine is one of the largest hubs for international surrogacy in the world, second only to the United States. Minimal regulation and low cost make it a popular destination for foreign couples—though only available to married heterosexual couples—and economic hardship gives rise to more women willing to provide surrogacy services. This roundup of stories presents two analyses (The Atlantic and BioNews) regarding the invisibility of surrogates in media coverage and the unequal options and resources available to commissioning parents vs surrogates in Ukraine; it also includes a number of stories of harrowing and dangerous situations for infants, surrogates, and new or soon-to-be parents.

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Three, Single Gay Dads Reflect on Fatherhood, Surrogacy Journeys

Alana Wise | NPR | June 19, 2022

NPR covers the stories of three single, gay men who became fathers through surrogacy and their journey there

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An Actor’s Use of a Surrogate Raises Radical-Feminist Questions

Alyssa Rosenberg | The Washington Post | June 15, 2022

Actress Jamie Chung explained that she and her partner chose surrogacy because she didn’t “want to lose opportunities.” The author of this opinion piece feels Chung’s perspective echoes radical feminist Shulamith Firestone, who believed that biology imprisoned women.

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Wombs For Rent: The Legalization of Commercial Surrogacy

Reed Pence, Taina Bien-Aimé, Dr. Linda Kahn, and Ashley Mareko | Radio Health Journal | June 12, 2022

This Radio Health Journal episode showcases three voices in surrogacy policy and practice. The Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women argues that surrogacy is exploitative and can lead to human trafficking. A New York University professor discusses increased risks for pregnancy complications. A three-time surrogate and employee at a surrogacy agency asserts that company policies can safeguard parties in surrogacy arrangements. With no federal surrogacy laws in place, this is a dangerous road to traverse.

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India Banned Commercial Surrogacy. Now, Parents are Flocking to Georgia, a Rare Nation Where It’s Legal – and Relatively Cheap.

Charu Sudan Kasturi | Business Insider | June 8, 2022

India’s commercial surrogacy ban may be driving intended parents to Georgia, where commercial surrogacy is not only legal but also relatively inexpensive. Georgia’s laws also favor intended parents, because the surrogate has no legal parentage rights to the child.

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Israel’s Openly Gay Health Minister Talks Conversion Therapies, Surrogacy and Religion

Ravit Hecht | Haaretz | June 8, 2022

Israel’s openly gay Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz comments on the new law legalizing surrogacy for gay male couples in Israel. He maintains that surrogacy should be equally accessible for all, with safeguards against exploitation. 

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Russia Moves to Bar Foreigners From Using its Surrogate Mothers

South China Morning Post | May 25, 2022

If passed, a newly-proposed Russian bill will bar foreigners from entering into surrogacy arrangements with Russian surrogates. This follows as Moscow’s relations with Western countries grow tense over the war in Ukraine.

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UK Fertility Watchdog Could Recommend Scrapping Donor Anonymity Law

Hannah Devlin | The Guardian | May 20, 2022

Due to the rapid rise of consumer genetic testing, the UK’s HFEA is considering removing the anonymity period for sperm and egg donors. This would allow contact between donors, donor-conceived people, and their genetic parents, but first the change requires careful consideration by all parties.

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Wartime Labour: How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Has Exposed the Reality of the Surrogacy Industry

Anna Feigenbaum | Globe and Mail | May 20, 2022

The war in Ukraine not only illuminates the complexities inherent in international surrogacy, but also requires us to confront broader issues raised by this form of reproduction: how to prevent exploitation of women on the one hand while simultaneously ensuring women have bodily autonomy, and how we think about parenthood, genetic connection, and race and reproduction.

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‘Deceptive’ Marketing and Hidden Costs: The Truth About IVF and Egg Freezing

Natalie Morris | | May 13, 2022

Waiting times for nationally-provided fertility treatment in the UK grew from 6 to 15 months after the pandemic. Consequently, the demand for private alternatives grew, which created a competitive marketplace with some clinics turning to deceptive marketing techniques.

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