Surrogacy in the News

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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Law Commission Recommending Significant Changes to Surrogacy Law

Kate Nicol-Williams | TVNZ 1News | July 31, 2021

The New Zealand Law Commission  recommended changes to surrogacy law that would no longer require adoption by intended parents and would legally recognize their parentage from birth. In this article and accompanying video, parents of surrogacy-born children express frustration and heartbreak stemming from the current complicated legal process. Members of the Commission’s advisory group support the proposals to simplify the process, but want to maintain safeguards such as domestic rather than international surrogacy arrangements, children’s rights to information about their origins, and compensation for surrogates.

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US Couple Withdraws Legal Action Against ABC Over Claim They Abandoned Surrogate Child With a Disability

Australian Associated Press | The Guardian | July 27, 2021

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation covered a story about a couple’s surrogacy arrangement in a 2019 article about Ukraine’s commercial surrogacy industry. The couple sued ABC for allegedly portraying them as heartless parents who abandoned their surrogate-born, disabled child Bridget in Ukraine. This June, the couple withdrew their defamation case due to a lack of funds, but will still be asked to pay ABC’s legal costs.   

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The Surrogacy Pathway: Surrogacy and The Legal Process For Intended Parents and Surrogates in England and Wales

Gov.UK | July 23, 2021

This guidance document outlines the surrogacy process in England and Wales and includes resources for choosing a surrogacy organization, writing a surrogacy agreement, and transferring parental rights. The document also discusses legal guidance, medical testing and genetic screening, and psychological counseling for intended parents and surrogates. 

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Duckworth Pushes For Paid Leave For Pregnancy Loss

Caitlin Huey-Burns | CBS News | July 20, 2021

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced the “Support Through Loss Act” which would require employers to provide at least three days paid leave following any reproductive loss, including miscarriage, failed adoption or surrogacy arrangement, or unsuccessful fertility procedure. Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows people to take upwards of 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, but there is no paid leave program yet.

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Sex, Money, and a Baby: Canadian Judge Rules on Wild Surrogacy Case

Ellen Trachman | Above The Law | July 14, 2021

This case involves a Canadian couple struggling with infertility who had attempted unsuccessfully multiple times to conceive via IVF and surrogacy in India. The husband had an affair with a woman, who later entered an unsupervised surrogacy agreement with the couple. After various attempts to conceive, the woman eventually gave birth to a child with her donated egg and the husband’s sperm through a disputed method.  In 2020, she demanded more compensation and parenting time with the child, eventually filing a legal case. So far, the court has classified her as a nonguardian and deemed her request harmful to the child, and the case will go to trial in January 2022.

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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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