Surrogacy in the News

Children ‘Should Have Right’ to Know Donor Parents From Age of 12

Sheila Wayman | The Irish Times | March 31, 2021

Professor Conor O’Mahony authored a report titled A Review of Children’s Rights and Best Interests in the Context of Donor-Assisted Human Reproduction and Surrogacy in Irish Law. The article focuses specifically on the recommendation that donor-assisted and surrogacy-born children have the right to request and access information about their genetic parents from the age of 12, rather than 18, which is in current law. Mahony recommends these provisions after the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs requested a review of children’s best interests in surrogacy cases.

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LGBTQ and Single Prospective Parents in Illinois Would Have Access to Fertility Benefits that Heterosexual Couples Have Enjoyed For 30 Years, Under Proposed Law: ‘This is an Anti-discrimination Bill’

Nara Schoenberg | Chicago Tribune | April 5, 2021

Illinois state law requires large companies to cover fertility services if they offer pregnancy benefits. However, the requirement also details that couples must first try to conceive for a full year of unprotected sex, which excludes LGBTQ couples and single people. Representative Margaret Croke proposed a bill addressing these inequalities that will be reviewed by the House of Representatives by the end of May.

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Parliamentary Panel Says ART Not Appropriate For Live-in or Same Sex Couples

Bindu Shajan Perappadan | The Hindu | March 20, 2021

In India, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare issued a report recommending that the 2020 version of the Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) Bill exclude unmarried and same-sex couples from use of ART, arguing that would be in the best interest of the children born through those services. The Committee also suggested that the government make IVF more accessible to poor communities by opening ART facilities at every medical institute and premier hospital. The report notes the urgent need for regulation and monitoring to prevent uncontrolled commercialization of the ART industry in India.

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China’s LGBTQ Community Is the Hidden Victim of a Celebrity Surrogacy Scandal

Koh Ewe | Vice | March 19, 2021

This article discusses the interconnectedness of surrogacy and the LGBTQ community in China. After actress Zheng Shuang’s scandal, surrogacy has garnered newfound attention and vehement scrutiny due to illegality in China as well as attention to the rights of women. LGBTQ couples voiced their worries about the negative perceptions of surrogacy impacting their ability to start families and affecting their recent progress towards societal acceptance.

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Poor Legal Regulation Threatens Health of Ukraine’s Egg Donors

Kate Baklitskaya and Magdalena Chodownik | New Eastern Europe | March 15, 2021

This article highlights the need for stricter regulation of surrogacy and egg donation in Ukraine and Poland, underscored by additional risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early travel bans left many newborns stranded in Ukraine, and the current economic decline may be motivating more women to sell their eggs for extra income. However, Ukraine and Poland have not developed legislation to protect egg donors’ safety and privacy.

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Russian State Duma Proposes Bill Restricting Surrogacy…Again

Christina Weis | BioNews | March 15, 2021

This commentary addresses the recent bill amendment, proposed by the Russian State Duma, which would restrict surrogacy to heterosexual married couples with Russian residency. Current law allows heterosexual unmarried couples and single mothers, regardless of residency status, to pursue commercial surrogacy. A co-author of the bill said the restrictive amendment is motivated by last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns and travel bans, which prevented many foreign clients from collecting their surrogacy-born newborns. The Moscow Times also speculates that allowing single men and women to hire surrogates goes against Russian family values.

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High Court Pushes Deadline to Fix Surrogacy Law After Elections

Tzci Joffre | Jerusalem Post | March 12, 2021

This article provides an update on Israeli surrogacy law: the High Court had sent back the latest amendment to the government after deeming it unconstitutional for failing to include single men and same-sex couples. LGBTQ activists have been advocating for changes to the law for 11 years. Most recently the government again attempted to avoid the issue, allegedly to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, but the Court granted the government only a four-month extension to July 1, after the upcoming March 23 elections.

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Parents Are Demanding Surrogates Who Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine

Carter Sherman | Vice | March 9, 2021

Many intended parents are asking agencies to match them with surrogates who agree not to get a COVID vaccine, despite the fact that contracting COVID during pregnancy could increase the risk of severity of the illness and also lead to pre-term birth. The article discusses the importance of communicating about the vaccine prior to entering into a contract, and raises the issue of the power differential between intended parents’ requirements in a contract and a surrogate’s ability to maintain bodily autonomy.

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International Women’s Day: China Looks at Domestic Violence, Illegal Surrogacy, and Paternity Leave

Phoebe Zhang | South China Morning Post | March 8, 2021

This article shares policy topics about women that will be discussed at Two Sessions, China’s yearly parliamentary meetings held in Beijing. A member of the National People’s Congress proposed a stricter ban on surrogacy and the use of underground and overseas agencies to address the recent commercial boom, especially in light of the scandal of actress Zheng Shuang. The two political parties will also discuss the treatment of children born outside of marriage, single mothers’ lack of access to assistive reproductive technologies, and a hotline to report domestic violence.

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Police Bust Alleged Illegal Surrogacy Ring, Thai Women Allegedly Gave Birth for Overseas Buyers

Caitlin Ashworth | The Thaiger | February 7, 2021

This article highlights an illegal Thai surrogacy ring posing as a cleaning company, with 3 alleged agents and 4 alleged surrogates arrested so far. Cybercrime police discovered the ring when foreign intended parents were unable to retrieve the babies because of coronavirus travel restrictions. International surrogacy is illegal in Thailand, so the women were brought to Cambodia for embryo transfer and returned to Thailand for the duration of the pregnancy and birth. Allegedly, Thai women were lured in through social media and then paid over 500,000 baht (about 17,000 USD) each to bear children for foreign buyers. 

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