Gay men hoping to have biological children navigate high costs, complex surrogacy laws, and infertility definitions that exclude LGBTQ persons. But critics worry about exploitation of surrogates, especially internationally.
Ashish Tripathi | Deccan Herald | September 26, 2022
India’s Supreme Court will examine a challenge to the 2021 Surrogacy Act and Assisted Reproduction Act. The petition contends that the ban on commercial surrogacy may result in the exploitation of women within the family under the guise of altruistic surrogacy.
Current law in the United Kingdom states that the surrogate is the legal mother when the child is born, and that legal parentage must be transferred through a parental order. Because the law also outlaws surrogacy advertisements, intended parents have turned to social media to find surrogacy matches, especially since non-profit organizations have long waiting lists. Both government officials and those who have started families through surrogacy agree that UK surrogacy law needs to be updated.
Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that a ban on surrogacy for same sex couples and single men is discriminatory and must be lifted. The author of this opinion piece notes that surrogacy can be harmful and exploitative and urges attention toward safeguarding the rights and health of surrogates in Israel and other countries. Isha L’Isha Haifa Feminist Center highlights the lack of data on the effects of surrogacy and a lawsuit threat they received after publishing testimonies from surrogates in India.
As Ukraine transforms into a desirable hub for international commercial surrogacy, concerns are emerging. This article – like others found here – touches on irregularities and poor quality of care at fertility clinics, and focuses on the 30 Spanish intended parents unable to obtain passports from the Spanish Consulate in Kiev for their children amidst fears of the trafficking of minors.
In an update from The Guardian, the government also charged the thirty-three gestational mothers under the same law – they were not charged initially – raising potential questions about the use of regulation related to human trafficking on surrogacy.
These arrests are not the first. After Cambodia announced a ban on commercial surrogacy in 2016 while legislation was being considered, an Australian nurse and two Cambodian assistants were convicted of running an illegal commercial surrogacy clinic in the country. They were later sentenced to one and a half years in prison.
This update from Cambodia covers recent attempts to regulate surrogacy in the country, citing government representatives concerned about the impact of the practice on human trafficking.
With a push towards altruistic surrogacy – and an offer from UN Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith to help the Cambodian government formulate a law – the article also touches on questions about the potential effectiveness and drawbacks of arrangements that are not commercial. It quotes Rodrigo Montero, gender specialist at the UN Development Program, who states that “altruistic surrogacy does not exist, it is a euphemism” and “in countries where ‘altruistic’ surrogacy is allowed we see that large amounts of money are always involved.”