In this update from Cambodia, a number of Australian intended parents are now being allowed to leave the country with their children. To do so, they must prove a biological link to a child and obtain a gestational mother’s approval.
The article also outlines the case against Australian nurse Tammy Davis-Charles, who is currently in jail in Cambodia for facilitating surrogacy arrangements and charging Australian intended parents $US 50,000 per child. If sentenced, Davis-Charles could spend up to two years in prison.
The Legal and Ethical Complexities of Sperm and Egg Donation
By Nightlife | March 27, 2017
Listen to medical research scientist, Damian Adams and Associate Professor in Health Law, Dr. Sonia Allen discuss challenges around sperm and egg donation, including issues related to the rights of parents, donors, and children.
Dr. Sonia Allen consults with the South Australian government on ARTs, sperm and egg donation. A report on her review of the South Australian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 is available to read.
Update: In November 2017, the South Australian government tabled their response to the review conducted by Dr. Allan from 2015-2017. The Hon. Peter Malinauskas, Minister for Health, thanked Dr. Allan, stating the government had commissioned her due to her international expertise in the field. He then committed the government to establishing a donor-conception register, making the rights of donor-conceived people “a main priority for South Australia” and committing to implementing changes that “best reflect Dr. Allan’s recommendations.” Victoria enacted Dr. Allan’s model for access to information by donor-conceived people into law in March 2017 – the first of its kind in the world – and now South Australia has made the commitment to follow.
Legal in the Mexican state of Tabasco since 1997, international commercial surrogacy is now under fire in the country.
This article tracks changes to the law – restricting Mexican gestational mothers from carrying children for foreigners – with analysis of how the new policy will be implemented. It follows gestational mothers, for whom surrogacy is a vital source of income, in a state with the highest unemployment rate in the country, as well as intended parents locked in legal battle with authorities that are stalling on birth certificates after the new restriction was enforced.
With this development, Mexico is the next (fallen) chip in the global practice of international commercial surrogacy.
Featuring contributions from over thirty activists and scholars from a range of countries and disciplines, this collection offers the first genuinely international study of transnational surrogacy. Its innovative bottom-up approach, rooted in feminist perspectives, gives due prominence to the voices of those most affected by the global surrogacy chain, namely the surrogate mothers, donors, prospective parents and the children themselves. Through case studies ranging from Israel to Mexico, the book outlines the forces that are driving the growth of transnational surrogacy, as well as its implications for feminism, human rights, motherhood and masculinity.
Our Bodies Ourselves is a contributor to the anthology, along with an impressive line up of experts in the field. (Read the table of contents.)
In a chapter titled “Frequently Unasked Questions: Understanding and Responding to Gaps in Public Knowledge of International Surrogacy Practices Worldwide,” Our Bodies Ourselves shares findings from an analysis of publicly-accessible information on international commercial surrogacy. This includes a random survey of news media articles and the websites of select international agents. The chapter also introduces readers to this information clearinghouse on the practice.
The Our Bodies Ourselves blog recently posted an article, authored by staff member Ayesha Chatterjee, on the contribution made by “Babies for Sale?” to literature on international commercial surrogacy.
For a special 40 percent discount, buy the book on the Zed website using the code “BABIESZED.” This offer is time limited and will end May 31, 2017.
Japan has witnessed the birth of its first baby using anonymous donor eggs. As the country prepares for others, important questions about legal parentage and the status of birth mothers are also being raised.
According to this article, a 2007 ruling by the Japanese Supreme Court currently grants legal status to the woman who gives birth. While there is no precedent or specification in the civil code for when a child is born as a result of donated eggs, a draft bill granting legal status to the birth mother in third-party reproduction could be in the pipeline.
I propose that we legalize altruistic gestational surrogacy — that is, procedures involving a third-party surrogate mother with no biological relation to the child, and who receives no financial compensation for taking on the role. To protect the interests of the surrogate mother, the intended parents, and the surrogate child, the government should establish clear rules specifying the qualifications for both the surrogate mother and intended parents, as well as the conditions for surrogacy, the restrictions on reimbursement, the privacy of those involved, and the child’s right to know of that it was born from the arrangement.
Citing laws that are, in the author’s opinion, “simply not up to the task of solving the current complex tangle of legal and regulatory problems related to surrogacy,” this article chronicles issues facing surrogacy in China. It includes: the rampant use of non-ARTs – not covered by regulation – in surrogacy arrangements; judicial bias towards genetic parentage; precedents set by divorce cases that have not always granted custody to the more “capable” parent; and the rise of entities and a “black market” willing to violate law.
Legalizing altruistic surrogacy is the proposed fix by Ding Chunyan, an associate professor at the Law School of Hong Kong City University, along with the creation of a neutral oversight body. Success, in her opinion, is also pinned on her proposal to ban commercial surrogacy.