Children by Surrogacy to be Allowed for Same-Sex Couples, Single Men from Next Week

Stuart Winer and TOI Staff | Times of Israel | January 4, 2022

Same-sex couples, single men, and transgender people can now become parents through surrogacy, an option previously denied to them in Israel. This ruling ends a decade-long legal battle that started with a petition filed by a gay couple in 2010. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz also reassured prospective surrogates that the government is committed to protecting their rights and health.

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Assisted Reproduction and Surrogacy Bills Passed by Indian Parliament

Sarah Pritchard | BioNews | December 13, 2021

The Indian Parliament approved legislation to better regulate fertility and surrogacy practices in the country and protect the health of women involved. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2021 aims to maintain a standard of infrastructure, equipment, and personnel at fertility clinics. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2020 proposes increased health insurance coverage to 36 months, prohibits paid surrogacy, and allows divorced or widowed women to have children through surrogacy. Criticism of the bills highlight the lack of inclusion of single parents and LGBTQ+ communities.

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Portuguese Parliament Approves Surrogacy Law

Ommcomm News | November 27, 2021

The Portuguese Parliament approved a surrogacy law in response to a request from the Constitutional Court. The surrogate, who must have given birth to her own child before, can keep the surrogate-born child up until the time of registration (max 20 days post-birth).

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Switzerland’s Marriage Equality Law Widens to Allow Access to IVF

James Moore | BioNews | November 22, 2021

Starting in July 2022, same-sex couples in Switzerland will be able to marry and access the same assisted reproduction, adoption, and fertility services as heterosexual couples. Surrogacy and egg donation remain illegal, so families desiring these services would only have access by  traveling abroad.

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‘Shared Motherhood’ Couple Can Both be Named on Irish Birth Certificate

Michaela Chen | BioNews | October 25, 2021

Irish couple Ranae von Meding and her wife, Audrey Rooney, won the right to be legally recognized as a two-mother family. The couple’s two daughters were conceived in Spain through reciprocal IVF, in which Rooney’s egg was fertilized in vitro and implanted into von Meding’s uterus. Only von Meding was recognized as the legal parent, though the two were married when Rooney gave birth to both daughters. Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 only recognizes same-sex couples who conceive and birth in Ireland, but von Meding and Rooney conceived in Spain because no Irish clinics offered reciprocal IVF at the time. Irish legislation is still lacking legal parenthood provisions on surrogacy, home insemination, and births abroad.

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Dramatic Change in Quebec Surrogacy Law Proposed Under Bill 2

Chelsey St. Pierre and Beryl Wajsman | The Suburban | October 22, 2021

Quebec’s family law is finally being updated after three decades with Bill 2, which will aim to legalize contracts signed between a surrogate and intended parents. The bill requires that the surrogate is at least 21 years old and be compensated only for loss of work income and other pregnancy expenses. To protect the surrogate, the intended parents cannot withdraw from the contract once she is pregnant and cannot sue if she decides to abort or keep the child.

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‘Surrogacy is Absolutely What I Want to Do’

Jo Deahl | BBC News | September 22, 2021

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.

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After Israel’s Landmark Surrogacy Ruling, Protecting Surrogate Mothers is Paramount

Or Kashti | Haaretz | July 12, 2021

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.

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‘Not Possible’: Legal Expert Explains Rules Around ‘Multiple’ Surrogates in South Africa

Athenkosi Mndende | News24 | September 20, 2021

A Russian couple had 20 infants through multiple surrogate mothers, even though neither the mother nor father had records of infertility, because they wanted to and could afford to. In this article, Adele Van der Walt, a legal expert, discusses reasons why such a case would not be possible in South Africa. South African legislation requires that there must be a permanent and irreversible medical reason why the intended mother cannot carry the birth, and that the surrogacy is altruistic. Additionally, an application to the High Court to proceed with the surrogacy arrangement  could not, in this case, show that the arrangements were in the children’s best interest.

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Gay Marriage, Adoption, Surrogacy: Revolutionary Bill Raises Hope Among LGBTQ+ Cubans

Nora Gámez Torres | Miami Herald | September 17, 2021

The Cuban government recently drafted a family code that would allow same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, and uncompensated surrogacy arrangements. Before the code passes, however, the legal framework must be approved in a national referendum, which will likely  be difficult, given opposition from religious groups. Still, LGBTQ+ allies in Cuba says the proposal already “shatters paradigms” and is “much more than what we expected,” given the repressive and homophobic history of the Cuban revolution.

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