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International surrogacy and the law

Emily jackson
Making babies in the 21st Century

Different legal frameworks are involved in cross-border surrogacy, so trying to untangle the legal obligations of each party can be tricky.

For example, while U.K. permits only altruistic surrogacy, British intended parents can travel abroad for surrogacy and apply for a legal parental order when they return to their home country. However, in New South Wales it is a criminal offence to enter into commercial surrogacy, including overseas. She further describes how countries in the global south either have recently changed their policies regarding surrogacy.

India has now moved to altruistic surrogacy for Indian infertile couples only. However, U.S.A. still remains as one of the biggest destinations for international commercial surrogacy. She then argues that it is hard to prevent international surrogacy, therefore the focus should rather be on establishing minimum standards for a successful international surrogacy arrangement.

Factors like the surrogate understanding the surrogacy contract and minimising health risks of implanting multiple embryos should be duly considered. She also describes surrogacy arrangement in the U.K and U.S.A in terms of payment to surrogate, contact between intended parents and surrogates, access to surrogacy…etc.

For your discussion: Do you think countries should have a consistent legal framework regarding access to surrogacy domestically and abroad? Do you think unmarried couples should be given access to surrogacy? Do you think rules of a surrogacy arrangement should be ‘dominated’ by the surrogate or the intended parents?

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Making Babies in the 21st Century

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