Is a Surrogate a Mother?

Slate, 15 February 2016
Author: Michelle Goldberg
“A battle over triplets raises difficult questions about the ethics of the surrogacy industry and the meaning of parenthood. The United States is one of the few developed countries where commercial, or paid, surrogacy is allowed—it is illegal in Canada and most of Europe. In the U.S., it’s governed by a patchwork of contradictory state laws. Eight states expressly authorize it. Four states prohibit it. In the remaining states, there’s either no law at all on commercial surrogacy or it is allowed with restrictions.”
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Outsourcing ethical dilemmas: regulating international surrogacy arrangements

Med Law Rev published 18 January 2016, 10.1093/medlaw/fwv044
Author: Claire Fenton-Glynn
“This article argues that the English legislative regime is ineffective in regulating international surrogacy, particularly with regard to commercial payments. It suggests that if English law views surrogacy as exploitative, we have a responsibility to protect women both in England and abroad, and the only way to do so effectively is to create a domestic system of regulation that caters adequately for the demand in this country.”
Find abstract here.

Compensated transnational surrogacy in Australia: time for a comprehensive review

Med J Aust 2016; 204 (1): 33-35.
Author: Ainsley J Newson
“All forms of surrogacy give rise to ethical issues.6 Compensated surrogacy is, however, more ethically contentious than altruistic surrogacy, owing to concerns over exploitation and commodification of women, intended parents and children.4 Concerns about socioeconomic disparities exacerbate these issues. This article focuses on the ethics, law and policy of surrogacy as it applies to Australians commissioning a pregnancy in low-income countries for a fee: a practice that can be termed transnational compensated surrogacy.”
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BB v DD; Re AA and the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) (No 2) [2015] NSWSC 1825

Decision: 1 December 2015
“Catchwords: FAMILY LAW AND CHILD WELFARE — surrogacy — application for parentage order under Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) – previous judgment concerning this application dealt with arrangement as a post-commencement and post-conception surrogacy arrangement – whether applicants’ new evidence demonstrates a pre-commencement surrogacy arrangement was entered into in late 2007 – at this time, parties would not have known the future existence of parentage orders or requirements of the Act – parties entered into an oral arrangement and intended to later implement it in an informal manner – whether surrogacy arrangements existed depends on substance of the agreement, not its form – courts finds parties entered into a pre-commencement surrogacy arrangement – present application made more than 2 years after commencement of s 16(2) of the Act – whether exceptional circumstances justify delayed application pursuant to s 16(3) – consideration of term “exceptional circumstances” – s 16 must be applied with regard to s 3 in the best interests of the child – parties did not obtain legal advice at the time of oral surrogacy arrangement, could not predict provisions of the future Act and deferred implementation of surrogacy arrangement due to other reasons – court satisfied that exceptional circumstances existed – remaining issue concerns non-compliance with s 38 – unjustified for court to refuse application based only on s 38 contravention – court warns applicants against non-compliance with s 38 – court grants parentage orders sought”
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UK should change law on surrogacy to help commissioning parents, report says

BMJ 2015;351:h6302
Author: Clare Dyer
“The United Kingdom’s 30 year old law on surrogacy is “out of date and in dire need of reform,” concludes a wide ranging review of the practice that surveyed commissioning parents, surrogate mothers, and professionals involved in surrogacy.1”
Find extract here.

Surrogate Motherhood: A Trust-Based Approach

J Med Philos (2015) 40 (6): 633-652. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhv024
Author: Katharina Beier
“Because it is often argued that surrogacy should not be treated as contractual, the question arises in which terms this practice might then be couched. In this article, I argue that a phenomenology of surrogacy centering on the notion of trust provides a description that is illuminating from the moral point of view. …  Even though a trust-based approach does not provide an ultimate answer to whether surrogacy should be sanctioned or prohibited, it allows for at least some practical suggestions.”
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Proposed ban on foreigners using Indian surrogacy services sparks protests

BMJ 2015;351:h5854
Author: Sally Howard
“India has signalled that it will ban foreign nationals from seeking surrogacy services in India. In an affidavit presented to the Supreme Court in Delhi on 28 October the solicitor general, Ranjit Kumar, gave a clear indication that India’s Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill—due to be finalised on 15 November and presented in parliament in 2016—will be stringent in its restrictions.”
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Surrogacy, Compensation, and Legal Parentage: Against the Adoption Model

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, September 2015, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 383-387
Authors: Liezl van Zyl , Ruth Walker
“Surrogate motherhood is treated as a form of adoption in many countries: the birth mother and her partner are presumed to be the parents of the child, while the intended parents have to adopt the baby once it is born. Other than compensation for expenses related to the pregnancy, payment to surrogates is not permitted. …. We accept that introducing payment for surrogates would create a significant tension in the adoption model. However, we recommend rejecting the adoption model altogether rather than continuing to prohibit compensation to surrogates.”
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Gay Couples in China Look Abroad to Start a Family

The Wall Street Journal, 2 October 2015
Author: Laurie Burkitt
“Their situation isn’t unique as the emergence of fertility services and surrogate programs geared toward gay Chinese suggest more couples are heading overseas to start their families. Many go to the U.S. because of its robust gay-rights movement and liberal reproductive policies. Surrogate carriers are legal in some U.S. states and are believed to be more regulated than elsewhere in the world. The laws on parental rights are clear.”
Find article here.