Surrogate motherhood remains the cause of disputes on moral and ethical issues, it is not recognized by the Catholic Church, and in some countries criminal liability is provided for violations of the law in this area. What is the situation with the use of surrogacy in the world — where it is allowed and where it is forbidden?
In most European countries, surrogacy is prohibited by law. A common reason for such restrictions is the Catholic Church, which has a strong influence on public opinion and legislation. Read more about the situation in the field of ART in Europe in the article.
In Asia, surrogacy is not allowed everywhere, and some States do not have clear legislation that would regulate the field of reproductive technologies.
Surrogacy has been legal in Georgia since 1997. In 2014, the government wanted to make some amendments to the legislation. They planned to prohibit paying monetary compensation to surrogates for services due to the rapid commercialization of surrogacy. The amendments were not made — today the commercial format of surrogacy is legal in Georgia.
The relationship between a surrogate and a married couple is regulated by a contract. The process of registration of a newborn takes only one day and does not present any special difficulties. Surrogate mother doesn’t have any rights for a newborn. To apply for a child, a couple must provide a contract, a certificate of IVF and a document from the clinic where the birth took place.
In India, surrogacy is allowed and is quite cheap. Surrogate mothers here are most often girls from poor families who do not have other opportunities to earn money. The government has banned foreigners from using the services of Indian surrogates. This method of infertility treatment is allowed only to citizens of India.
The Japanese Association of obstetrics and gynecology does not approve this method of ART, but there is no clear prohibition on this in the legislation. Private clinics decide for themselves whether to provide such services to clients or not.
In China, there is no clear legislation that regulates the use of surrogacy for infertility treatment. The law does not prohibit surrogacy, but the government is trying to contend the commercialization of this field of medicine by prohibiting institutions from engaging in this type of activity without a license.
Briefly about the development of surrogacy in China:
- demographic policy in the country has caused delays in starting a family and having children, resulting in an increase in the number of childless couples,
- the latest advances in reproductive technologies have made ART methods available to childless couples,
- Mass media, Internet, advertising introduced the public to new methods of solving the problem of infertility,
- demand creates supply: there are agencies that act as intermediaries between surrogates and childless couples,
- since the legislation in this area in China is incomplete, the country has a large number of illegal agencies that offer services in the field of infertility treatment.
Surname in China is more likely to be women from the villages. The reason is obvious — unemployment. Despite the conditional ban on the use of surrogacy, this area of ART in China is rapidly developing.
The “law on marriage and family”, adopted in 1998, made surrogacy a legal method of treating infertility. The government of Kazakhstan annually allocates money for infertile couples for IVF programs. Surrogate mothers in the country have strict requirements: good health, consent of the spouse, a certificate from a psychologist about readiness to participate in the program, a native child.
According to the law, parental rights to a newborn belong to a married couple, surrogate mother can keep the baby in 2 cases:
- the couple abandoned the child,
- the death of the child’s mother and father.
Institute of reproductive medicine of Kazakhstan has created its own database of surrogate mothers. Their services can be used by married couples for medical reasons.
30% of surrogacy contracts in the country are concluded free of charge.
In North America, the situation with the use of surrogacy, as well as around the world, is ambiguous.
In Canada, surrogacy is legal, but cannot be used for commercial purposes for profit. The law prohibits to pay for services of a surrogate mother. Only free surrogacy is legal in the country.
The surrogate mother has the right to reimbursement for maternity clothing, travel expenses, compensation for temporary disability after the birth. She is also paid for examination, IVF, pregnancy and childbirth.
Violation of the law in this area is punishable by a fine of up to $ 500,000 or imprisonment for up to 10 years.
The United States is one of the first countries in the world to use surrogacy. There is no single law that regulates this method of infertility treatment, each state has its own separate legislation.
In the States of Arizona, Michigan, and New Jersey, surrogacy is strictly prohibited. In the state of new York, this method of ART is allowed only on a free basis.
The most loyal in this regard are Florida and California. There are no almost any restrictions to use the services of surrogate mothers of any person, regardless of gender, sexual orientation and marital status.
Despite the high cost of such services, a large number of infertile couples from all over the world come to California and Florida every year.
The law on surrogacy in the Republic of South Africa was adopted in 2010. This method of ART is allowed only for free. At a certain time, surrogate mother has the right to terminate the contract and terminate the pregnancy, but only for medical reasons.
In this case, the woman must compensate the couple for all expenses. Same-sex couples and single women are also allowed to use services of a surrogate mothers.
Parental rights to the newborn belongs to a married couple, except in cases where the surrogate mother is also the egg donor. A woman is given a period of 60 days to think and keep the child for herself.
Since only free surrogacy is practiced in South Africa, a surrogate can only receive compensation for temporary disability. The couple also pays for the woman’s medical examination, IVF, and all procedures and medications.
The Australian government does not prohibit the use of surrogacy, but allows it only on a free basis. The law completely excludes the possibility of paying monetary remuneration to a surrogate mother.
In case of violation of the law, both the spouses and the surrogate will bear responsibility.
In 2014, there was an attempt to legalize commercial surrogacy, but the legal regulation in this area has remained unchanged to date. Australian women do not receive any legal guarantees from the state, so only a few become surrogate mothers.