June 01, 2016

Ending Border Battles: ABA Resolution on International Surrogacy

Debates over the legal and ethical implications of assisted reproductive technology (ART) continue as advancements in medical technology enable the global expansion of new family forms. Beyond the infertile, same-sex couples and single individuals are now able to create families with their own genetic material. But when surrogacy arrangements involve individuals from more than one nation, the legal status of the parents and of the resulting child may be uncertain. So-called “stateless” children born through international surrogacy arrangements (ISAs) have prompted an international discussion about whether a Hague Convention on International Surrogacy is needed. Of additional concern is the potential for exploitation of women in the international surrogacy process. Different countries have reached starkly different conclusions to some of these legal and ethical questions. Some, for example, view surrogacy as subject to exactly the same principles as adoption, while others view surrogacy as involving unique principles. The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) is engaged in research on these issues as well.

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