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Legal Changes in Surrogacy in 2022
As we entered 2022, we stood optimistic about new surrogacy laws in the United States and globally. Currently, there are a lot of misconceptions about surrogacy – what it is for, and what happens to surrogates, also known as Intended Parents. We were prepared to welcome new surrogacy change in European countries that have harder crackdowns, as it appeared activists were making headway.
Surrogacy certainly made headlines all year, as many celebrities welcomed children via surrogacy including Khloe Kardashian, Rebel Wilson, Jamie Chung, and more. Responses to these births were mixed, but the opinion of surrogacy is reforming as more information about the practice is spread.
As we close out 2022, it’s interesting to take a look back and see that overall, not much has legally changed. However, it’s about to.
Surrogacy, IVF, and ART in general came under potential scrutiny in June 2022 when Roe V. Wade was overturned. While abortion rights do not directly pertain to Alternate Reproduction Technology, this court case was the basis for many other monumental cases including the Right to Privacy, where most surrogacy laws are based.
After the overturning of this historic case, many states put heartbeat laws into effect, and others cracked down on IVF processes as a result. While this has made surrogacy more difficult in some places, reproductive lawyers and agencies had time to put together a plan of action so that surrogates could receive any care that they need.
Surrogacy and IVF remain legal on a state-by-state basis in America, and it is still one of the most progressive places to go on a surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy in India
In the past year, India has made some major changes to its surrogacy policy. The country formerly barred all surrogacy in any form, but this year instituted a surrogacy act to update their policies on the practice.
This law made surrogacy more accessible to families struggling with fertility, but only technically. There are some stipulations on surrogacy now in the country that are counterintuitive and have received a lot of criticism. For example, your surrogate no longer needs to be related to you, but they still must participate in Traditional Surrogacy, creating complicated family and hierarchical structures that the legal chambers are not prepared to regulate regarding the transfer of the child to its parents.
Further, this law only allows for altruistic surrogacy to take place. Any surrogate acting on behalf of a family must not be paid or compensated in any regard, creating a complicated dynamic for surrogates.
Finally, the new act in India has be criticised for being extremely herteronormative, with the verbage of laws excluding gay parents from the surrogacy process, even if it is legal.
Surrogacy in Ireland
Ireland has historically had very strict regulations on surrogacy, disallowing it completely. The system for legal child parentage in the country made it so that the mother was whoever gave birth, and the father was that woman’s spouse. This created a major issue for parents of children born via surrogacy.
In addition, there is no privatized adoption of babies in Ireland, meaning that if the parents chose to adopt their child they would have no legal say in their care, schooling, or other matters until the child was old enough to be legally transferred.
This year, Ireland pushed hard for reform on surrogacy and experienced a minor victory when their committee determined that international surrogacy would be considered legal, with few legal hurdles to formally adopting the child in Ireland after its birth.
While this isn’t all the reform that members of the country were hoping to see, it is more than before, and granted a lot of relief to parents through surrogacy who have been fighting for years for legal custody of their children.
Surrogacy in Europe
Despite the ramifications of the Ukrainian Invasion and the people fleeing from the country, European countries have not updated their surrogacy laws to accommodate any surrogates fleeing the country.
In March, this resulted in many surrogates remaining in the country despite the imminent danger to protect the parentage of the child.
There was a lot of legislation that was passed this year regarding surrogacy – indirectly or directly. Many countries are coming around to the message and the way that surrogacy helps families grow. However, many are not responding to support and assist the parents of children via surrogacy despite world events.
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