Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

surrogacy Related Abstracts

2 Surrogacy in India: Emerging Business or Disguised Human Trafficking

Authors: Priya Sepaha


Commercial Surrogacy refers to a contract in which a woman carries a pregnancy for intended parents. There are two types of surrogacy; first, Traditional Surrogacy, in which, sperm of the donor or father is artificially inseminated in the women and carries the fetus till birth. Second, Gestational Surrogacy, in which the egg and sperm of the intended parent are collected for artificial fertilization through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique and after the embryo formation, it is transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother with the help of Assisted Reproductive Technique. Surrogacy has become so widespread in India that it has now been nicknamed the "rent-a-womb" capital of the world due to relatively low cost and lack of stringent regulatory legalisation. The legal aspects surrounding surrogacy are complex, diverse and mostly unsettled. Although this appears to be beneficial for the parties concerned, there are certain sensitive issues which need to be addressed to ensure ample protection to all stakeholders. Commercial surrogacy is an emerging business and a new means of human trafficking particularly in India. Poor and illiterate women are often lured in such deals by their spouse or broker for earning easy money. Traffickers also use force, fraud, or coercion at times to intimidate the probable surrogate mothers. A major chunk of money received from covert surrogacy agreement is taken away by the brokers. The Law Commission of India has specifically reviewed the issue as India is emerging as a major global surrogacy destination. The Supreme Court of India held in the Manji's case in 2008, that commercial surrogacy can be permitted with certain restrictions but had directed the Legislature to pass an appropriate Law for governing Surrogacy in India. The draft Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) Bill, 2010 is still pending for approval. At present, the Surrogacy Contract between the parties and the ART Clinics Guidelines are perhaps the only guiding force. The Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA), 1956 and Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are perhaps the only existing laws, which deal with human trafficking. Yet, none of these provisions specifically deal with the serious issue of trafficking for the purpose of Commercial Surrogacy. India remains one of the few countries that still allow commercial surrogacy. International Surrogacy involves bilateral issues, where the laws of both the nations have to be at par in order to ensure that the concerns and interests of parties involved get amicably resolved. There is urgent need to pass a comprehensive law by incorporating the latest developments in this field in order to make it ethical on the one hand and to curb disguised human trafficking on the other.

Keywords: Business, Legal, Human trafficking, surrogacy

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1 Human Rights in Cross-Border Surrogacy: An Exploratory Study Applied to Surrogacy Facilitators

Authors: Yingyi Luo


Cross-border commercial surrogacy, where Australians travel overseas to access reproduction through a surrogate mother, is an increasing phenomenon. This paper focuses on the role of Australian surrogacy facilitators, including lawyers, non-for-profit agents, fertility counselors, who act as intermediaries managing cross-border surrogacy arrangements in Australia. It explores the extent to which surrogacy facilitators are concerned with the human rights of children born through cross-border surrogacy, surrogate mothers in developing countries, and intended parents. Commercial surrogacy is a matter that is often cast in the language of human rights. This paper will contribute to an in-depth understanding of the dynamics between intended parents, surrogates, and surrogacy facilitators by adopting a human rights framework to inform data analysis regarding the role of facilitators. The purpose of this research is to inform debate and discussion on law reform related to surrogacy. This paper presented here centers on interviews with surrogacy facilitators in Australia and non-participant observations in Australia to generate thick, empirical data about the fertility industry. The data showed that the process of facilitating surrogacy arrangements had prompted facilitators to form a view on human rights as they applied to their works. Although facilitators claimed that the right of intended parents, surrogate mothers, and children were all taken into consideration, the researcher observed that the commercial surrogacy contracts described by these facilitators favored the interests of intended parents with the baby acting as their unique selling point. The interests and needs of surrogate mothers were not prioritized in the views or actions of facilitators. The result was a commercial transaction that entailed the purchase, through cross-border surrogacy, of a child, as a commodity, by relatively affluent intended parents from disadvantaged surrogate mothers through unfair contracts.

Keywords: Human Rights, surrogacy, facilitators, cross-border surrogacy

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