The French Court of Cassation announced on Friday its decision to request an advisory opinion from the European Court of Human Rights in a case that could have important consequences for couples who are unable to conceive naturally. At issue is a dispute involving a French family whose twin girls were born with the assistance of a gestational surrogate in the United States. Because surrogacy is illegal in France and the woman asserting parental rights over the children is not their biological mother, French authorities have refused to accept the American birth certificates bearing the woman’s name.
Europe is way behind America in allowing people to grow their families through assisted reproductive technology
Here in the United States, we have a patchwork of laws, or a lack of laws, that vary from state to state. While California and Nevada, for example, have helpful and inclusive surrogacy-specific legislation, Michigan and Arizona have anti-surrogacy legislation. Many states fall in the middle with no law, or partially helpful or unhelpful laws. The Empire State, surprising us all, is among the states unhelpful for hopeful parents. Legislation was recently proposed to bring New York into the 21st century, but for now, it’s still pending. Thankfully, at least the District of Columbia, Washington state, and New Jersey all passed pro-surrogacy laws in the last 18 months. Hopefully New York will follow suit.
The Spanish consulate in Ukraine this week began registering some 30 babies born by surrogate mothers, who had been blocked from leaving the country due to concerns over human trafficking and medical malpractice in the industry.
Every year, aspiring parents from across Europe make similar journeys — dodging surrogacy bans at home by travelling abroad and spending large sums of money in their bid to have a baby.
A German man was forced to pay child support for a son he never agreed to have after his ex-wife used his sperm samples for IVF treatment. European laws on who are parents have been slow to adapt to changing societies.
1. Who is the parent? A child can only have two parents in European countries. Those whose names appear on the birth certificate have parental responsibility. The birth mother is always the legal mother and the other legal parent is her spouse or civil partner or possibly the biological father. If the parents are married, both are registered as parents.
The world’s largest sperm bank has recently warned the European Union (EU) that access to donor sperms must be improved to reinvigorate the continent’s birth rates, media reported on Monday.
According to figures provided by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, fertility rates has steadily declined from the mid-1960s, through to the turn of the century in the EU member states.
“In 2015, the total fertility rate in the current 28-member bloc was 1.58 live births per woman. “The level is below a fertility rate of around 2.1 live births per woman, which is considered to be the average number required to keep the population size constant in the absence of migration,’’ Eurostat added.
Egg donation is an inspiring act where a female donor generously helps another woman to fulfill her dream to become a mother.
Barcelona , — Unfortunately, there are many couples who are unable to conceive and have children on their own. Studies show that about a third of infertility cases are due to female infertility, another third to male sterility, and the rest are due to issues affecting both partners, from which many cases simply remain an unresolved mystery. Everyday Health reports that infertility affects about 10 percent of women, with possible issues resulting from ovulatory disfunction, poorly functioning fallopian tubes and uterus abnormalities.
The high cost of assisted reproductive treatment in North America is forcing many US citizens to look to other countries for high-quality medical care at a lower cost.
In 2016, nearly 1.4 million Americans travelled outside the U.S. in search of medical treatment, compared to 750,000 in 2008. Currently, medical tourism, or cross border reproductive care as the media have labelled it, is rising by 25% per year.
The primary reasons for these trips, according to a study conducted by the Task Force on Ethics and Law from the ESHRE, and published in the scientific journal Human Reproduction (Shenfield et al. 2010), is the difficulty in accessing certain treatments due to legal restrictions, long waiting lists, and thirdly, the search for high-quality reproductive treatment.
The main countries hosting these medical tourists in Europe are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, Slovenia and Spain. The fact that the latter has the most permissive legislation in terms of assisted reproduction, together with the European regulations on mobilisation of biological samples, and high medical and technical quality make Spain the top destination. It is also the country with the most egg donations.
An international conference is currently trying to regulate surrogacy, a global business estimated to be worth roughly $5 billion a year, and the EU should weigh in on the ongoing negotiations and make all efforts to condemn and limit the practice whose principal victims are children, writes Sophia Kuby.
Sophia Kuby is the director of EU advocacy at ADF International.
Surrogacy agencies, clinics, lawyers, and medical doctors cash in on the business of selling sperm and egg cells, creating embryos in vitro, implanting them into a woman’s hired womb and providing the “commissioning parents” with a baby.
The Hague Conference on Private International Law, an intergovernmental institution comprising 82 members, including all EU member states and the EU itself, has stepped into the ethical and legal quagmire created by this business.