Can we regulate the international surrogacy market?

Publié le 20 Aug, 2014, in turn, has taken up the debate on surrogate mothers that has emerged following the “Gammy affair” and the resulting official investigation into the “baby factory” in Thailand. The women’s magazine has focused on the “spin-offs of the international surrogate mother market”, by asking 3 questions:


Do parents have the right to refuse a child?In the absence of any international legislation, everything is based on an agreement between the would-be parents and the surrogate mother”. This contract is supposed to answer the following questions: “When can the mother abort? Can she oppose it if the parents request it? Who keeps the child in this case?” We know that, in England, when surrogacy is involved, the  mother carrying the child has the last word “because her body is involved”.


Could this affair [Gammy) impact upon the surrogacy market? It is clear that “it focuses on everything that opponents to surrogacy denounce: exploitation of the poor by the rich, trading the human body (€11,000 is paid for surrogacy), unscrupulous agencies and even a risk of paedophilia since David Farnell was condemned twice for sexual abuse on children”. This does not stop agencies from increasing in Thailand, China or Mexico.


Can ethical surrogacy prevent these spin-offs? Yes, as far as sociologist Irène Théry is concerned, who recommends drafting an international agreement; no in Professor René Frydman’s opinion because, “we are under an illusion believing that this issue can be governed at international level – market logic takes hold, explains Professor René Frydman. Consequently, legalisation of surrogacy must be turned down”.

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