New forms of parenthood
Between 5% and 10% of couples in Europe are affected.
A few years ago, those wanting to have children mostly turned to adoption, often from abroad. However, the high demand led to a great deal of abuse and child trafficking. The severity of the situation meant that world governments decided to drastically strengthen international adoption requirements through the Hague Convention adopted in 1993.
With these tighter requirements for adoption and rapid progress in the field of in vitro fertilisation, new forms of parenthood emerged: assisted conception and gestational surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy remains illegal in Switzerland as well as across most of Europe but is permitted or tolerated in many other countries.
Using a surrogate mother gives rise to a number of issues, both ethical regarding the commercialisation of the female body and legal as regards children’s rights.
Aiming to put an end to this unclear legal and social situation, a group of 30 experts has been working since 2015 under the aegis of the ISS to draw up international standards for gestational surrogacy (more information).
Questions around issues such as an individual’s right to know their own origins and genetic heritage, legal filiation, family links and inheritance tax all require rapid and precise answers to avoid future inextricable problems arising.
Our organisation also advise and inform them of the current process and legislation in different countries. We can on occasion search for a biological mother on behalf of a child and work to re-establish links.
- Information on gestational surrogacy in different countries (processes, legalities),
- Searching for surrogate mothers and re-establishing links,
- Developing international standards (code of principles).