Protecting the Voiceless: Rights of the Child in Transnational Surrogacy Agreements

By Boyce, Anika Keys | Suffolk Transnational Law Review, Fall 2013 | Go to article overview

Protecting the Voiceless: Rights of the Child in Transnational Surrogacy Agreements


Boyce, Anika Keys, Suffolk Transnational Law Review


I. Introduction

Only seconds old, a newborn screams in an Indian hospital. Nurses hurriedly wrap her up in blankets and check all her vitals to ensure she is healthy. While she cries, the doctor checks on the woman who just gave birth to a healthy baby girl, a long nine months in the making. But the woman is not her mother--and the baby's genetic parents are hand-in-hand out in the hallway desperately waiting to see their daughter for the first time. After years of bitter disappointment, the baby's infertile western parents contracted to have her brought into this world via an Indian surrogate. Although the newborn girl has just been born, her status and security are already in peril. Whether she will be granted her fundamental right to citizenship so her parents may procure the necessary travel documents to take her home with them is in legal limbo.

This story is all too familiar for many people who want a child when they are incapable of producing their own. (1) For this couple, the coming months and years may involve a desperate legal battle in which the genetic parents fight courts and government agencies to secure their newborn's rights to citizenship, birth certificate and legal recognition of themselves as the baby's parents. (2) Although the baby they are fighting for is genetically theirs, he or she was brought into this world by extraordinary means and while India and others supply this advanced technology for infertile adults, many countries do not recognize surrogacy as a legitimate means of reproduction. (3) Therefore, while the parents fight their home country's policies and laws and their case slowly moves up the court's docket, the baby is stateless. (4) The resulting baby is the one party who had no decision making power in the surrogacy arrangement and remains voiceless throughout the legal proceedings that will dictate his or her fate. (5) This article focuses on the most vulnerable party in today's burgeoning transnational commercial surrogacy market: the child.

II. DEFINITIONS

1) Genetic Mother. A woman who contributes her egg in order to produce the child. (6)

2) Genetic Father. A man who contributes his sperm in order to produce the child. (7)

3) Intended Parents: Individuals who intend to become the legal parents of the child produced as a result of a surrogacy agreement. (8)

4) Surrogate/Surrogate Mother. A woman who agrees to carry another's fetus in her uterus to term and gives birth. (9)

5) Altruistic Surrogacy. An arrangement in which the surrogate mother is reimbursed for her reasonable medical expenses while pregnant and nothing more. (10)

5) Commercial Surrogacy. A commercial arrangement in which the surrogate is reimbursed for her reasonable medical expenses while pregnant and compensated for her surrogacy services. (11)

III. OVERVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL SURROGACY LAWS AND POLICES

The problem of stateless children may occur when intended parents travel to a foreign country, such as India, to enter into a surrogacy arrangement. (12) After the resulting child is born and the intended parents seek to return to their home country with their newborn, the home country may refuse to issue a passport for the child or recognize the intended parents as the child's legal parents. (13) At the same time, the child may be denied citizenship in the country where the surrogacy took place because that country may consider the intended parents to be the child's legal parents, and thus the child is not entitled to acquire the domestic citizenship of the foreign country. (14) Home countries that refuse to issue the necessary travel documents or recognize the intended parents as the legal parents of surrogate children typically do so because they maintain the traditional view of legal parentage in which the "legal mother" is the child's birth mother, and if the birth mother is married, the law presumes her husband to be the legal father. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Protecting the Voiceless: Rights of the Child in Transnational Surrogacy Agreements
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.