The regulation of surrogacy varies around the world. Most countries that have laws, prohibit all forms of surrogacy, while several permit altruistic arrangements. A small number permit commercial surrogacy arrangements, and accept commissioning couples, or singles from nations where prohibitions exist. As a result, issues abound. For example, despite growing recognition that children have a right to information about their birth mother, gamete donor(s), and genetic siblings, transnational arrangements may provide little to no opportunity to build relationships when separated by language, culture, and/or location. Issues regarding the sale and commodification of children persist; cases of child abandonment are known. Trafficking of women across borders, bonded labour, health risks associated with surrogacy and egg donation, and ill-treatment of surrogates and intending mothers reported.
In 2020, COVID-19 also saw up to 1000 babies left in hospitals (or orphanages) in Russia, with intending parents unable to travel. In the Ukraine, babies were cared for in hotel rooms by nurses or nannies, or placed into public care (see BioNews 1048). Some surrogates struggled as they bonded with the baby or worried... see more