SURROGACY IN THE WORLD

Surrogacy is a more or less recent development however the idea of bearing a child for another infertile couple goes back to the ancient times and is reflected in almost all Holy Scriptures of the world. In this respect we can cite an example of Hagar who, according to the famous biblical (as well as qu'ranic) tale, substituted Sarah in bearing a child (Ismail) for Abraham (Ibrahim in Muslim tradition). The same dream of humanity is evident in Indian stories about descent of gods to earth: the great epic heroes Rama and Krishna entered their respective mothers' wombs from "outside" in forms of embryos.

In the modern world the main issue for the surrogacy programs is their ethical aspect as well as legality. The legal proceedings related to IVF were initiated by American attorney Noel Keane in cooperation with physician Warren J. Ringold (Michigan). The latter was in charge of a clinic in which such artificial inseminations started taking place since early 1980s. The two founding fathers of surrogacy in the US were criticized by the Church as well as by some politicians, but at the same time their success inspired many of their followers to handle IVF issues in their own locations.

From the point of view of legislation in force in most countries, the birth giving woman is a child's legal mother by default. Thus, in most cases, it is a matter of mutual consent of the Parties that becomes the basis of the child's transfer to intended parents. There are cases (though rare ones) when a surrogate mother prefers to retain a new-born child as her own. For instance, in 1986 America was widely discussing the issue of Melissa Stern (the so called Baby M) whose surrogate mother refused to grant her custody to intended parents and the Court declared all contracts related to surrogacy null and void.

In the United Kingdom since 1990 when the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act was promulgated surrogacy proceedings could be arranged by means of court decision only and were similar to adoption acts. However in 2009 commercial IVF became legal thanks to the activities of Derek Forrest, a family solicitor in a Preston Law Firm.

In fact, legality of surrogacy varies from one country to another. In some countries it is prohibited completely (France and Germany), in others only medical IVF is allowed while all commercial surrogacy programs are forbidden (Canada, Israel, and Australia). Some Governments restrict the use of reproductive technologies related to surrogacy, for example those of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Russia, Ukraine, USA and some other countries are offering 100% legal solutions related to surrogacy in both commercial and medical spheres. India is another state experiencing surrogacy boom, attracting more and more childless couples from all over the world due to its legal-friendly proceedings and technologies.

One of the most IVF-friendly countries of Europe (including surrogacy) is Russia. Thanks to the efforts of the Rosjurconsulting Company, the first legal company in Europe specializing in reproductive law exclusively, in Russia gestational surrogacy programs can be realized not only for married couples but for those, not married officially as well as for single parents (both men and women).


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