(Blogmensgo, gay blog of March 19, 2016) On March 15, 2016, the Council of Europe rejected a request for “altruistic” surrogacy (i.e. surrogacy without financial compensation for the surrogate mother) by 16 to 14 votes.
The report introduced by Belgian senator and gynecologist Petra de Sutter (@pdsutter) recommended legalizing “altruistic” surrogate motherhoods – for example in the case of a woman offering to bear her sister’s child. Unfortunately, the commission for Health and Social Affairs of the Council of Europe sided with feminists, homophobes and conservatives who oppose all forms of surrogacy parenting no matter whether they are paid or unpaid, whether domestic or abroad.
This form of surrogacy is allowed only in a few of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, such as in the Netherlands, in Belgium and in the UK. However, this only concerns very few cases.
In Belgium, an ethics committee rejects about 80% of all applications, and there have only been 60 “altruistic” surrogacy motherhoods in twenty years. In the UK, the number of such cases went from 46 in 2000 to 192 in 2013.
Petra de Sutter’s report asked for control mechanisms to avoid any form of commercial surrogacy – even abroad. She named India, the Ukraine, the USA and Canada as destinations of what she calls “procreative tourism.”
In Europe, Greece allows paid surrogacy, even for people living abroad.
In countries that do not completely exclude surrogacy, there usually are bureaucratic obstacles to recognizing parenthood or the child’s nationality.