A media blitz has recently put surrogacy back in the headlines in France.
First, without wasting any time after the new French bioethics law was voted to extend access to “ART for all”, the pro-surrogacy militants have now started advocating it through various media networks. Their basic argument lies on equal rights for all, including “parenthood”, which they consider a right that technology now now renders available to everyone. For instance, on June 29th in an editorial in the French newspaper “Libération”, the journalist asserts that “the desire to have a child must be universally satisfied”.
Even so, during the bioethics debates, several prominent figures from all political parties voiced their disapproval, considering surrogacy inherently unethical.
On July 7th, “Arte” TV aired a documentary on so-called “non-commercial” surrogacy practice in Belgium. While it is banned in neighboring France and Germany, it is tolerated in Belgium, inciting some couples to cross the border to obtain surrogate babies. This headlong rush to the lowest ethical bidder has also been endorsed by some notable French key figures.
Meanwhile, the global pandemic has highlighted many dramatic consequences related to surrogacy.
Numerous appalling situations have occurred where surrogate newborns were left “stranded” in hastily rented apartments or entrusted to nannies, since the “intended parents” could not recover the babies, pending the reopening of international borders. In Russia, where surrogacy is available even to foreigners, approximately 150 clinics propose it, making surrogacy relatively easy thanks to the fact that it has been legal and available at a low cost in this country since 1993, until borders closed down, disrupting the whole system.
Following these recent tragic events, a bill to ban international surrogacy was tabled in the Duma by the Russian Parliament. The draft law makes explicit reference to the previously cited incidents and go as far as mentioning infant deaths.
If Russia votes the ban of international surrogacy, it would not be the first country to reverse its legislation. In recent years, this volte-face has already been taken by other countries such as India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia.