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International group launches proposal to ban surrogacy worldwide

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A group of lawyers, doctors, psychologists, and others from five continents gathered in Casablanca, Morocco, on March 3 to call for the repeal of all laws allowing or tolerating surrogacy around the world.

The group released a signed document titled “International Declaration for the Universal Abolition of Surrogacy,” which aims to raise global awareness of what the group considers to be a practice that violates human dignity. Along with the statement, a proposal for an international convention was made available to all organizations and governments that wish to ratify it.

“We call on [countries] to condemn surrogacy in all modalities and kinds, whether remunerated or not, and the implementation of measures to fight such practice,” the signatories, who represent more than 70 countries, wrote in their declaration.

Surrogacy is when a woman — usually referred to as a “surrogate mother” — carries in her womb one or more children on behalf of intended parents to whom the child will be given after birth. The contract is sealed directly between the surrogate mother and the parents or through one or more third parties.

To date, no binding text has been adopted on the issue at the international level. Although the practice is currently authorized in a limited number of countries (some American states, Canada, the U.K., Ukraine, Russia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, and India), many countries maintain a legal vagueness on the issue, especially concerning the recognition of children born by surrogate motherhood abroad. It has the effect of considerably expanding the boundaries of the practice.

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