The Intersection of Surrogacy Law and Human Rights: A Global Discussion



Surrogacy, a process involving a woman who agrees to bear a child for others, often intertwines with human rights principles, resulting in complex legal and ethical dynamics. This intersection of surrogacy law and human rights sparks global discussion, providing unique challenges and opportunities in framing surrogacy laws and regulations.

Human Rights and Surrogacy

When examining surrogacy through a human rights lens, several key principles come into play. These include the right to health, the right to family life, the rights of the child, and the potential exploitation of women, particularly in lower-income settings.

Right to Health

The right to health is a fundamental human right that should be upheld throughout the surrogacy process. The health and wellbeing of the surrogate and the intended child should be prioritized, necessitating access to quality healthcare and necessary support services.

Right to Family Life

The right to found a family, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, plays a significant role in the surrogacy discourse. Surrogacy can facilitate the right to family life for those unable to conceive naturally, including infertile couples, single individuals, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child underlines the child's right to know and be cared for by their parents, potentially complicating surrogacy arrangements. Legally, the issue of parentage in surrogacy can be complex, especially in international arrangements where laws may differ between countries.

Potential Exploitation

Concerns about the potential exploitation of surrogates, particularly in countries with less stringent regulations, is a pressing human rights issue. The commercialization of surrogacy can potentially lead to surrogates being coerced into arrangements or being inadequately compensated.

Surrogacy Law: A Global Perspective

The varied approach to surrogacy law globally reflects the complexity of balancing these human rights considerations.

United States

In the US, surrogacy laws differ by state, with some permitting both altruistic and commercial surrogacy. Guidelines focus on protecting the rights and health of all parties involved.


Most European countries allow only altruistic surrogacy, with commercial surrogacy largely prohibited due to concerns about potential exploitation.


Asian countries have varied stances, with countries like India and Thailand banning commercial surrogacy to prevent potential exploitation of women, while others like Georgia allow it under regulated conditions.


The intersection of surrogacy law and human rights is a global discussion requiring ongoing dialogue and consideration. Balancing these aspects in surrogacy laws and regulations ensures a safe and fair practice, respectful of the dignity and rights of all parties involved.

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