Transnational surrogacy involves several complex issues for all parties involved. To address those issues, the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Asia program is convening “Borderlines of Parenthood: Surrogacy Across Countries,” a virtual panel at the Global South Women’s Forum on October 31, 2023.
Through discussions and breakout sessions, the panel will explore a broad range of transnational surrogacy issues and serve as a platform for insightful discourse, capacity building, and the formulation of feminist-driven advocacy strategies to safeguard the rights and dignity of individuals involved.
Global South Women’s Forum: BORDER CTRL is a four-day conference focusing on the impact of borders on women’s human rights in the Global South.
Surrogacy Raises Complex Issues for Women, Parents, Children and Legal Authorities
Multiple actors involved in surrogacy—including women acting as surrogates, intending parents, children born out of surrogacy and legal authorities—can become embroiled in a web of complex claims and obligations related to legal identity, state responsibility and individuals’ roles within legal frameworks. Documents such as birth certificates, visas and passports are also part of this process.
Such complex issues may mimic the discriminatory practices surrounding documents and visas for workers, students and marriage migrants, as well as the absence of safe asylum/migration routes within our globalized society.
Further, transnational surrogacy can unexpectedly thrust individuals into uncharted territory, such as:
- Disputes over a child’s citizenship, akin to the experiences of those facing statelessness.
- The lack of legal recognition of children, intending parents and surrogates. This may result in barriers to health care and family life, mirroring the struggles of non-citizens.
- Exploitation and legal turmoil arising from disputes over parental rights and custody, as well as from border-crossing by children, intending parents and women acting as surrogates abroad.
About the Panel
“Borderlines of Parenthood: Surrogacy Across Countries”—a virtual program free and open to the public—will feature panel discussions with experts, advocates and individuals with personal experiences in transnational surrogacy, as well as breakout groups where participants will engage in roleplay exercises based on real-life scenarios related to transnational surrogacy.
- Jihan Jacob, the Center’s associate director of legal strategies for Asia
- Dr. Faustina Pereira, the Center’s senior regional director for Asia
- Chandy Eng, executive director, Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC)
- Dr. Sarojini Nadimpally, co-founder, SAMA
Kruthika Ravindrareddy, the Center’s communications coordinator for Asia, will moderate the discussion.
The session aims to:
- Unravel narratives of transnational surrogacy, seeking to shed light on the complexities of surrogacy—including access to documentation, legal recognition, cross-border movements and their profound interconnections.
- Help attendees understand the complexities and challenges faced by women acting as surrogates, intending parents and children born out of surrogacy arrangements.
- Delve deep into real-world scenarios and engage in an interactive exploration of the controversies and ethical challenges associated with transnational surrogacy.
- Foster understanding of how documentation, border control and human rights intersect in this domain, offering new perspectives and insights.
- Title: Borderlines of Parenthood: Surrogacy Across Countries
- Date: October 31, 2023
- Time: 4:00–5:30 p.m. BST; 3:00–4:30 a.m. PDT; 6:00–7:30 a.m. EDT; 10:00–11:30 a.m. GMT; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. CET; 1:00–2:30 p.m. EAT; 5:00–6:30 p.m. ICT; 6:00–7:30 p.m. MYT
Please note: To attend the Center’s “Borderlines of Parenthood” panel, participants must register for the conference. Conference registration closes October 24.