As the global market for international adoption becomes ever more regulated, international surrogacy arrangements (ISAs) are booming, particularly in developing countries where lower costs entice the demand of industrial nations (Smerdon, 2008). Surrogacy is not a new concept (for example, the practice dates back to Biblical and mythological times) and over the last few decades, new reproductive technologies have greatly evolved. However, the surge of ISAs in recent years, in the absence of any international oversight, has left surrogate mothers and children exposed to ethical and protection risks, which have included allegations of exploitation and sexual abuse (Engel, 2014).
With the growing technical possibilities for assisted reproduction, international and national legal frameworks have not been able to keep up with what has become a thriving commercial business.
In light of the diversity of legal, regulatory and factual complexities in both the national and international realm with commercial surrogacy, there is a pressing need for States to review and amend their surrogacy laws. The establishment of an international instrument, similar to the Hague Adoption Convention, would be an important step towards ensuring global standards.
With the potential for great harm to children and their vulnerability to exploitation within the context of commercial surrogacy, it is necessary to place the welfare of the child above the interest of the intended parents.
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