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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Surrogate mother sells baby

The Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe deferred the vote on the report of Michael Hancock (UK, ALDE), relating to the recognition and supervision of surrogacy as an alternative to sterility, for December 16th 2005. Members of the committee were unable to agree on giving a legislative status to this controversial matter and many expressed their dissatisfaction with the current version of the proposed report. This new delay would allow the addition of new amendments to facilitate a consensus among the members. However, the postponement of the vote indicates the unlikelihood that it will be adopted. The report of Mr Hancock aims to regulate the growing 'medical tourism' in countries where the commercialization of pregnancies through surrogate motherhood is legalized. Many evidences show that the sale of pregnancies is becoming more frequent and raises important legal problems in those states. For example, it was recently reported that a baby girl is now at the center of legal battle because her surrogate mother breached a contract established with a Belgian couple, when she decided to sell the baby to a Dutch couple who made a better offer. It is undeniable that there is a risk of a commercialization of motherhood at the European scale if the report is adopted. The legislation of this practice within the EU would not help to reduce the trade of unborn babies but, on the contrary, it would marginalize motherhood even more and would reduce the unborn child to a mere commodity.
From Euro-Fam.