skip to content
Tuesday, 3 September 2019

On 15 July 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children published a report on the protection of the rights of children born through surrogacy arrangements. This report developed guidelines for the protection of the rights of children involved in surrogacy, and highlighted issues such as the importance of legal certainty with regards to establishing parentage, the need for a post-birth best interests assessment of the child, the child’s right to identity and access of origins, and imperative of collecting accurate and accessible data on the phenomenon of surrogacy.

In the preparation of her report, the Special Rapporteur attended the International Surrogacy Forum, organised by Cambridge Family Law in association with the American Bar Association, and the International Academy of Family Lawyers. During this event, two side-meetings were organised for/with the Special Rapporteur, to allow her to hear from individuals, stakeholders, government representatives, judges and practitioners from multiple jurisdictions and engage in debate on the core issues around the phenomenon of a global surrogacy market, which is expressly acknowledged on the report at paragraph 12.

In setting out her findings, the Special Rapporteur cited the recently published work of Cambridge Family Law members Jens Scherpe and Claire Fenton-Glynn, "Eastern and Western Perspectives on Surrogacy" (Scherpe, Fenton-Glynn and Kaan (eds), Intersentia 2019). In particular, the Special Rapporteur explicitly relied on the classification of forms of surrogacy regulation developed by Scherpe and Fenton-Glynn in order to analyse the responses received by States to her consultation, and thus develop her proposals (see paragraph 13 of the report).

You can read the full report on the UN website.