ADVOCACY ALERT: Council of Europe Rejects Surrogacy

The Parliamentary Assembly votes down a report which would have signaled official support for “altruistic” surrogacy.

11 October 2016

STRASBOURG—The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has rejected a report that aimed to support and promote the regulation of “altruistic” surrogacy among European countries.

Dans l'hémicycle

Dans l’hémicycle

This report claimed that a legal framework for altruistic surrogacy was necessary to ensure that the best interests of the child are always protected. Its approval would have presumed the regulation of surrogacy in Europe, creating an opportunity for the development of surrogacy on the European continent. The report failed to gain the majority needed to pass due to members’ opposition to surrogacy in any form, ensuring that the Council of Europe will not legitimize an unethical practice through promoting its regulation.

World Youth Alliance has been working hard to prevent approval of this practice in Europe, meeting members of the Council and working with other experts in this field to make European leaders aware of the dignity and rights of women and children. We thank our allies in this fight, especially the members of the Council who courageously defended human dignity by rejecting the report.

Surrogacy is a violation of human dignity and human rights, as it exploits women and traffics in persons. In surrogacy agreements children are treated as commodities to be acquired rather than persons with rights. Treating a child like an object is fundamentally at odds with that child’s best interests. While couples that want to have children but are unable to have them themselves deserve support, that support cannot include unethical means such as surrogacy.

WYA believes that all kinds of surrogacy should be banned, and the law should focus on the prevention of any type of human trafficking, including surrogacy, as well as research into ethical treatments for infertility. Government should not cede protection of human rights over to private bodies, but promote human dignity through policies, and allow the judiciary to decide which is the best interest of the child in each specific situation where it is not clear.

WYA welcomes the rejection of surrogacy, which is a great victory in the defense of human dignity. We congratulate all the members of the Council of Europe for its defense of women’s integrity and children’s rights. Human dignity, and not political or economic interests, should always be the center of the political discussions.

Learn more about surrogacy by reading WYA’s White Paper (A4 | US Letter) and Fact Sheet (A4 | US Letter).