Martha Bailey, LLB (Toronto), LLM, MSc (Queen’s), DPhil (Oxford) is a Professor of Law at Queen’s University. She teaches Law and Neuroscience, Private International Law, Family Law and Contracts. Her research focuses on cross-border Family Law issues, including international child abduction and cross-border marriages.
International Surrogacy: Can the State of Russia Bind the Whole World?
Some states prohibit all surrogacy arrangements. Others permit “altruistic” surrogacy, while prohibiting commercial arrangements where a woman is paid to carry and deliver a baby with the intention of relinquishing that baby to another person. Some states allow commercial surrogacy, but only for residents. And then there are states such as Russia, the Ukraine and California that are “wide open.” They not only allow commercial surrogacy but also open their borders to non-residents who do not have access to surrogacy in their home jurisdiction because of a legal ban or, in some cases, prohibitive costs. Parties who travel to a wide-open state to enter into a surrogacy arrangement will be declared in that state to be the legal parents of the child born of the arrangement. But will they be able to take the child home? Will the parentage determination of the wide-open state be recognized in the parties’ home state, even if the home state bans surrogacy? Can wide-open states bind the whole world?