Countries where surrogacy is legal – A Global View

Surrogacy is legal inIndia. It’s a widespread truth now. In the year 2002, the Indian Government finally legalized commercial surrogacy in the country. The decision taken by the Indian Government was in the direction to promote the medical tourism in the country. The Confederation of theIndiapredicts to generate over 2.3 billion by the end of the year 2012.  However, there are several countries likeItaly,Germany,New Zealand,Australia,Switzerland,Norway,Poland,France,Taiwan,Singapore,China,Finland,AustriaandFinlandwhere surrogacy is prohibited.


Most governments in the western countries are in favor of complete prohibition of all types of surrogacy arrangements. More so, in certain jurisdictions criminal and civil penalties even apply for people who consider entering in these types of arrangements. All types of surrogacy arrangement are banned, despite for the fact whether they are for commercial or altruistic purposes. However, in some countries there is an alternative view to release the law which would accept the altruistic purpose of surrogacy while prohibiting the commercial surrogacy.

Complete Surrogacy Prohibition

In theUnited States, there are many states where all forms of surrogacy are prohibited according to the surrogacy law. These states includeNew Jersey,ArizonaandMichigan. There are other European countries that also prohibit any type of surrogacy arrangement likeItaly,Norway,Swedenand so on. In countries likeAustraliaall types of surrogacy arrangements are prohibited and criminal and civil penalties are also imposed on people, who try to enter into any sort of surrogacy agreement or contract and also on people those who facilitate them. InQueensland,Australia, all kinds of surrogacy contracts are also prohibited.

Partial Surrogacy Acceptance

While commercial surrogacy is wholly prohibited in most western countries, altruistic surrogacy is permitted. In some states ofAmerica, likeWashington,NebraskaandKentuckyonly commercial surrogacy is prohibited while altruistic surrogacy is allowed. In these states, all the surrogacy contracts are regarded unenforceable and if any kind of dispute arises then the contract terms can not be enforced. Similarly inWalesandEngland, commercial surrogacy is an offence but surrogacy is not illegal.

Commercial surrogacy is completely prohibited in the European countries likeNetherlands,Denmark,GreeceandFrance. The other states ofAustralialike (exceptQueensland) theCapitalTerritoryofAustralia,Victoria,South AustraliaandTasmaniacommercial surrogacy has been prohibited and surrogacy which is purely based on altruism without the money being paid to surrogate mother is only allowed.

Though there is a Surrogacy Arrangement Act in theUnited Kingdomwhich allows the surrogate mother to achieve some sort of reimbursement for the genuine medical as well as pregnancy related expenses. On the other hand, there are other states of theUSwithout any kind of specific legislation concerning the surrogacy arrangements. This is same with some parts ofAustralialike theNorthern Territory,Western AustraliaandNew South Wales.

The South African countries do not follow any kind of consistent surrogacy regulation nor does it have any sort of specific prohibitions against any kind of surrogacy contract or agreement. However several courts from different jurisdictions while the process of adoption state that they would not approve any kind of surrogacy arrangement and can only grant adoption orders to commissioning or intended parents.

All types of surrogacy arrangements taking place without any kind of legislative provision include countries likeIrelandandFinland. In countries likeNew Zealand, there is no such specific legislation that has to do with surrogacy. However, there is a bill pending in the New Zealand Parliament related to this subject as well. If ever the bill is passed then it can also take the country into sort of partial acceptance or facilitation.

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