24 Aug 2012 Gay Couple Legally Recognized as Fathers on Birth Certificate for Surrogate Born Son
For the first time in history, Argentina recognized a gay couple as legal parents of a child born from surrogacy. On June 29, 2012, baby Tobias was born in New Delhi to Alejandro Grinblat and Carlos Gustavo Dermgerd by way of a Canadian surrogate using a sperm donation from one of the fathers. 2012 earmarks the first official registration of a baby with two fathers in Argentina. The Marriage Equality Act clearly states that no legal distinction should be made between children of same-sex or different sex couples. This registration paves the way for gay couples to form families using international surrogacy.
Around the world, lawmakers continue to struggle with developing regulations for marriage and family formation for non-traditional couples. Ultimately, there are four options on the table for gay couples: co-parenting, fostering, adoption and surrogacy. However, the desire for a biological link to their child can figure prominently in a couple’s decision, often making surrogacy a first choice for gay couples.
Unfortunately, surrogacy is only legal in about 14 countries, and many couples find the costs associated with surrogacy prohibitive. This is where international surrogacy comes into play: a couple contracts with a surrogate in another country to carry the child, then bring the child home as their own. Surrogacy is less costly in some parts of the world, such as Ukraine and India, compared to the United States or Europe. Indian physician Dr. Samundi Sankari states, “’The costs that they pay here is almost one-fifth the costs they pay for surrogacy in U.S. and Europe.’ She gets a lot of inquiries from gay couples in the US and Israel.” (Life Site News)
As with any legal transaction, regulation varies from country to country. Couples looking for a surrogacy arrangement should consider specialized legal counsel to safeguard their interests. Intended parents who utilize an international surrogate are responsible for the fair treatment of the surrogate under contract. It is important to ensure your surrogacy contract clearly defines surrogate compensation, payment of medical bills, and other responsibilities and liabilities. It is also important to ensure compliance with local regulations to avoid a tangled web of proceedings when registering the child in the parents’ country of origination; an attorney expert in parental establishment law can help here, too.
International surrogacy is a growing trend around the world, with regulatory support evolving in tandem with the growing attainment of LGBT equal rights. Many countries have progressed from recognition of domestic partnerships to the next step of legalizing gay/lesbian marriage, and finally to legalizing adoption rights and parentage rights for same-sex couples who choose surrogacy.