21 May International Surrogacy Conference Makes London Headlines
International surrogacy law is a hot topic in the London news today as we were honored to have Family Division Judge Dame Lucy Theis as our first speaker at the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ International Surrogacy Symposium, May 17-19, where I was invited to present the American Bar Association ART Committee’s position on the Hague’s study of whether to regulate international surrogacy and other general legal and ethical issues surrounding A.R.T.
As the Times article above and this one in The Guardian point out, the absence of international agreement governing the parentage and legal status of children born to surrogates abroad is detrimental to those children’s future security. An estimated 2,000 children each year are born to British parents via surrogacy, most of them to surrogates in other countries, The Guardian reports. But in 2014, only 241 applications for parental orders were made in the U.K.; the remainder are in danger of being left “stateless and parentless,” Dame Theis said.
That’s why conferences such as this one are so important. It has been a privilege to participate in this important, historic conversation with colleagues who share the goal of creating a legal environment that guarantees the rights and legal security of all children, regardless of how they come into this world.