Surrogacy is back in the news with the recent story about a Japanese billionaire who had 13 children by surrogate mothers from Thailand. The juvenile court in Bangkok granted the 28-year-old businessman sole parental rights to the children. His mothers had given up all rights and DNA tests showed that he was the biological dad to all of them. The court ruled that the 13 children would receive happiness and opportunities from their biological father. This was after the mothers had signed away all rights and DNA tests proved that he was the biological father to all the children. This raises questions about human trafficking. Mr. Shigetato stated that he wanted a large family.
In 2013, Thailand’s surrogacy system was under fire after a surrogate mother gave rise to twins. One of the children had Down’s syndrome, and the Australian couple assumed parental rights over the other. These cases led to authorities banning foreigners from purchasing surrogates.
Parents who are unable to have children naturally can turn to surrogacy as a great option. Surrogacy can be used to create children that are genetically related to their parents. In some countries, such arrangements are tightly regulated. Surrogacy is not legal everywhere and agreements made in one country may not be recognized in the other. You must do this correctly, as the child’s life and future are at stake. While the public is well-informed about medical advancements, they are often unaware of the implications of surrogacy or fertility law.
Surrogacy agreements in Hong Kong are not enforceable. Commercial surrogacy is also illegal. Surrogacy is still very rare in Hong Kong. It is considered a gray area of family lawyers surrey bc, with possible criminal consequences and risks. While most parents would prefer to travel overseas to be able to enforce a surrogacy agreement, for couples that do not meet Hong Kong’s legal requirements, there could be criminal consequences for seeking out a surrogate abroad.
Surrogacy comes with a lot of risks. For example, if the surrogate mother decides not to transfer legal rights to her biological parents. Until a parental order states otherwise, the legal mother of the child is the woman who bears it. Surrogate mothers are those who carry the child under an arrangement that was made before the woman began carrying the child. This arrangement is made with the view of any child born under the arrangement being transferred to another person or persons, and parental rights being exercised. Reproductive technology can include IVF, AI, egg, and embryo donation. It doesn’t matter where the mother was at the time that the embryo, sperm, or eggs were placed in her. The same applies to surrogacy. If the mother is married, the husband is the legal father of the child, until a parental order has been made, unless it can prove that he didn’t consent. A male partner who attended treatment with the surrogate may be the legal father if the mother of the child is not married. The legal father is the male donor of the sperm if there is no male partner. Therefore, the legal father must ensure that he is not liable for maintaining a child he didn’t think was his.
The Hong Kong court has the power to make surrogacy arrangements in Hong Kong unenforceable. However, it is not prohibited and arrangements are regulated under the Parent and Child Ordinance. They are allowed when the wife of the commissioning party is unable to have a child to term and no other treatment options are available. The parents of the baby should request a parental order within six months after the birth. Hong Kong has strict rules. Surrogacy is not an option for heterosexual (and thus married) couples. Parents’ orders can only be made if both the parents are at least 18 years old and are either a resident of Hong Kong or have a significant connection to it. It is also a condition that neither or both the parents are over 18 and have used their gametes to create the embryo. The surrogate and her partner must agree unconditionally to making the order. It must be demonstrated that the child’s birthplace will be the applicant’s. The surrogate must also be at least 21 years old and have been evaluated by a registered physician. This is independent of the responsibility for the reproduction technology procedure.
Illegal commercial surrogacy requires that the court be satisfied that no money has been received or any other benefit (other than expenses reasonably incurred) about the arrangement. What are considered “expenses reasonably incurred”? This has been the subject matter of litigation in England, Wales, and Hong Kong. However, cases involving surrogacy rarely go before the Hong Kong courts (there was one case). The Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance provides criminal sanctions that include a fine of HK$25,000, 6 months imprisonment rising to HK$50,000, and 2 years imprisonment for a second offense. This is not confined to Hong Kong and can be applied to any act performed inside or outside Hong Kong.
Surrogacy may not be enforceable for criminal sanctions. However, this could lead to the children being considered to have no fixed country of residence. They are not covered by the Hague Convention, which protects child abduction victims if they do not have such a status. It is crucial for the safety and stability of the children that all parties involved, including the birth mother, husband and wife looking for a child, and the legal father, if any, fully understand surrogacy and seek legal advice before beginning this journey to start a family.