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The regulation of surrogacy: a children’s rights perspective

Date:29 JUN 2017
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Katherine Wade

The full version of this article will appear in Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol 29, No 2

Find out more or request a free 1-week trial of Child and Family Law Quarterly. Please quote: 100482.

This article examines the current regulation of surrogacy in England from a children’s rights perspective. It draws on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 and its Optional Protocols, as well as General Comments and Concluding Observations from the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in order to analyse the extent to which the current regulatory framework on surrogacy is in line with a children’s rights approach.

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A children’s rights approach draws attention to the need for a holistic framework that protects the various rights of children at all stages of their childhood. It stresses the importance of ensuring the framework is participatory, in that it incorporates the views and experiences of children. It also recognises the central role of parents in protecting children’s rights and the need for state support in this regard. 

The article makes suggestions for reform, focusing primarily on children’s right to know and be cared for by their parents, commercial surrogacy, the involvement of children in counselling and the protection of children’s rights in inter-country surrogacy arrangements.