Volume 100 -- Issue 6 Georgetown Law Journal

It Takes a Village To Make a Child: Creating Guidelines for International Surrogacy

Surrogacy—a prefertilization agreement to carry a child for another—is largely unregulated and unreported. The first surrogate baby was born in 1980, and the practice has become increasingly more common since then. Although there is no formal collection of statistics tracking the rate of surrogacy, the latest available reports show that in the United States alone, surrogacy births have doubled from 2004 to 2008, reaching almost 1,000 births annually. In India, it is estimated that there have been more than 3,000 such births over the last decade. Globally, it is estimated that by 2005, 10,000 children were the product of surrogacy. The practice has also gained traction due to publicized surrogacy births sought by celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Japanese actress Aki Mukai. Operating without oversight, international surrogacy—arranging for a surrogate birth across country lines—has pushed the boundaries of criminal, immigration, international, and family law, revealing the inadequacy of current legislation and the need for regulation.

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