Surrogacy laws vary throughout the world and even across the various states in America. To get around local laws, intended parents often travel to an area with more family-friendly regulations. This normally works well, particularly when parents travel to California, which is known for its top-notch medical care and surro-friendly legislation. Unfortunately, international parents sometimes face additional challenges from their home countries, and this is what’s causing heartache for some families in Spain right now.
Spain Does Not Honor Surrogacy Contracts
Spanish laws vary quite a bit from others due to the Assisted Reproduction Act. While Spain fully allows its citizens to take advantage of assisted reproduction, the rules are set up in a way that outlaws any kind of commercial service. For example, women can donate and receive eggs, but no money can be exchanged and the donor must remain anonymous. That makes things quite challenging because donors are often compelled to help based on a personal story, meaning the lack of human element stops many women from donating to begin with. Adding to this, creating surrogacy-related contracts is illegal. There are generally no penalties for those who make them anyway, but without an enforceable contract, all parties remain unprotected. Some Spaniards have gone forward regardless and simply put faith in all parties to follow through with the agreement, though it’s worth noting that the woman who carries the baby is, for all intents and purposes, the baby’s mother in Spain.
Families Use Adoption to Get Around Laws
Historically, there have been two main ways intended parents have gotten around the laws. When heterosexual couples go through the process, the man is typically the biological father, meaning he does have rights to the child. In these cases, the gestational carrier gives up her rights as “mother” and the intended mother adopts the baby legally. The process is similar for a single father or two dads. The biological father has rights from the start and the other father must adopt. Things get a bit murkier when a single woman or two women go through the process. Based on 2007 legislation, two women can be the legal biological parents of a baby if the egg belongs to one woman, the other woman carries the baby, and the couple is married. Ergo, even if the egg from one mother is provided to a surrogate, she is still not the “mother.” Only the surrogate is. Because of this, women are left exclusively with adoption in order to establish their parenting rights, and this must be done with the gestational carrier’s consent after the baby is born.
Spain is Refusing to Allow Surro-Babies to Come Home with their Parents
Clearly, Spain’s laws leave a lot to be desired, which is why many intended parents leave the country. The problem is, the baby can only come home with the parents if Spain recognizes who the parent or parents are. Some parents bring home the baby with the surrogate’s permission and then adopt when they come home, but other times the surrogate is left off the paperwork entirely or one parent proves a genetic relationship and is then allowed to bring the baby home. The catch: new privacy laws in the European Union are preventing parents from proving they have a genetic relationship to the baby, effectively halting the paperwork process and leaving parents stranded. Right now, an estimated 30 Spanish families cannot bring their babies home from Ukraine because of these issues.
Come to California to Grow Your Family
If you’ve been considering growing your family, but local laws make working with a surrogate challenging or you have concerns about being able to bring your baby home, California’s family-friendly legislation will set your mind at ease. Although laws throughout America vary, California has been strengthening its legislation over the years to protect the rights of intended parents. In fact, parents can even establish their rights long before the baby is born, meaning there will never be any question as to who the parent or parents are. Call EDSI at (213) 423-7997 or message us online for more information or to take the first steps toward growing your family.