"This is of some concern because agencies typically remain involved with the parties throughout the pregnancy and offer ongoing support," argues the article. A reduction in this could be disadvantageous for the parents, surrogates and the children affected.
The article's strongest warnings are in connection with overseas surrogacy arrangements. The global situation needs to be monitored in order to minimise the risk of exploitative developments, argue the authors.
"Such developments could include financial risk to the adults concerned, physical and emotional risk to both adults and children concerned and failure to afford due dignity and attention to the children and to the formation of family life. There are already some worrying indications that overseas arrangements may pose such risks."
The article cites episodes already exposed in the media such as a 'surrogacy ring' in Thailand in which 13 Vietnamese women had been trafficked for the purpose of acting as surrogates. And there have recent concerns that Indian women are also being exploited as surrogates.
The numbers of children born in India to UK commissioning parents could be considerably higher than the number of Parental Orders applied for, states the article. And the economic disparity between surrogates and commissioning couples also leads to fears of a market in babies.
Although calls were made ten years ago for closer monitoring and regulation of surrogacy arrangements paying special heed to the potential for financial and other forms of exploitation the study reveals that there are still insufficient data.
The authors conclude that the steep increase in the number of Parental Orders since 2008 means that there is a need for better systems of monitoring, recording and scrutiny, adding that: "The apparent increase in overseas arrangements that do not result in applications for Pare
|Contact: John Ramsdin|
University of Huddersfield