WODC Report: Surrogate motherhood and illegal placement of children

In 2011, UCERF researchers, who had been commissioned by the WODC, concluded research into surrogate motherhood and the illegal placement of children. This research was presented in the report Surrogate motherhood and the illegal placement of children. In this research, thirteen legal systems were analysed (California, Greece, India, Ukraine, Belgium, Germany, England, France, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden). The following findings were made:

  • Surrogate motherhood is not comprehensively addressed in Dutch law. The criminal law contains a number provisions concerning surrogate motherhood. The law addressing parenthood and adoption contains no specific conditions regarding surrogate motherhood.
  • There is no clear distinction in Dutch law between altruistic and commercial surrogacy.
  • There is a lack of clarity with regard to the recognition of parentage acquired abroad by means of surrogacy.

An important conclusion that the research shows is that neither Dutch substantive law, nor Private International Law, provides clear answers to the questions arising from this issue. This leads to a lack of clarity regarding the legal position of the child that is born as a result of surrogacy, and the legal position of adoptive parents and surrogate parents. The agreement that the parties make regarding the surrogacy process and the transfer of the child cannot be legally enforced and it cannot be predicted how the court will rule if the transfer is refused by the surrogate parents.

Please click here for an English summary of the report.