Regulating surrogacy in Europe: Common problems, diverse national laws

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Abstract

© The Author(s) 2019. Despite the diverse legal approaches towards surrogacy in Europe, there are common socio-legal arguments attempting to legitimise it amongst the European Union member states. Regardless of the prevailing regulation in each country, surrogacy in general is confronted with common criticisms and faces similar obstacles. For instance, the operative definition of altruism is put under question in countries where altruistic surrogacy is permitted. Surrogacy is also considered an attack on a woman’s dignity and a risk to children’s welfare. Behind such claims, however, rests the common yet unsubstantiated belief in a natural maternal instinct. Furthermore, a clear misunderstanding about the bonding theory still persists. Common debates around surrogacy in Europe show us that, beyond the national margin of appreciation, surrogacy challenges basic definitions of motherhood, filiation and family. These challenges are deeply permeated by gender stereotypes which partially explain the national similarities among the legal diversities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-446
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Europe
  • Filiation
  • Gender
  • Motherhood
  • Reproductive agreement
  • Surrogacy

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