India is close to outlawing 'commercial surrogacy'. This move has caused a heated debate between opponents and proponents of international surrogacy.
If the Indian Parliament succeeds in outlawing commercial surrogacy in that country, given India’s reputation as 'the surrogacy capital of the world' – "the go-to destination for thousands of international couples seeking surrogate wombs for their embryos at very cheap rates” - countries where international surrogacy arrangements can be legally sought will be significantly diminished. It could effectively mean an end to legally-sanctioned international commercial surrogacy arrangements.
While commercial surrogacy raises serious moral issues, inherent are considerations of human rights protections. There is an evident legal vacuum in international human rights protections when it comes to the consequences for children born out of such arrangements. Given this lacuna of protection, the question raised is whether India’s moves to ban commercial surrogacy should be welcomed?
To reflect on this question, in this presentation, Rishi Gulati (Dickson Poon Scholar at King’s College London and Australian Barrister) and Matthew Nelson (Australian Lawyer and Sir John Salmond Scholar) discuss the case of Baby Gammy, a child born out of a commercial surrogacy arrangement between Australian commissioning parents and a Thai surrogate. The presentation will highlight the complex web of legal relationships and the manifest absence of human rights protections for children born out of international surrogacy arrangements in several recorded instances, particularly in Australia.
Rishi Gulati and Matthew Nelson are international lawyers, and have represented Baby Gammy at the United Nations Human Rights Committee (the "UNHRC").
Please download a paper here containing background information to the Gammy case at the UNHRC prior to attending the lecture.