MOTHERHOOD AS HUMAN TRAFFICKING
This is the source material for the episode of FEMINIST FRIDAYS about the potential dangers and the ethical aspect of surrugacy pregnancies and the industry thereof. Watch the episode here.
According to the World Health Organization, there is no comprehensive data on surrogacy worldwide due to the lack of a standardized legal and regulatory framework across different countries. However, some individual studies and reports have provided insights into the global surrogacy industry. Here are some statistics from various sources:
According to a 2021 report by the Center for Genetics and Society, there are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 surrogate births per year worldwide.
The same report found that the majority of surrogacy arrangements are commercial, meaning the surrogate mother is paid for her services, and take place in countries such as India, Ukraine, and the United States.
A 2019 study published in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online analyzed global trends in surrogacy from 2010 to 2014 and found that the majority of intended parents were heterosexual couples, with a smaller percentage being same-sex couples or single parents.
The same study found that the most common reason for intended parents to pursue surrogacy was infertility, but there were also cases where surrogacy was used for medical reasons, such as women who could not carry a pregnancy due to health issues.
A 2018 report by the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality noted that surrogacy is legal in some European countries, but there is no harmonization of laws across the EU. The report also expressed concern over the potential exploitation of women in surrogacy arrangements.
It's important to note that the lack of comprehensive data makes it difficult to fully understand the extent and impact of surrogacy on women and families worldwide.
Center for Genetics and Society. (2021). Surrogacy: Whose rights? https://www.geneticsandsociety.org/surrogacy
Jadva, V., Freeman, T., Tranfield, E., & Golombok, S. (2019). Trends and attitudes towards surrogacy in the United Kingdom and United States: Surveys of two representative samples of adults. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 38(5), 761-768. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.12.033
European Parliament. (2018). Legal and ethical aspects of surrogacy. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_STU(2018)604824