Legislative surrogacy regulations
Surrogacy is regulated by legislation in the Netherlands. To date, no specific regulations were in place for parenthood after surrogacy. Following a proposal by Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection, the Council of Ministers has approved a bill that will change this.
Parents are now often required to follow long and uncertain procedures before they can formally become the child's parents. This generates uncertainty for the child, the surrogate mother and the intended parents. With this bill, the minister aims to regulate responsible surrogacy. When the new regulation is in place, a judge can decide even before conception that the intended parents are the child's legal guardians immediately from birth. A register will also be established to record information regarding the surrogacy process, so that the child can later see details such as the agreements made between surrogate mother and intended parents. It will also stipulate the amount of compensation that intended parents are allowed to pay for the surrogate mother - for expenses such as maternity clothes, for example - and the amount of compensation.
Minister Weerwind: "With this legislation, we will first and foremost ensure that children born from surrogacy will have a good start, from a legal perspective. This will enable surrogate mothers and intended parents to have a clear understanding of the situation. With a legal regulation for surrogacy, we give intended parents a clear framework, so they know what to be aware of and what is important. It is up to the intended parents to make responsible choices in the interest of their future child."
Intended parents following a surrogacy process abroad can also invoke this legislation. If similar conditions that are imposed on the process in the Netherlands are met, parenthood can be acknowledged immediately, just as for intended parents who went through the process in the Netherlands.
One condition that such a surrogacy process must meet, for example, is that a judicial review has been involved. In addition, the child must have a genetic link to at least one of the intended parents. Additionally, the intended parents must have received counselling and information.
The bill will be debated by the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament