ISS launches the Verona Principles for the protection of the rights of the child born through surrogacy
Following a comprehensive consultation process as well as substantive contributions from over 100 different experts covering multiple disciplines and perspectives, regions, national and international contexts, the International Social Services (ISS) have recently published the Verona Principles for the protection of the rights of the child born through surrogacy.
Surrogacy is increasingly used as means for family formation, including in cross-border contexts. International standards lag behind these developments. The perspective of the rights of children born from surrogacy is often overshadowed by other interests, be it commercial or simply the claim to a right to a child, to the detriment of the child’s human rights and their best interests, a key principle enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Legislators and policy makers have to respond to the reality that in today’s world children are born through multiple assisted reproductive technologies, of which surrogacy at least for the time being, is the most challenging one. They need to respect the rights of these children and offer them a future free from discrimination. Regardless of their stance on surrogacy, be it prohibitive or permissive, States must urgently create safeguards to ensure the fundamental rights of children born through surrogacy arrangements. Leaving the matter unregulated clearly entails serious risks for all parties involved and, in particular, children themselves.
These Principles are designed to inspire and provide guidance on legislative, policy and practical reforms on the upholding children's rights born through surrogacy. The Principles are created in the expectation of complementary and evolving efforts in the wider human rights framework. Although global consensus on surrogacy has not yet been reached, the rights of children born through surrogacy need to be addressed urgently.
The Verona Principles have been given support from The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and recognise them as an important contribution to developing normative guidance for the protection of the rights of children born through surrogacy.
To read the Verona Principles, please click here.
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