The latest legal battle for a German couple that chose an Indian surrogate to carry their twin boys reads like old news. Because surrogacy is illegal in Germany, the Indian authorities have for two years refused to release the children to their biological parents. It appears that the Germans will finally be allowed to bring the boys home by adopting them as foreign, rather than biologically-related, children. The compromise is less than ideal, but it may put an end to an agonizing wait.

The German couple aren’t the only ones caught in the briar of Indian surrogacy. Recently, the US consulate prevented a US citizen of Indian descent from leaving India with her surrogate-sired child. The US consulate refused to issue a passport to the child because the mother was biologically unrelated; despite that, Indian surrogacy law prohibits any claim of maternity by surrogates or egg donors.

A program like The Surrogacy Advantage, a new initiative ARR formed with our partners at the Center for Egg Options, would have saved these intended parents the pain and confusion.

The program helps intended parents meet guidelines for surrogacy births in Illinois, where they can be recognized as a child’s legal parents from the moment the child is born without an adoption or court proceeding, so long as at least one of the parents is the genetic parent of that child.

Our agencies will jointly recommend surrogates to clients who are willing to give birth in Illinois, secure an obstetrician for the surrogate, facilitate hospital coverage, and offer an exclusive surrogacy health insurance. Not only that, we’ll arrange for surrogates and intended parents to work with a surrogacy-law specialist so all legal matters are settled before the pregnancy begins.

Though the stories of the German couple and the US citizen look to be ending happily, all of us who are involved in gestational surrogacy need to consider their tales as another reminder of the difficulties we face and the work we have left to do in order to make this route safer, easier and legally sound for all who choose it.

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