Surrogacy, also known as surrogate motherhood or surrogate motherhood, is a method of assisted reproduction, where the woman who gestates the baby will not ultimately be its mother. It is a particularly complex reproductive technique from an ethical and emotional point of view, as it breaks with the most traditional idea of the ideal way to form a family. The surrogate motherhood in Spain It is a practice prohibited by Law 14/2006. For this reason, to resort to surrogacy, you must go to a foreign country where this practice is allowed.
Surrogacy in Spain
In Spain, the law on assisted reproduction techniques (law 14/2006), tells us in its article 10, that the surrogacy contract is null and void. Therefore, the woman who gestates the baby is considered the mother of the baby for all purposes. All people or couples who want to use this practice to have children must travel to countries where current legislation allows this method of reproduction. Among the countries that are most frequently used we find: USA, Georgia, Canada, Russia and Ukraine. Each country has its own legal conditions for the surrogacy process.
What is legal in Spain is to have a baby with this method, in countries such as those mentioned above. Since the future parents abide by the legislation of the territory where the birth will take place. The registration of the baby as a child of people with Spanish nationality can be done in 2 ways:
- Countries where surrogacy is established by court ruling (USA, Canada). The baby is registered as a Spanish citizen at the consulates.
- Countries where surrogacy is established by administrative means (Georgia, Ukraine). Paternity is granted through the courts in Spain.
Surrogacy in Spain is beginning to be a source of debate among political parties. Currently there is no consensus, and there are many discrepancies, on whether it should be regulated or not and under what terms.
History of surrogacy
Already in ancient times, vestiges of surrogacy can be found, if with this expression we understand the fact that a woman gestates the baby of another family. In this case, in the absence of any other reproduction technique, the father's affiliation was through sexual intercourse with the surrogate mother. The father's wife became a mother at the time of the baby's birth. The historical background is abundant. We will briefly review some of the most relevant facts.
Surrogacy in the Old Testament
In the Bible itself references are made (Genesis 16:1-16) to the infertility of Abraham and his wife Sarai. Not conceiving, it is Saray who proposes to her husband to have sexual relations with the Egyptian slave Hagar. The result of the relationship is Ishmael. The fact that the Bible itself makes references to this relationship suggests that it was an accepted and viable practice.
Surrogacy in Mesopotamia
In 1948, cuneiform tablets were discovered at the Kültepe-Kanesh site in Turkey. The investigations indicate that it is a marriage contract. The contract stipulated that the husband had the option of resorting to a sacred prostitute, or a female slave in case the legitimate wife could not bear him offspring. The baby is considered a legitimate child and the surrogate mother received an important donation or her freedom. It is the first documented case of surrogacy known to date.
We can affirm that since the end of the 90s, advances in assisted reproduction techniques have transformed an ancient practice into a real reproductive treatment. It has not been an easy process. In addition, in most of the known cases, there has been no clear legislation. Therefore, they have not been able to regulate future births with this reproductive practice. Different cases have even ended up in courts, which have created jurisprudence, allowing progress in legislation.
Previous cases in the USA
It is the pioneer country in cases of surrogacy (mainly the state of California).
- In 1980, the first commercial surrogacy agreement was signed. This agreement allowed the surrogate mother Elizabeth Kane to receive $10.000 for giving birth to another couple's baby.
- In 1985, the first documented case of surrogacy takes place. It is the first time that an embryo created with the parents' gametes could be transferred to a woman's uterus through the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique.
- In 1986, the Baby M case takes place. An event that was decisive in the history of surrogacy. The case was decided in the courts of justice. The judge determined that the surrogate mother, who had also provided her eggs, could not keep the baby.
Celebrities who have resorted to this practice
To finish this article, we would like to refer to some of the celebrities who have used these reproductive techniques. Currently called Influencers because of how decisive they are today in our daily decisions and choices.
- Jaime Cantizano. The popular presenter, he became the father of a child, thanks to surrogacy. He had to travel to the United States to see his dream of being a father come true.
- Xavier Chamber. The actor was the father in 2017 of twins, who were born by surrogacy
- Kim Kardashian. After giving birth twice, her health problems prevented her from getting pregnant again. She also had to resort to gestational surrogacy to increase her family.
- Ricky Martin. The singer became the father of 2 twins in the year 2008. He has even stated on more than one occasion that he intends to increase the family.
- Tamara Beanie. The popular businesswoman and influencer, she went through a real ordeal to be a mother. She resorted to this method in order to have her daughter Shaila. In addition, a short time later she managed to increase the family with the birth of her second son, Antonio.
- Elton John. The well-known singer and her husband, David Furnisch, turned to the same woman twice to be parents. Neither the identity of the biological father nor that of the mother is known. Only that she resides in the state of California (USA).