Surrogacy Abroad

Surrogacy Abroad

In the realm of assisted reproduction, surrogacy stands as a viable option for individuals or couples facing infertility challenges. However, for those in Finland, the authorities strongly discourage turning to surrogacy arrangements abroad. This caution is rooted in the numerous risks and uncertainties that accompany such processes. This article delves into the intricacies of surrogacy abroad, emphasizing the legal complexities and potential pitfalls.

Understanding Surrogacy

Surrogacy involves an arrangement wherein a woman carries and gives birth to a baby with the intention of handing over the child to another person or couple, known as the intended parents (IPs). In Finland, surrogacy arrangements are not only prohibited but also extend to medical examinations and treatments aimed at such arrangements, even if conducted abroad.

Risks Arising from Foreign Surrogacy Arrangements

The decision to pursue surrogacy abroad is fraught with risks and uncertainties:

 Legal Ambiguity

Foreign surrogacy arrangements raise concerns about the legal status of the child and the intended parents in terms of family law. This ambiguity can lead to complications in determining parental rights and responsibilities.

Lack of Guarantees

Ensuring that the surrogate mother willingly gives up the baby to the intended parents or that they can bring the child to Finland is far from guaranteed. This unpredictability adds a layer of uncertainty to the entire process.

Psychosocial Effects

The psychosocial impact of surrogacy on the child remains an under-researched area. The lack of comprehensive studies makes it challenging to assess and address potential long-term effects on the child’s well-being.

Exploitation and Trafficking Risks

The background and motivations of surrogate mothers are often unclear. There is a risk of exploitation, with compensations exceeding actual costs and potential involvement in aspects akin to child trafficking.

Healthcare and Support

Surrogate mothers and the child may not receive adequate healthcare services in the country where surrogacy occurs. Neglecting physical health and psychosocial support needs further compounds the risks involved.

Legal Discrepancies

Differences between Finnish legislation and the laws of the country where the child is born can impact the child’s family law status. Navigating these legal disparities adds complexity to the already intricate process.

Legal Parenthood in Finland

In Finland, the Paternity Act determines paternity, but it lacks specific provisions on surrogacy. The new Maternity Act designates the birth mother as the legal mother of the child. Recognition of a foreign decision establishing maternity is contingent on specific conditions.

Recognition of Foreign Decisions

A foreign decision on maternity is not acknowledged in Finland unless:

  • The intended mother has resided in the issuing country for at least one year before the child’s birth.
  • The decision aligns with the laws of the country where the intended mother has continuously resided for at least one year before the child’s birth.

Failure to meet these criteria may lead to the legal transfer of maternity through adoption, as per Finnish law.

Finnish Authorities’ Stance

The Finnish authorities strongly discourage surrogacy arrangements abroad and refrain from providing legal advice on individual cases in advance. Each case is evaluated independently, emphasizing the complexities and potential legal challenges.

In conclusion, surrogacy abroad presents a complex landscape fraught with legal, psychosocial, and healthcare-related uncertainties. The Finnish authorities’ cautionary stance underscores the need for careful consideration and awareness of the associated risks. Individuals contemplating surrogacy should weigh these factors meticulously and seek legal counsel to navigate the intricate web of international surrogacy laws.

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