Only a matter of months after the heart-rending media coverage of the Israeli government’s evacuation of surrogate babies from the earthquake rubble in Kathmandu, leaving the birth mothers behind to their fate, Nepal has suspended all new commercial surrogacy arrangements. Its an emotive and ethically tricky issue which leaves people hugely divided. Is surrogacy a matter of exercising the fundamental human right to bear a child, or the ultimate in female exploitation? The ban from India and now Nepal may be the start of a movement to bring legal structure and ethically sound accountability to this largely unregulated and rapidly growing area. There can be no doubt that the decision will also bring huge disappointment to many hopeful would-be parents.
Nepalese court suspends commercial surrogacy
01 September 2015
By Ana Ilic
Appeared in BioNews 817
An injunction has been issued in Nepal to stop women from carrying surrogate pregnancies on behalf of foreigners.
The Nepalese Supreme Court issued the order last week as it waits to rule on a petition to ban surrogacy that argues the practice 'exploits' the bodies of impoverished women.
Until now, commercial surrogacy was allowed in Nepal, as long as the surrogate is not Nepalese herself.
'There are no laws regarding surrogacy... it raises many constitutional and legal questions,' said Nahakul Subedi, spokesman for the Supreme Court. 'So the court issued a stay order on surrogacy services yesterday... until the case is settled,' Subedi told AFP.