Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hague moves toward an international convention

When babies move between countries, at times the rules that apply appear to be inconsistent, if any. Each country seems to be making up their own rules, which are often inconsistent with other countries' rules.

For over 100 years a number of countries, including Australia, have met at The Hague in the Netherlands and agreed to conventions covering international rules, including the Hague Inter-country Adoption Convention and the Hague Child Abduction Convention, to name two. The organisation at The Hague  is called The Hague Conference on Private International Law.

For some time now, as I have blogged before, The Hague Conference has been looking at the possibility of a Hague Convention concerning private international arrangements for children, including international surrogacy arrangements.

It looks as though there will be the bare bones version of a convention early next year, after The Hague Conference agreed to convene a group of experts early next year to look at private international rules concerning children, including international surrogacy arrangements.The group should be geographically representative and should be appointed in consultation with member nations.

When I was asked by any number of media following the Baby Gammy saga about how to prevent it happening again, I said that there were three ways:

  1. Australia allowing compensated surrogacy under a national system, so that we were not exporting our problems around the world. Australians generally would rather undertake surrogacy at home not abroad, if it is available.
  2. Australia seeking to persuade other countries to put in place appropriate standards for IVF and surrogacy, to minimise the possibility of trafficking and exploitation.
  3. There being a sensible Hague Convention.
The C
Hopefully,  this step by The Hague Conference will bring about the last of these.

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