How International Surrogacy Law is Changing

Germany Makes Historic Decision

Surrogacy laws vary across not only states but nations. Many intended parents from outside of the United States seek to partner with American surrogates due to restrictions on surrogacy within their home countries. While some countries outright prohibit surrogacy, others ride the fence.

In a country with a long history of outlawing surrogacy, the German Supreme Court recently made a major decision that is opening doors for many intended parents.

The Case 

In 2011, twins were delivered by a gestational carrier in Colorado to intended parents who were residents and citizens of Germany. A parentage judgment was granted to the intended parents, and they sought to have the parentage judgment recognized in Germany.  

The lower courts in Germany ruled that the Colorado parentage judgment could not be recognized because surrogacy was against public order in the country. They noted that the gestational carrier’s rights had been violated and that the intended parents’ position as guardians and not legal parents was sufficient. The courts further argued that parentage could not be granted because the intended parents intentionally circumvented German laws and tried to establish their parentage to the twins through a “back door.”  

That was not the end of the story, though. After a review, the German Supreme Court reversed those decisions and ruled in favor of the intended parents, acknowledging them as the legal parents for the twins. The high court noted that it was in the best interest of the children and for their protection. The court said children cannot be punished because their parents had them via surrogacy.

This was the first ruling of the German Supreme Court that recognized an American parentage judgment that established a German intended mother’s parental rights.

Looking Forward

This ruling changes a lot. It has paved the way for individuals and couples in Germany looking to grow or build their families through surrogacy. While one ruling doesn’t mean every state and nation is on the same page about surrogacy, change happens one decision at a time.

At Growing Generations, we work with International Reproductive Law Group (IRLG) to make sure our surrogates and intended parents are provided premier legal support.

If you’re ready to take the next step toward parenthood, learn more about our full-service surrogacy program.

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.