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Surrogacy in Latin America

Book | 1st edition 2023 | World | Nicolás Espejo-Yaksic, Claire Fenton-Glynn, Jens M. Scherpe

Over the past 20 years, a convergence of scientific, demographic, legal and social developments has led to a significant increase in cases of international surrogacy. Parenthood has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, and the law has been left behind in the wake of advances in artificial reproductive techniques, and rapid social changes. Lawyers, politicians, ethicists and health care professionals have struggled to develop suitable legal frameworks to ensure the protection of surrogates from exploitation, while also combating the vulnerability of intended parents to agencies and intermediaries, and ensuring that the rights of children born as a result of surrogacy are adequately protected. 

The transnational nature of surrogacy – with intended parents often crossing national boundaries to achieve their desire of become parents – has meant that individual states have difficulty taking decisive action to regulate this practice. Moreover, surrogacy remains a highly politicised ethical issue, with different responses to the question of whether surrogacy should be permitted, and if so, on what grounds.

This book is the first comprehensive engagement with surrogacy and surrounding issues in Latin America in the English language. It examines the approaches taken in Latin American jurisdictions, bringing together experts from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. It provides an overview of the national developments and current legal reform processes in their historical and societal contexts and puts these developments into a global perspective.

The aim of this book is to shed light on the difficult ethical dilemmas arising from the practice of surrogacy, by mapping the different ways in which states in Latin America have responded to surrogacy, both within their own borders, and when an international agreement takes place involving one of their citizens. Each chapter includes a discussion of the laws concerning the establishment and contestation of legal parentage through surrogacy under domestic law; the rules and laws concerning surrogacy arrangements on a domestic level; and approaches to recognition of legal parenthood acquired through surrogacy in other jurisdictions. In addition, the chapters consider the socio-economic context of surrogacy in the chosen jurisdictions, through questions concerning the profile of surrogate mothers and commissioning parents, the involvement of intermediaries, and the nature of the interactions between these parties.

The book provides a comprehensive understanding of the confluences and tensions in the way surrogacy is approached in these jurisdictions, and seeks to identify trends emerging from these different regions. In doing so, Surrogacy in Latin America seeks to contribute to the greater understanding of the regulation of surrogacy throughout the world, and will serve as a reference work for anyone involved in practice, academia or law reform in this subject area. 

Nicolás Espejo-Yaksic is Researcher at the Centre for Constitutional Studies of the Supreme Court Justice, Mexico, Visiting Fellow at Exeter College, University of Oxford, Guest Lecturer in Law at the University of Leiden and Corresponding Member of the Cambridge Family Law Centre at the University of Cambridge. He is also Chair of the International Network on Constitutional Family Law (INCFL) and has served as advisor for the United Nations. He has researched and published in the fields of children’s rights in theory and practice, international human rights, family law, disability and comparative constitutional law.

Claire Fenton-Glynn is Professor of Child and Family Law at the University of Cambridge and Director of Cambridge Family Law. Claire’s research lies in the field of children’s rights, comparative law and international human rights law. She has published on a wide range of issues including parenthood (especially international surrogacy), child trafficking and gender identity. Claire is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family. She is also an Associate Member of Harcourt Chambers and an Academic Fellow of Inner Temple.

Jens M. Scherpe is Professor of Comparative Law at Aalborg University and Director of the Nordic Centre for Comparative and International Family Law (NorFam). Until August 2022, he was Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Cambridge and the Director of Cambridge Family Law. He now is an Emeritus Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, as well as Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and Academic Door Tenant at Queen Elizabeth Building, London He is also the Editor of the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family (IJLPF). He has undertaken several major comparative family law studies and has published a four-volume book set on ‘European Family Law’.

With a foreword by the Supreme Court of Justice, Mexico and contributions by Joyceane Bezerra de Menezes (Universidad de Fortaleza, Brazil), Nicolás Espejo-Yaksic (Supreme Court of Justice, Mexico), Claire Fenton-Glynn (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Alberto Jiménez Mata (Poder Judicial de Costa Rica), Fabiola Lathrop Gómez (University of Chile), Sonia Merlyn (barrister, Ecuador), Jennie Aimée Molina Morán (Poder Judicial de Guatemala), Bernabel Moricete (Court of Appeal for Children and Adolescents, Dominican Republic), Gustavo Ribeiro (Universidad Federal de Lavras, Brazil), Mariana Rodríguez Iturburu (Ethics Committee of Red Latinoamericana de Reproducción Asistida), Kenya Romero (Instruction Courts of the National District, Dominican Republic), Natalia Rueda (Universidad Externado de Colombia), Delia M. Sánchez (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), Jens M. Scherpe (Aalborg University, Denmark), Paula Siverino Bavio (International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO), Fernando Sosa Pastrana (Supreme Court of Justice, Mexico) and Esther Vicente (Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico).

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781839703256 / 9781839703829
Weight 400 g
Status Available
Number of pages xx + 254 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date May 15, 2023
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents and Preliminary Pages
    Nicolás Espejo-Yaksic, Claire Fenton-Glynn, Jens M. Scherpe
  • Introduction
  • Questionnaire
  • Surrogacy in Argentina
  • Surrogacy in Brazil
  • Surrogacy in Chile
  • Surrogacy in Colombia
  • Surrogacy in Costa Rica
  • Surrogacy in The Dominican Republic
  • Surrogacy in Ecuador
  • Surrogacy in Guatemala
  • Surrogacy in Mexico
  • Surrogacy in Peru
  • Surrogacy in Puerto Rico
  • Surrogacy in Uruguay
  • Index