The Feminist Party of Spain has filed a complaint in court over an upcoming surrogate motherhood “fair” as constituting an illegal practice in the country by promoting human trafficking.
The Surrofair will take place in Madrid May 7-8. The fair will provide information and the different ways to contract with a surrogate mother.
Organized by Babygest, “the leading magazine on surrogate pregnancy,” the event will have various presentations and information on the legal aspects of this practice, especially in Russia, Greece and Ukraine, in which it is legal under certain conditions.
The Feminist Party has condemned the fair, which it considers to be promoting human trafficking.
“The state of necessity of women who turn to renting their womb, for a price, is not unlike sexual exploitation,” the party said in its complaint.
Marta Nogueroles, a professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid, agrees.
According to the daily El Mundo, she said that hiring a surrogate mother is not much different than prostitution because “it's trading in human beings, they're selling children.”
Nogueroles, who has ties to the Feminist Party, maintained that this practice “takes advantage of the precarious situation these women are in” to produce a child that later they will have to give up.
She also noted that in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, “in none of its 30 points is the right to have children found” and encouraged “if nature has not given you the means, you can adopt.”
There are currently some 17,000 children in Spanish orphanages because they do not have a family. More than 30,000 families have been approved as adoptive parents and are waiting to adopt a child. However, adoption proceedings have been halted due to the current political situation in Spain, where a government has still not been formed following the Dec. 20 elections.
Additionally, accredited international adoption agencies report that there is no authority that specifically deals with adoption proceedings.
This situation will likely continue until a government in constituted in Spain, which is unlikely to happen before September.
Surrogacy has increasingly raised eyebrows amid complaints that it preys on vulnerable women. Last year, India announced that it wanted to end its practice of allowing foreigners to contract surrogate pregnancies.
Criticism of the surrogacy industry includes charges of a lack of transparency, with many of the participating women being poor and illiterate, often not understanding the contract they are signing.
Other complications arising from surrogacy include forced abortions and increased health risks for the child as well as the surrogate mother.