Surrogacy – Interdisciplinary Analysis and International Perspective

Surrogacy – Interdisciplinary Analysis and International Perspective

Surrogacy is an internationally controversial method of medically-assisted re­production. Legislation in Germany pro­scribes medical assistance in impreg­nating a surrogate and forbids acting as an agent between intended par­ents and surrogates. As a result, the practice of surrogacy is de facto prohibited in this country. In contrast, several for­eign legal systems permit surrogate motherhood, a state of affairs that has led a growing number of people to en­gage a surrogate abroad. This practice of circumventing the German legal system has been accepted since 2014 when the German Federal Court of Justice held that recognition of the intended parents’ legal parenthood after transnational surrogacy was compatible with ordre public. The consequence of this holding is a complicated and inconsistent legal situation and, correspondingly, debates in the scholarly literature, particularly with regard to the constitutionality of the prohibition and the legal treatment of cross-border surrogacy.
This dissertation project consists of two parts. The first of these encompasses a fundamental examination of sur­ro­gacy followed by a comprehensive evaluation of the merit of the current legal situation. It includes an assess­ment of the most frequently discussed issues concerning surrogacy from an interdisciplinary perspective. As sur­rogacy raises the question of whether a procedure that is medically possible is morally justifiable, ethics will be included in the assessment as one of the special fields besides law. Furthermore, surrogate motherhood chal­lenges conven­tional perceptions of motherhood and family; thus, sociology is included as a second special field in order to incor­porate social reality.
Based on the findings of the first part, the second part examines whether alternative legislation on surrogacy could be a preferable option. A number of legal scholars argue that surrogacy and living organ donation – which is per­mitted under certain (highly regulated) conditions in Germany – are comparable. The dissertation will pursue this thesis and assess the transferability of the regulations on living organ donation to surrogate motherhood.


Outcome: dissertation
Research focus: II. Regulating Intimate Relations
Project language: German
Project status: completed
Photo: © Joanna Malinowska/Unsplash


Humbert, S.-M. (2023). Plädoyer für die Legalisierung der Leihmutterschaft: Interdisziplinäre Analyse der Problemfelder und Regulierungsvorschlag am Vorbild der Lebendorganspende (Vol. 12) Studien zum Medizin- und Gesundheitsrecht. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
Humbert, S.-M. (2023). Legalisierungsmodalitäten der altruistischen Leihmutterschaft: Zugangsvoraussetzungen zur Leihmutterschaft im Lichte des Rechts auf reproduktive Selbstbestimmung. Kritische Justiz, 56(1), 46–55. doi:10.5771/0023-4834-2023-1-46
Humbert, S.-M. (2023). Legalisierung der Leihmutterschaft: Regulierung der Leihmutterschaft in Anlehnung an das Transplantationsgesetz. Zeitschrift für Rechtspolitik, 56(3), 70–73.

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