The past couple of years have been incredibly torrid for Australian families who make the decision to travel overseas to find a surrogate. There were massive changes in circumstances for families entering Thailand for this purpose, then circumstances began to shift in India. Now at least a dozen families are waiting in Nepal to see if or when they will be able to bring their children back to Australia. It seems that moves are again underway in India to restrict access for foreigners to use surrogacy services in that country.
I have noticed during the planning for my upcoming Churchill Fellowship to investigate international surrogacy a level of reluctance (by some professionals in some of the countries that I will be visiting) to engage in meetings and I guess this makes sense – I imagine that the uncertainty felt by families using surrogacy services users is shared by the medical and support staff who provide the ART and surrogacy services.
It is now only 2 months until I leave to commence my investigation – I am wondering how much more the situation might change even in that time. I am also wondering how surrogacy provision can be improved in Australia so more families can feel that there is a viable option to find surrogates without travelling away.
These recent articles in The Age and The West Australian newspapers highlight the current situation in Nepal http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/families-lose-hope-as-australian-babies-born-via-surrogacy-remain-stuck-in-nepal-20151016-gkbdtg and India https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29843169/surrogacy-risks-grow-as-nations-get-tough/.