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Bioethics. 2010 Sep;24(7):348-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2009.01780.x. Epub 2009 Nov 30.

Surrogacy: donor conception regulation in Japan.

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1
Organization for Comprehensive Research at J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo. YukariSem@aol.com

Abstract

As of 2008, surrogacy is legal and openly practised in various places; Japan, however, has no regulations or laws regarding surrogacy. This paper reports the situation of surrogacy in Japan and in five other regions (the USA, the UK, Taiwan, Korea and France) to clarify the pros and cons of prohibiting surrogacy, along with the problems and issues relating to surrogacy compensation. Not only in a country such as France that completely prohibits surrogacy within the country, but also in a country such as the UK that allows non-commercial surrogacy, infertile couples travel overseas for the purpose of surrogacy. In addition, some couples might seek underground surrogacy if the government prohibits surrogacy. If an intended parent couple and a surrogate make an agreement among themselves and then a problem occurs, they cannot ask for support from professionals or bring a case to court, as can be observed in South Korea and Taiwan. We also conclude that there is little difference between commercial surrogacy and non-commercial surrogacy in the absence of a clear definition of 'reasonable expenses.' In the UK, the law does not allow surrogates to receive compensation. However, in reality, there may be little difference between the amounts paid to surrogates for profit in the US and those paid to surrogates for reasonable expenses in the UK. We conclude that the issue of surrogacy demands further discussion in Japan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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