UN Envoy Supports Buying and Selling of Children

Sep 13, 2019 by

by Stefano Gennarini JD, C-Fam:

A UN representative charged with combatting the buying and selling of children has come out for the buying and selling of children in commercial surrogacy.

In her recent report to the General Assembly, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, urges countries to ratify surrogacy agreements contracted abroad. The report also calls for homosexual couples to contract children through surrogacy as a human rights imperative, and affirms the ability of contracting parties to back out of adopting a child born though a surrogacy arrangement.

“A strict interpretation of the notion of the sale or trafficking of children as a criminal offence can have dire consequences,” de Boer-Buquicchio maintained in her report.

This is not new. In a previous report issued last year, the special rapporteur told UN member states that commercial surrogacy “could be conducted in a way that does not constitute sale of children if it were clear that the surrogate mother was only being paid for gestational services and not for the transfer of the child.”

Her position was criticized vehemently by UN Member States and civil society that pointed out ongoing abuses that result from the surrogacy industry, including abandoned children, forced abortions, the commodification of children, trafficking in women and children, and children being priced differently based on their gender and characteristics.

Despite these worrying trends, de Boer-Buquicchio did not budge from her position in favor of regulating surrogacy as opposed to banning it, even as she said that the first priority must be “to prevent the commodification of children.”

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