Brussels, 28th May 2024

The Council of the European Union adopted a directive on Monday focused on the topic of human trafficking. Building on the already existing directive, the latest addition includes “the exploitation of surrogacy, of forced marriage and of illegal adoption as forms of exploitation covered by the EU’s anti-trafficking law”.

FAFCE welcomes this explicit recognition of the prevalence and immorality of the practice of surrogacy. When the modification was voted on at the European Parliament level one month ago, FAFCE reacted positively. Notably, the inclusion had overwhelming support from MEPS, with 563 MEPs voting in favour and only 7 voting against.

FAFCE President Vincenzo Bassi said: “Surrogacy is not merely a discrete violation of human dignity isolated to one country or continent. It is a violation of human dignity on a global scale. The commercial exploitation of women and child through surrogacy knows no borders. Therefore, international consensus is crucial. There is no current consensus. However, this latest inclusion of surrogacy as possible human trafficking is a step in the right direction. We hope that there are debates around the world to say no to wombs for rent.

“Additionally, the directive amended by the Parliament recognises that surrogacy could be a form of exploitation. This means that the national authorities have to verify whether there is exploitation or not in every instance of surrogacy. The Parenthood for the ‘intentional parents’ cannot be automatically granted. In other words, even so-called ‘altruistic surrogacy’ must be proved only after an administrative procedure.

“We must continue finding common ground to promote the family as a gift, not as a commodity.”

This week’s directive adoption by the Council of the European Union is a step forward towards the ultimate goal of the universal abolition of surrogacy, on the grounds of human dignity for mother and child.