From 25 to 28 September 2018, the Experts’ Group on Parentage / Surrogacy met for the fourth time in The Hague. The meeting was attended by 21 experts from different States, one observer and members of the Permanent Bureau.
The Group’s mandate is “to explore the feasibility of advancing work (…) on the private international law issues surrounding the status of children, including issues arising from international surrogacy arrangements”. In keeping with the 2018 request of the Council on General Affairs and Policy, the meeting focused on legal parentage generally, which covered:
- the possibility of accepting foreign public documents on legal parentage;
- the possibility of recognising legal parentage established abroad where there is no judicial decision;
- whether there is a need for, and, if so, whether it is possible to reach agreement on uniform applicable law rules on legal parentage, including how any such rules might operate together with public documents; and
- refined provisions regarding the cross-border recognition, by operation of law, of foreign judicial decisions concerning legal parentage.
The Group will meet again in January-February 2019 to discuss the above matters in light of international surrogacy arrangements (“ISAs”) and assisted reproductive technology (“ART”). In this fifth meeting, the Group will provide recommendations as to whether a possible future instrument should include legal parentage arising from ISAs and ART and in the affirmative, whether additional rules and safeguards would be needed.
The report of the meeting is available here. Given that the Group will hold its next meeting before reporting to Council in March 2019, the Group reserved its conclusions and recommendations on future work pending the results of that meeting.