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Singapore’s laws aren’t exactly clear when it comes to the issue of surrogacy.
The act is not illegal per se but the procedures involved are prohibited in the country.
However, a recent case stirred up the issue.
A Singaporean man brought back his biological child from the US 4 years after completing an IVF procedure with an anonymous surrogate mother.
What made the case curious is the fact that the man is in a homosexual relationship with another Singaporean for more than 13 years.
Their claim was initially rejected but was granted approval after an appeal has been made, considering the welfare of the child outweighs all other issues involved.
Why did this case cause such a ruckus?
The Singaporean government has actually made it clear that it’s not yet ready to approve of same-sex family units.
So to answer the question of whether or not surrogacy is legal in Singapore, the answer is no. Not yet anyway.
Why do people resort to surrogacy?
Many people want to build a family but are unable to do so, making surrogacy a welcome option to them.
Just like in the case we talked about earlier, homosexual male couples, for obvious reasons, tend to be the ones who require surrogate mothers to carry their babies.
For heterosexual couples, medical conditions that prevent conception or successful pregnancy are the most common reasons why they arrive at such decisions. Women who are beyond 35 years old also find it hard to get pregnant.
Because of the reasons mentioned and many others, there’s an 89% increase in the number of babies born through surrogacy.
What are the legal surrogacy options for you?
There are more and more Singapore couples seeking surrogacy services these days. There are companies that guide couples or individuals who require such services.
For instance, couples hire a surrogate mother and register the child with them as their parents. This is easier for some considering there’s no adoption to deal with.
There are also cases where the child is brought to Singapore and the parents will adopt them.
However, it’s important that you take note of the fact that this is a case to case basis and the adoption will get more likely to be approved if you can attest to the fact that you’ve exhausted all means known but are still unable to conceive a child.
Surrogacy is Time-consuming
Another thing that you have to put in mind is the time it will take.
The adoption process can take a long time to finish. As the last step, you will get approved by the Family Court but it can take up to 9 months.
You can expect to undergo briefing, home assessment, interviews, and others to see if you are fit to be parents.
Comparing the level of difficulty between a heterosexual and a homosexual couple in doing this procedure, it’s much harder for the latter.
Even though the country recognizes the LGBT community and their role in society, it still doesn’t support building a family unit with same-sex parents.
The same thing applies to individuals planning to take on single parenthood.
Even though you follow everything other couples do, it will still be significantly more difficult to get the approval for adoption.
Why is surrogacy illegal in Singapore?
Among the reasons why surrogacy procedures are not allowed in the country is its commodification.
It comes with a cost. This literally means that you’re hiring women to somehow pop the bun into the oven and when the time comes, you claim it. It’s business and a lot of experts expressed their concerns on the ethical implications of the industry.
Does this mean that we are essentially selling and buying babies?
Is it, in a sense, using women and their capability to carry a child and give birth?
The opposition mainly revolves around the fact that it can capitalize on children’s vulnerability.
The legalization of surrogacy is among the social issues that we have to tackle. Although it can be argued that everyone has the right to create a family given that they are capable to do so, this is a huge change in the societal dynamics and, if not done right, can cause drawbacks at the expense of the ones involved the most: women and children.