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Singapore’s laws aren’t clear when it comes to the issue of surrogacy. The act is not illegal but the procedures involved are prohibited in the country.

However, a particular case stirred up the issue. A Singaporean man had an anonymous surrogate mother complete an IVF or in vitro fertilisation procedure. This is a form of assisted reproductive technology that allowed the man to have a biological child. After four years of completing the procedure, he went back home to Singapore from the United States. 

What made the case curious is that he is in a homosexual relationship with another Singaporean for more than 13 years. As expected, their claim was initially rejected. It was only 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 made it clear that it’s not yet ready to approve of same-sex family units.  

Does Singapore recognise surrogacy?

To answer the question of whether or not surrogacy in Singapore is legal, the answer is no.

Why do people resort to surrogacy?

Although many people want to build a family, some are unable to do so. Surrogacy is an option to them should they want to pursue this. Similar to the case earlier, homosexual male couples tend to be the ones who require surrogate mothers to carry their babies.

For heterosexual couples that avail of this medical service, they may have medical conditions that prevent conception or successful pregnancy. 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.

surrogacy Singapore, more Singapore couples seeking surrogacy services

Why is surrogacy illegal in Singapore?

One of the reasons why surrogacy is illegal is its commodification. It comes with a cost.

This basically means that you’re hiring women to get pregnant with your child. When the time comes, you claim it. In this perspective, it’s business. Many experts have expressed their concerns on the ethical implications of the industry due to its nature.

What are the legal surrogacy options?

The number of  Singaporean couples seeking surrogacy services grow everyday. Fortunately, there are companies that guide these couples or individuals through their family planning. 

For instance, there are cases where the child is brought to Singapore for the couple to adopt. In other cases, couples hire a surrogate mother from outside Singapore and register the child with them as their parents. This is easier for some considering there’s no adoption to deal with. 

However, take note that this is a case to case basis. The adoption will be more likely approved if you can attest that you’ve already exhausted all other means.

Surrogacy is Time-consuming

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 nine months. Expect to undergo briefing, home assessment, interviews, and other procedures to check if you are fit to be parents.

This process is harder for homosexual couples compared to heterosexual ones. Even though Singapore recognises the LGBT community, the country still doesn’t support 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.

In a Nutshell…

The legalization of surrogacy is among the social issues that we have to tackle. It is still illegal in Singapore and for valid reasons as well. In a particular perspective, surrogacy can be abused as a business, instead of a means to build families. 

Although it can be argued that everyone has the right to create a family, this is a huge change in the societal dynamics. If not done right, it can cause drawbacks at the expense of the ones involved the most: women and children.