Many Americans view the rise of surrogacy, IVF and related practices as a wonderful development that has helped families who could not otherwise have children. However, not everyone feels the same way.
Italy is currently cracking down on these practices. The country has already outlawed surrogacy and limited IVF to opposite-sex couples. It is now set to further restrict such treatments by making it illegal for Italians to travel to other countries for the purpose of having children via surrogacy.
Under a bill moving through Italy’s parliament, Italians who go abroad for surrogacy could come home to face a fine of more than $1 million. Italy’s Chamber of Deputies has already passed the bill. At the time of this writing, it was moving to Italy’s Senate.
Italian proponents of the bill say they want to ban surrogacy worldwide.
In one sense, the effort is part of a broader culture war strategy led by Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who has used her leadership to attack the rights of the LGBT community.
However, if the bill becomes law, Italy will come into conflict with its fellow members of the European Union, most of whom have liberal policies toward surrogacy, IVF and similar practices. Critics of the bill say it might be unenforceable under the EU’s charter.
What does this mean for Americans?
All this may seem a long way off to Americans who are considering surrogacy or IVF, but it can serve as a stark reminder of how fertility issues can get caught up in politics and cultural conflict. What looks like a protected right or a reasonable option today may not always be so.
With that in mind, prospective parents, particularly same-sex couples, may want to consider protecting their legal rights and that of their new families.