The Spanish supreme court has ruled that surrogacy exploits women, violates Spanish laws and the country’s constitution but stated issues of surrogacy may be resolved through the adoption process.

The top court reiterated Spain’s laws against surrogacy, stating that the act of surrogacy “entails damage to the best interests of the child and an exploitation of women that are unacceptable.”

“Both are treated as mere objects, not as persons endowed with the dignity proper to their condition as human beings and the fundamental rights inherent in that dignity,” the court stated and added that surrogate mothers are imposed with “limitations of her personal autonomy and of her physical and moral integrity incompatible with human dignity,” newspaper El Mundo reports.

Speaking of the children of surrogate mothers, the court said children were “deprived of the right to know his origins, is treated as an object of change, is ‘objectified’.”

However, the court noted that Spaniards are still able to engage in the surrogacy process as long as they do it abroad and that children brought to Spain are freely allowed to enter the country, making the process “complex.”

As a result, the court ruled that in order to recognize the relationship of the surrogate biological mother to the child, the process should be resolved through the country’s adoption rules. The ruling was made in the case of a woman with a child, now seven years old, who had been born to a surrogate mother in Mexico.

The case is only the second time the issue of surrogacy has been brought before the Spanish supreme court, with another case taking place in 2013.

While surrogacy is accepted and legal in many states in the United States, the procedure is illegal in several European countries, including Italy where many politicians have decried the practice as “squalid.”

In 2019, former Italian Interior Minister and current Senator Matteo Salvini slammed surrogacy saying, “The thought of a womb for rent and women for sale makes me sick.”

“I think womb for rent is the most squalid thing a person could propose, for a woman, for a man, for a child,” he added.

The following year, tens of thousands took to the streets of Paris to demonstrate against a proposed law on surrogate motherhood and artificial insemination, which would include single women and same-sex couples.

Earlier this year in the United States, surrogacy became a debated issue among some after political pundit Dave Rubin announced that he and his male partner were having a baby through a surrogate mother.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)
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