SRF sports presenter Olivier Borer (40) and his husband became parents thanks to a surrogate mother from the USA.
The SRF sports presenter Olivier Borer (40) and his husband became parents thanks to a surrogate mother from the USA. For the first time, he spoke in detail about his son Naël Yunus – and about the sometimes negative comments that Borer and his young family trigger: “I can’t deny that these reviews hit me.”
But how many children through surrogacy are there in Switzerland? Little is known about this. The cantonal civil status authorities issued a one-off number: in 2019, 48 children were registered who were carried abroad by a surrogate mother. The number of unreported cases is probably high. According to the “Tages-Anzeiger”, experts expect more than 1000 children in Switzerland.
Not much more is known about the phenomenon in Switzerland. But Carolin Schurr, Professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern, who researches surrogacy, says to Blick: “Demand is increasing.” Worldwide. The reasons: women become mothers later, biological fertility decreases with age. More and more homosexual couples are also deciding to become parents. And adoptions have become more difficult because of international regulation.
More answers to important questions on the topic:
Who decides to have a baby from abroad?
A 2021 report by the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), in which Schurr was involved, examined who travels abroad for artificial insemination, egg cell donation or surrogacy: heterosexual couples make up a good 60 percent of the parents, gay one fifth, the rest are single people.
How many of the intended parents’ genes are in the baby?
The intended father from Switzerland often contributes the sperm with which the egg cell is fertilized. He is the genetic father. The egg usually comes from a donor, more rarely from the partner. Another woman, the surrogate mother, carries the child to term – she is not genetically related to the baby.
What is the legal situation in Switzerland?
Surrogacy is prohibited in Switzerland. Since a federal court ruling in 2015, genetic parents – i.e. usually the fathers – have been recognized in many cases. But only if there is a corresponding judgment waiving the parental rights of the surrogate mother from the country of origin. The wife or partner has the option of later adopting the baby as a stepchild.
Are there any hurdles in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, the woman who gave birth to the child is legally regarded as the mother. A couple from Aargau found out that made headlines a year ago. The competent Aargau authority initially refused to recognize the two as parents. They recorded the Georgian surrogate mother as the mother. After a Supreme Court decision, she decided to register the Swiss father, who is also the genetic sire, as such. The mother was left with the stepchild adoption. As a result, the child didn’t even have a residence permit for years, just a Georgian passport.
How expensive is surrogacy?
Depending on the country, the couples pay between 60,000 and over 100,000 francs for surrogacy as well as travel and accommodation expenses.
What countries are the surrogate mothers from?
Most states prohibit commercial surrogacy, where the intended parents pay for the surrogate. Few countries allow this. The BAG study shows: More than half of the surrogate children who live in Switzerland were born in the USA. The rest is split between the following countries: Canada, India, Georgia and Ukraine. When war broke out there almost a year ago, many expectant parents feared for the lives of their unborn children and surrogate mothers, also in Switzerland.
What speaks against surrogacy?
Professor Carolin Schurr says: “Most of the women decide to become a surrogate mother because of their precarious life situation.” Many would use the money to free themselves from violent relationships. They are also often poorly protected legally. But there are country differences: In the USA they are legally well secured, in Eastern Europe, Mexico or India the arrangements are extremely problematic. Schurr is in favor of international regulation that better protects surrogate mothers.
Exhibition notice: The exhibition “Making babies? Egg Donation and Reproductive Policies». In the Kornhausforum at Kornhausplatz 18.