Remarks at a UN Third Committee Meeting in an Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children

Mordica Simpson
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
October 8, 2019


Thank you Mr. Chair The United States thanks the Special Rapporteur for her work on the protection and promotion of the rights of children. The United States has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and is not bound by any implied or stated obligations under this Convention. The United States is a party to the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography (OPSC), and we take our obligations under this instrument seriously. Our laws protect and advance the rights and welfare of children, including children born from surrogacy arrangements, and are among the strongest in the world. However, we do not accept the premise put forward in the Special Rapporteur’s report that the OPSC creates obligations related to surrogacy.

Because surrogacy, as a practice, does not involve any of the forms of exploitation listed in Article 3 of the OPSC, we consider surrogacy to be outside the scope of the OPSC.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for highlighting work being done on the topic of surrogacy at the national and international levels. However, since we find the topic of surrogacy to be outside the scope of her mandate, we think it is inappropriate for her to make prescriptive recommendations. For example, the report recommends that the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), through its parentage project, include safeguards to be complied with prior to conception, during pregnancy, and post-birth, to enable the recognition of legal parentage. The HCCH parentage project does not have a mandate to attempt to regulate surrogacy worldwide. Furthermore, if the parentage project is looking into certain safeguards, it must consider the rights and welfare of all parties involved, including gestational carriers and intended parents.

Thank you.