Article | Last updated: 05/01/2021 | Ministry of Children and Families
Some Norwegians still use surrogates abroad. No special rules apply for establishing and transferring parenthood in such cases. This means that the person who gives birth to the child is the child’s mother and that paternity is established in accordance with what is stipulated in the Children Act.
Regulation of egg donation and surrogacy in Norway
The Biotechnology Act regulates conditions for assisted reproductive technology in Norway. Insemination of sperm and egg donation is permitted. Surrogacy agreements are not binding under the Children Act.
The Norwegian authorities expect that Norwegian citizens who make use of egg donation/surrogacy abroad will conform to and comply with the regulations in the country in question.
Risks associated with using surrogacy
The use of surrogacy abroad gives rise to a number of dilemmas. Surrogate mothers often come from poor countries and difficult conditions and, like children, prospective parents who strongly desire a child of their own can also be vulnerable. Surrogate mothers, children and prospective parents can be exploited, and there may be a risk of human trafficking.
Norwegian authorities also advise against Norwegian citizens using surrogacy abroad because it results in children potentially being in a situation without a legal connection to a parent and no citizenship or right to enter and reside in Norway.
Surrogacy is a global phenomenon that should be dealt with globally. The Hague Conference on Private International Law, for which Norway is also a signatory, consider issues that include surrogacy.
No special rules apply to establishing/transferring parenthood after using an egg donation/surrogate. This means that the person who gives birth to the child is the child’s mother and that paternity is established in accordance with what is stipulated in the Children Act.
If maternity/paternity cannot be established pursuant to the Children Act, the person who wishes to become the legal parent can potentially apply for adoption. The Norwegian Tax Administration, Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat) and foreign service missions have guidelines for how surrogacy matters are to be handled.
The Ministry does not assist in individual cases and provides no guidance on the system of rules other than referring to the agency letter (etatsbrevet). The Norwegian authorities do not make advance commitments regarding the establishment/transfer of parenthood or guarantees of bringing children born by surrogate mothers to Norway.
Entry into Norway with children born by surrogate mothers abroad
Children born by surrogate mothers abroad have the right to enter Norway when they have received Norwegian citizenship (or possibly other citizenship that permits them to enter Norway) or have the right to enter/stay in Norway pursuant to the Immigration Act.