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Institute of Foreign and international Private and Commercial Law


Institute of Medical Psychology




Press report of the University press office:

Symposium: Surrogacy



Surrogacy – current developments and interdisciplinary challenges 


Friday, April 7 2017, 9-17 h


Surrogacy is forbidden in most European countries, including Germany, and is discussed controversially as a reproductive medical procedure. A central point of this criticism is based on the fear to exploit the surrogate mother, one of the reasons why surrogacy has also been made punishable in the German Embryo Protection Act.

However, the prohibition of surrogacy is challenged by modern medicine and an increased "reproductive tourism", which is also carried out by German couples. By means of in-vitro fertilization, the genetic material of the desired parents as well as eggs and sperm of anonymous donors can be used. In an extreme case, a child might come to have up to five parents at birth: the surrogate mother, the egg donor, the sperm donor, and the two intended parents. The effect on all stakeholders is manifold, and manifests itself at most diverse levels.

Internationally renowned experts from a wide range of disciplines (psychology, law, medicine, ethics, and history) will discuss the consequences for intended parents, surrogate mothers, children, and our society in the Marsilius Arkaden.




The historical perspective

Prof. Dr. Katja Patzel-Mattern, University of Heidelberg

The sociological and ethical perspective

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim, University of Frankfurt 

The medical perspective

Prof. Dr. Thomas Strowitzki, University of Heidelberg

The comparative law perspective

Prof. Dr. Nina Dethloff, University of Bonn

The personal perspective

Dr. Regine Meyer-Spendler, Author 

The American law perspective

RAin Eliza Hall, K&L Gates LLP, Pittsburgh

The psychological perspective

Prof. Dr. Susan Golombok, University of Cambridge 

The legal policy perspective

MdB RA Dr. Stephan Harbarth, Berlin



Institute for Foreign and International Affairs
Private and Commercial Law

Prof. Dr. Marc-Philippe Weller
Anton Zimmermann
Lisa Engelhardt

Institute of Medical Psychology

Prof. Dr. Beate Ditzen
PD  Dr. Tewes Wischmann
Dr. Anna-Lena Zietlow


Event location: Marsilius-Kolleg – Lecture Hall, Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.1, 69120 Heidelberg

Editor: office