By Healthtrip Blog Published on - 17 October - 2023

Surrogacy in the UAE: A New Frontier for Same-Sex Families

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as a promising destination for same-sex couples seeking surrogacy services. In this article, we explore the legal, cultural, and practical aspects of surrogacy in the UAE, shedding light on the opportunities and challenges this option presents.

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The United Arab Emirates, renowned for its stunning skyscrapers, cultural diversity, and economic prosperity, is making waves in the field of assisted reproductive technology. One notable development is its openness to surrogacy, a practice that has become increasingly popular among same-sex couples. This article dives into the world of surrogacy in the UAE for same-sex couples, delving into the legal framework, cultural perspectives, and practical considerations.

Legal Framework

Surrogacy, which was previously a gray area in the UAE, has undergone significant legislative changes, making it a viable option for same-sex couples:

Federal Law No. 2 of 2015

This law legalized surrogacy in the UAE, provided certain conditions are met. Among these conditions, same-sex couples must be married legally and demonstrate their inability to conceive naturally or through other assisted reproductive methods. This law ensures that surrogacy is accessible to couples regardless of their sexual orientation, thereby promoting inclusivity.

Guardianship and Custody

UAE law grants the biological parents full legal rights as the guardians of the child. This ensures the rights of same-sex couples who choose surrogacy as a means of building their families.

Cultural Perspectives

The UAE is a country that values family, community, and tradition. Surrogacy has, in recent years, been increasingly embraced by the population, including the local Emirati community, as a means of expanding their families. Same-sex couples can find a welcoming environment, with many Emiratis expressing support for all couples who choose surrogacy as their path to parenthood.

Traditional Values

The UAE is a nation deeply rooted in traditional values, particularly with regards to family. Traditional family structures are highly respected, and many Emiratis place a strong emphasis on the importance of bloodlines and biological connections. Historically, these values may have posed challenges to same-sex couples seeking surrogacy as a means of family-building.

Embracing Modernity

However, the UAE's cultural landscape is rapidly evolving, influenced by its diverse expatriate population and globalized outlook. With modernity comes a more open and accepting perspective towards different family structures. Same-sex couples, who once may have faced significant challenges in the UAE, now find growing acceptance and support, particularly in urban areas like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Cross-Cultural Perspectives

The UAE is home to people from various cultural backgrounds, making it a diverse and multicultural society. As a result, attitudes towards surrogacy and same-sex couples vary. Some cultures within the UAE are more conservative, while others are more progressive and open to the idea of non-traditional families.

Legal Framework and Cultural Evolution

The UAE's legal framework, as previously discussed, now recognizes the rights of same-sex couples who choose surrogacy. This legal progress reflects a significant shift in cultural perspectives. The government's willingness to address these issues demonstrates an openness to evolving social norms and promoting inclusivity.

Local Attitudes

Many same-sex couples who have undergone surrogacy in the UAE report positive experiences. While there may still be instances of discrimination or misunderstanding, the overall climate for LGBTQ+ individuals is improving. The welcoming and diverse expatriate community, in particular, has played a crucial role in fostering acceptance.

Education and Awareness

As societal attitudes continue to evolve, education and awareness initiatives are becoming increasingly important. Efforts to educate both locals and expatriates about LGBTQ+ issues, surrogacy, and diverse family structures are essential for creating a more understanding and inclusive society.


It's important to note that cultural perspectives on surrogacy for same-sex couples in the UAE can be highly intersectional. Factors such as nationality, religion, and individual beliefs greatly influence people's opinions. As such, same-sex couples considering surrogacy should approach the journey with sensitivity to these diverse perspectives.

Practical Considerations

Choosing a Surrogacy Agency

Selecting the right surrogacy agency is crucial for the success of the surrogacy process. Same-sex couples in the UAE can find agencies that specialize in serving their unique needs. These agencies offer expert guidance on navigating the surrogacy process, from finding a surrogate to legal requirements.

Finding a Surrogate

Surrogates in the UAE are typically from other countries, which can provide a level of confidentiality for same-sex couples who may still face societal stigmas. Many agencies facilitate the process of matching couples with suitable surrogates and ensure that the surrogate is well-informed and supported throughout the journey.

Medical Facilities

The UAE boasts world-class medical facilities and highly skilled professionals in the field of assisted reproductive technology. Same-sex couples can rest assured that they are in capable hands during the entire surrogacy process, from conception to childbirth.

Parental Rights

As mentioned earlier, UAE law recognizes the biological parents as the legal guardians of the child, which ensures that same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples. This legal framework provides a solid foundation for family-building.

Challenges and Future Prospects

As surrogacy for same-sex couples in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gains recognition and acceptance, it also presents both challenges and promising future prospects. Understanding the obstacles and opportunities in this evolving landscape is essential for those considering surrogacy in the UAE.


Cultural and Religious Sensitivities

While the UAE is making strides in becoming more inclusive, it still grapples with deeply ingrained cultural and religious sensitivities. Same-sex relationships remain a contentious topic, and surrogacy can challenge traditional family values. Navigating these cultural nuances can be challenging for same-sex couples.

Legal Hurdles

Although UAE law allows surrogacy for same-sex couples under specific conditions, the legal process can be complex. Meeting the legal requirements, including demonstrating the inability to conceive naturally or through other assisted methods, can be challenging. The legal framework must continue to evolve to streamline the process further.

Social Stigmas

Despite growing acceptance, social stigmas and prejudice against same-sex couples and non-traditional families still persist in some segments of UAE society. Such stigmas can lead to discrimination and misunderstandings, posing emotional and practical challenges for same-sex couples.

Lack of Local Surrogates

Most surrogates in the UAE are international, which, while providing privacy, can present logistical and emotional challenges. Overcoming language barriers and ensuring a surrogate is comfortable with the UAE's cultural and legal environment can be complex.

Future Prospects

Evolving Legal Framework

The UAE's commitment to creating an inclusive environment is reflected in its evolving legal framework. As the legal system continues to adapt to the changing landscape, same-sex couples can expect a more streamlined and supportive surrogacy process in the future.

Cultural Transformation

Cultural transformation in the UAE is an ongoing process. With an increasing expatriate population and a global outlook, the society is becoming more open and accepting. As awareness and education efforts grow, it is likely that societal attitudes will continue to evolve, making surrogacy for same-sex couples more widely accepted.

Supportive Infrastructure

The UAE has a rapidly developing medical and surrogacy infrastructure. World-class healthcare facilities and experienced professionals are readily available to assist same-sex couples in their surrogacy journey. These resources are expected to expand further in the coming years, providing even more options and support.

International Cooperation

International cooperation and collaboration with surrogacy agencies can help streamline the process for same-sex couples. As the UAE strengthens its position as a surrogacy destination, it may establish agreements with countries that have experience in the field, making the journey more straightforward.

Advocacy and Education

Advocacy and education efforts will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of surrogacy for same-sex couples in the UAE. By raising awareness, debunking myths, and fostering understanding, these initiatives can contribute to a more inclusive and informed society.


Surrogacy for same-sex couples in the UAE is a dynamic and evolving landscape, marked by both challenges and promising prospects. While cultural, legal, and social obstacles persist, the UAE's commitment to inclusivity and the ongoing transformation of its cultural attitudes are driving changes that bode well for same-sex couples in their pursuit of parenthood. With the support of evolving legal frameworks, infrastructure, and advocacy, the future of surrogacy in the UAE is likely to become even more accessible and accepting for LGBTQ+ individuals and diverse families. As the UAE continues to embrace diversity and promote progress, the path to parenthood for same-sex couples through surrogacy is set to become smoother and more fulfilling.


Yes, surrogacy is legal for same-sex couples in the UAE, provided they meet specific conditions outlined in Federal Law No. 2 of 2015.
Same-sex couples must be legally married and demonstrate their inability to conceive naturally or through other assisted reproductive methods.
UAE law recognizes the rights of both same-sex and heterosexual couples in the surrogacy process, ensuring equal legal treatment.
No, UAE law does not permit the selection of a child's gender through surrogacy.
Surrogates in the UAE are mostly international, providing a level of confidentiality and privacy for intended parents.
Many surrogacy agencies in the UAE specialize in matching intended parents with suitable surrogates. These agencies guide you through the process.
The biological parents are recognized as the legal guardians of the child, ensuring their rights and welfare.
Cultural perspectives are evolving, with growing acceptance, but some social stigmas and conservative values still exist.
Challenges may include navigating cultural nuances, addressing legal complexities, and overcoming potential social stigmas and prejudices.
The future looks promising with an evolving legal framework, increasing cultural acceptance, and a growing supportive infrastructure. As societal attitudes continue to transform, surrogacy is likely to become even more accessible and accepted for same-sex couples in the UAE.
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