Background and objectives: To explore the ethical and legal complexities arising from the controversial issue of surrogacy, particularly in terms of how they affect fundamental rights of children and parents. Surrogacy is a form of medically-assisted procreation (MAP) in which a woman “lends” her uterus to carry out a pregnancy on behalf of a third party. There are pathological conditions, such as uterine agenesis or hysterectomy outcomes, that may prevent prospective mothers from becoming pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term; such patients may consider finding a surrogate mother. Many issues relating to surrogacy remain unresolved, with significant disagreements and controversy within the scientific community and public opinion. There are several factors called into play and multiple parties and stakeholders whose objectives and interests need to somehow be reconciled. First and foremost, the authors contend, it is essential to prioritize and uphold the rights of children born through surrogacy and heterologous MAP. Materials and methods: To draw a parallel between Italy and the rest of the world, the legislation in force in twelve European countries was analyzed, eleven of which are part of the European Union (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Portugal) and three non-members of the same (United Kingdom, Ukraine and Russia), as well as that of twelve non-European countries considered exemplary (United States, Canada, Australia, India, China, Thailand, Israel, Nigeria and South Africa); in particular, legislative sources and legal databases were drawn upon, in order to draw a comparison with the Italian legislation currently in force and map out the evolution of the Italian case law on the basis of the judgments issued by Italian courts, including the Constitutional and Supreme Courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); search engines such as PubMed and Google Scholar were also used, by entering the keywords “surrogacy” and “surrogate motherhood”, to find scientific articles concerning assisted reproduction techniques with a close focus on surrogacy. Results: SM is a prohibited and sanctioned practice in Italy; on the other hand, it is allowed in other countries of the world, which leads Italian couples, or couples from other countries where it is banned, to often contact foreign centers in order to undertake a MAP pathway which includes surrogacy; in addition, challenges may arise from the legal status of children born through surrogacy abroad: to date, in most countries, there is no specific legislation aimed at regulating their legal registration and parental status. Conclusion: With reference to the Italian context, despite the scientific and legal evolution on the subject, a legislative intervention aimed at filling the regulatory gaps in terms of heterologous MAP and surrogacy has not yet come to fruition. Considering the possibility of “fertility tourism”, i.e., traveling to countries where the practice is legal, as indeed already happens in a relatively significant number of cases, the current legislation, although integrated by the legal interpretation, does not appear to be effective in avoiding the phenomenon of procreative tourism. Moreover, to overcome some contradictions currently present between law 40 and law 194, it would be appropriate to outline an organic and exhaustive framework of rules, which should take into account the multiplicity of interests at stake, in keeping with a fair and sustainable balance when regulating such practices.