Surrogate Motherhood



Surrogate Motherhood: Good or Bad?

There are many controversies surrounding the idea of
surrogate motherhood, by its definition, it is a course of
action that goes outside natural reproduction. Although
surrogacy was first brought up in the bible it is only until
recently that it has actually become an issue for criticism
and debate. Factors such as the growth of infertility in
modern society, coupled with the declining number of
children available for adoption, and the development of
surrogacy contract and commercial surrogacy agencies in
1976, have resulted in increasing publicity and public
interest in the formation of agreements between infertile
couples and surrogate mothers (Stuhmcke, 3). Surrogate
motherhood can be approached in more than one way, and some
surrogacy procedures receive more condemnation than others.
One type of surrogacy is when an egg is extracted from
the infertile female and placed in a petri dish and is then
fertilized by the fertile male’s sperm, the fertilized egg
is then placed into the fertile female’s uterus so she can
give birth to the child. This procedure is done when the
uterus of a female is in some way defective, but her eggs
are in fine condition, this is called invitro fertilization
surrogacy or IVF surrogacy (Hanafin, 3). IVF surrogacy, or
total surrogacy is the procedure that receives the least
criticism because the baby is in no way related to its
carrier. The more common type of surrogacy is through
artificial insemination or AI. This is when the couple
wishing to have a child are unable because of the female’s
eggs, the male then uses his sperm to impregnate a fertile
woman. In this case the child would not be related to the
legal mother in any way, and would have the genes of the
surrogate mother, this is also known as partial surrogacy
(http://kizuna.cwru.edu/rlgn120/projects/feminism/opinions.
html).
Laws about surrogacy vary from state to state. However,
only a few states have actually passed laws concerning the
matter, the others have simply dodged the issue. Partial
surrogacy in comparison to total surrogacy is much more
difficult to work out legally. There are the issues of
half-siblings, the biological mother’s role in the child’s
life, whether or not the woman raising the child will be
able to handle such issues, and what the child will be told
when he/she gets older. For such reasons, surrogate
motherhood has been avoided by lawmakers in most states
(http://www.phoenix.net/townhall/surrogat/surlaws.html).
The initial demand for surrogacy is likely to come from
women, or the partners of women incapable of pregnancy, and
there are many ways a couple can go about finding a
surrogate mother. There are agencies in states that have
legalized surrogacy, and there are also online databases,
such as www.surrogacy.com, which display message boards of
people looking to be surrogate mothers or couples looking to
use a surrogate. Before an arrangement is made there are
many issues to discuss and precautions to be taken.
The first issue would be whether or not the surrogate
mother will be paid for her troubles, in almost all cases
she is given some sort of fee, and in nearly every case her
medical bills and living expenses are taken care of by the
parents that will be raising the child. When a surrogacy
arrangement is done for money it is called a commercial
surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy is looked at by some as a
form of prostitution because the woman is being paid for use
of her body. However, it is difficult to find a surrogate
mother that would carry a child simply out of love or
sympathy. Nonetheless, when an arrangement is made without
compensation for the surrogate mother it is called
altruistic surrogacy (Stuhmcke, 2).
Other debates include moral and ethical questions. Does
surrogacy go against natural selection, and is the burden it
will cause to the children, the parents, and the surrogate
mother, worth it? Some people believe that if an individual
does not have the ability of reproduction, it should be
selected, and technology should not be used to alter God’s
plan. Another reason people think it is a risky matter is
because of the effect it could have on the child. Some
believe a normal parent-child relationship could not be
formed, and it could leave the child feeling confused and
alone. I, however, look at surrogacy as having the same
effect on a child as adoption. While there may be confusion,
there will not be a lack of love for the child because
he/she was not conceived or carried by the legal parents.
I am all for surrogate motherhood. I believe the
advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Surrogacy
provides some couples with their only hope of raising a
child genetically related to at least one of them. I believe
that