What About the Ethics of Surrogacy by delw1n123


More Info
									Ethics of Surrogacy

By Delwyn Lounsbury

Ethics of surrogacy and other surrogate mother information.
A study by the Family and Child Psychology Review Centre at City University, London,
UK in 2002 found that surrogate mothers rarely had difficulty giving up rights to a
surrogate child. They even found that women willing to become surrogate mother
actually had greater warmth towards the child than many mothers conceiving naturally.
The surrogate mother profile study found that in surrogate motherhood the women
engage in various distancing techniques throughout the surrogate pregnancy to ensure
that they do not become emotionally attached to the baby.

When we consider the ethics of surrogacy we find that to date there have been more than
50,000 surrogate pregnancies world wide. (Remarkably, there were also over one million
IVF's, in vitro fertilization, babies.) Less than one percent had surrogacy issues and most
of those were in the early days when there was minimal case history or even laws on

So, instead of the popular thinking that the women becoming surrogate mother feel
traumatized after the relinquishment, a great majority feel good about doing it, even
empowered. When they become a surrogate mother they look at it as a gift. They look at
ethics of surrogacy as the helping of an infertile fellow man who cannot have the joy of
having a baby on their own. Commercial surrogacy agencies, by the way, require that the
mother surrogate (age 20-35) already have at least one child with no problems in
delivery. Anyway, many said they remember their surrogacy mother experience years
later as the most meaningful experience in their life.

A debate on ethics of surrogacy brings up various words with only partial basis in reality
like: "wombs for rent", "outsourced pregnancies", "baby farms", "baby factories" and
"baby business." Compensated commercial surrogacy is when a gestational carrier is
paid to carry a child to birth, usually by well off infertile couples or gays and lesbians
doing same sex parenting. The procedure is legal in a few states in the
U.S. - California being the most accepting. We are a California commercial surrogacy
agency. The ethics of surrogacy mean it is not allowed in most of Europe. Surrogacy is
legal in India, parts of Russia and also in Israel but for married couples only there.

On April 6, 2010, a provision in England’s 2008 Human Fertilization and Embryology
Act will go into effect allowing gay men to become legal parents of surrogate born
children with both of their names on the birth certificate. Expenses only can be paid
(altruistic surrogacy). No surrogacy fee in payment for becoming a surrogate mother is

A Ms. Spar, author of the book, Baby Business, has said, "I think it is womb selling or
womb renting. So, I think there's no doubt that a surrogate mother is providing a bodily
service for a fee. It's clearly a relationship marked by vast inequities. You have rich
people buying bodily functions of poor women."

On the other side of the ethics of surrogacy debate is bio ethicist, Jacob M. Appel, a
supporter of commercial surrogacy. He has written that "if men could serve as
surrogates...they would be admired as entrepreneurs."

Ethics of surrogacy are being driven by a need to counteract the increase in the human
infertility rate that has climbed to 14%. That's nearly one in seven of us. In an article by
Michelle Roberts, a BBC News health reporter, "Infertility time bomb - warning" -
Professor Bill Ledger from Sheffield University in England warned that infertility could
rise to one out of three (33%). Causes? Sex infections, obesity and Chlamydia, a (STD)
sexually transmitted disease, carries risk of infertility, has doubled over the last decade.
In addition, six percent of girls under the age of 19 are classified as obese. Professor
Ledger added: "The obese child is almost certain to become an obese adult. Many
women who are overweight will not ovulate as efficiently." Also, regarding women
putting off having a family he said: "Women are simply not as fertile after 35." So,
women too busy with their career find to their dismay that after 40 there is very little
hope of having a baby.

So, the ethics of surrogacy seems to be swinging in a positive direction due to the needs
of infertile couples seeking surrogate mother for the precious child they cannot have.
This is in addition to lesbian mothers, gays and transgender (LGTG) wanting to do same
sex parenting. The benefits of surrogacy are that the baby can be genetically related to
you and that medical advances leave fewer unknowns.

Adoption can be a roll of the dice and can have unintended consequences. Although
cheaper, the saying, "You get what you pay for," rules. With commercial surrogacy you
have the possibility that at least one of you, the intended parents, being genetically related
(traditional surrogacy). If neither of you can contribute the egg or sperm (gestational
surrogacy), at least you have control over the origin of your child. Control requires

The gradual positive trend in social norms regarding ethics of surrogacy is swinging the
pendulum further to the, "we really need it," side. In India surrogacy is a new growth
industry for them.

Celebrities sometimes too busy or worried about stretch marks and also the shape of their
body are opting for surrogacy. Likewise, if infertile or past child bearing age they may
contact a surrogate mother agency. California surrogacy agencies do the surrogate
motherhood matching and all the coordinating of the surrogacy program. In June of 2009
celebrity couple Mathew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Sara Jessica Parker
(Sex in the City) announced publicly that they had twins delivered via surrogate mother.
Back in March 10, 2005, the cover of People Magazine had Joan Lunden (17 years co-
host of Good Morning America on TV), with mother surrogate Deborah Bolig who had
twins for Lunden and her husband, Jeff Konigsberg. Jeff is 10 years younger than Joan.
Konigsberg provided the sperm but we don't know where the egg came from. They had a
boy and girl, born March 1, 2005. Bolig already had had 3 children of her own. After
doing surrogate mother research on the Internet, Joan and Jeff chose a California
surrogacy agency. "The choice of venue was deliberate: unlike most states, California
favors the intended parents should a custody dispute arise," one story quoted Joan as

When we discuss the ethics of surrogacy, having a genetically related child wins hands
down. There are considerable benefits of surrogacy. The voices against surrogacy are
truly diminishing.

The biological blood connection is strong. In the Bible in chapter 16 of The Book of
Genesis is the story of Abraham and his barren wife Sarah. Sarah convinced her servant,
Hagar, to reproduce a baby with Abraham's sperm. Babylonian law and customs back
then allowed this for infertile women mainly so they could avoid divorce. Over the ages
this must have happened many times over the ages. It's a strong urge of having a child to
carry on your family name. There always has been. There always will be.

Please contact us about referral to service providers in your state or a state near you if
your state has surrogacy issues.

Copyright 2010 by Delwyn Lounsbury
Use of this article allowed with attribution back to:

To top