Issues and controversies related to surrogacy : Updated 2020

Once Einstein has said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. The science of surrogacy can only be successful if the human and society accept it. The best way of getting benefit from it is by using it ethically and without losing human values. There are many emotional, social and ethical issues raised in the use of surrogacy techniques which will be discussed here. However, the truth is always to demonstrate a proper balance to obtain the best of technology.

Refer Also: Religious and Scientific view of Surrogacy

Emotional issues

Pregnant woman: Issues and controversies related to surrogacy

There is a possibility to develop an emotional attachment between the surrogate mother and the child whom she gave birth. This emotional attachment can cause mental distress to surrogate mothers, as she can feel there is no chance to meet the child who grew in her womb. Moreover, there is the least chance of disclosing the surrogate mother’s identity to the born children at their older age because disclosure of surrogacy may create stress between the child and intended parents.

Ethical issues

Several ethical issues surfaced that relate to surrogacy. The surrogacy is always a topic of argument between surrogacy supporters and protestors. Surrogacy supporters believe that this medical process allows infertile couples to have their children. However, surrogacy protestors always raise questions largely on altruistic surrogacy, and compensation of surrogate mothers. Surrogacy protestors believe commercial surrogacy encourage women to enter this industry not for helping others, but due to earning a lump sum amount of money. Ethical issues related to the compensation amount is also a concern.

The interests of the surrogacy mother and concern about the rights of the child are always the prime reason for arguments against surrogacy. The following are some of the  common ethical questions related to surrogacy:

•    What will happen if the intended parent or surrogate mother changes their decision?

•    What will happen if a miscarriage occurs in surrogacy?

•    What will happen if the child born with congenital disabilities?

•    In the above-mentioned cases who will take the responsibility of the child?

•    Is the surrogate mother get payment in the above mention cases?

•    Is there any fixed compensation amount for surrogacy?

The ethical concerns are not only restricted between intended parents and surrogate mothers, but it also concerns a child. Surrogacy protestors want to prohibit surrogacy to avoid such undesirable circumstances. Some religious opposition does also raises ethical issues. For example, Vatican City has stated for rejecting surrogacy. They trusted surrogacy cannot be morally acceptable as it diverges marriage and also loses the decorum of procreating a human person.        

Gay and lesbian surrogacy

Surrogacy becomes an attractive alternative method for same-gender couples like the lesbian and gay population to have a child through surrogacy.  Surrogacy provides the opportunity to one of the partners to become a potential parent having a biological relationship with the child. The transgender community also opt surrogacy to start their family. But some courtiers restrict surrogacy only for heterogeneous married couples whereas, many countries legally allow the same-gender marriage.  

Social issues

The society that raises concerns about surrogacy has pointed out several social issues against it. The primary one is to look upon the child as a resource than a human because they think it is created through a mother who is like a caretaker of the resource till it is handed to the recipients. The surrogacy process is considered as paying the caretaker for the creation of the child. This hurts the entire human values in a society. Secondly, there is no back-up plan in case the process goes wrong or does not yield as expected. In such a case, with whom the baby will live with is not properly defined.

Another issue directs the matter to the socio-economic deliberations. It is seen in the majority cases that the surrogate mothers are from the economically weaker sections or are working. However, the recipient’s parents are financially strong and well to do. This raises the speculation that the mothers undergo the process to earn money in the form of compensation. Many parents who used this surrogacy technique to get the child mostly hide the fact because they believe that in future the society will look down to the child as not their own.

However, the diversity and advent towards the scientific outlook have narrowed down many such conservative approaches towards surrogacy and many nations have come up to accept surrogacy as a most successful alternative for a childless couple.

Refer Also: Controversial Ethical Issues and Legal Surrogacy

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