Why ‘compensation’ not ‘payment’ involve in surrogacy?

The thought process of the general population, as well as the government on surrogacy, is changing, though many countries ban commercial surrogacy. But ethically and legally, payment for surrogacy service to a surrogate is a debatable topic. A news published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has reported that the federal government call to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society to withheld the ban on payment for surrogacy in Canada. Besides this, industrial experts and academicians have also supported that the compensation for surrogacy. Apart from CMAJ, one of the most common controversial headlines on news is the payment of women for their reproductive support in surrogacy

Why surrogate only receives reimbursement of expenses?

Currently, most of the countries have accepted that medical expenses related to surrogacy must be reimbursed to the surrogates. In certain cases, surrogates also get compensation for them to lose work during pregnancy. But unfortunately, there are no particular regulations have been made to regulates the reimbursement of expenses, which is the primary cause of expense payment-related vulnerability.

However, surrogacy is considered a fertility treatment under the assisted reproductive technique, so it cannot be completely banned. The overall surrogacy market is considered a profitable business. Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals have charged large fees for assisting intended parents and surrogates.

But, it becomes a debatable topic when payment method of surrogates comes. Some justify the reason for no payment should be allocated for surrogates as it indicates hiring of womb or baby-making factory. But surrogate sacrifices herself to become pregnant for others and work hard to continue the journey. Surrogacy never becomes successful without support from surrogates and for this reason, surrogate deserves at least some reward.

Payment is legitimate for surrogates

The language of “compensation” is used to avoid exploitation. The term ‘compensation’  indicates the minimum amount paid to counterbalance the time and risks involved in the surrogacy. It is also considered that the minimal amount of money paid as compensation to the surrogates is an incentive and the only motivation for women to participate in surrogacy. But this concept is not right. A clinical trial report revealed that compensation for surrogacy indicates the risk involved in this process, which should not be considered as the encouragement of women to join surrogacy. 

Poor women not only join in surrogacy to obtain monitory benefits. Any fertile woman can be surrogate and acts as a service provider. Carrying a fetus, deliver a baby and relinquish to the born child are different steps of the job performed by surrogates during the gestational period.

If we considered that surrogacy is a work for a surrogate, then payment is legitimate but not compensation for this service. Alike gendered and reproductive labor continues as undervalued, surrogacy is also undervalued. But surrogacy must be recognized as a form of work, which produces real live people.

Read Also: Indications for surrogate pregnancy

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