Ethical Issues in Surrogacy

Topics: Surrogacy, Pregnancy, Baby M Pages: 6 (2007 words) Published: April 30, 2013
The rapid developments in medical technology have caused ethical and moral dilemmas which directly affect the way we understand reproductive ethics. Since the birth of the world's first surrogate baby in the 1980s, surrogacy has become a controversial ethical issue in countries all around the world. (Carr 2007: 1) The proponents of the surrogate mother movement argue that couples have rights of giving birth to children and establish their family integrity, the assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy render a great chance of reproduction to the infertile couples. However, the opponents point out that so increasingly, couples who desire the services of surrogate mother for reasons other than infertility, such as the career development opportunities, fears of losing figure after having a baby and the painfulness of childbirth. (Macao Daily 31/10/20120) Further, they argue that surrogacy goes against nature and undermine the traditional family values. Even, use of surrogacy motherhood is a disrespect to human dignity in an unscrupulous way, the so-called "rent-a-womb", women are regarded as childbearing machine which means their sole function is to give birth to male offspring. Nowadays, although such new medical technology has brought up questions regarding its ethical goodness or badness, the commercial surrogacy is still legal in several countries like United States and India while illegal in many other countries. India has become the world capital of outsourced pregnancies. Surrogacy, what cannot be denied is that the practice of surrogacy is not new, and even tends to prevail. In the next part, I will give definition of the relevant terms, so that it is easier for us to understand about surrogacy. Then, I will analyze ethical issues in surrogacy in respect of the relevant parties, and the outcomes of their acts. Finally, I will make a conclusion on ethical issues in surrogacy.

Surrogate Pregnancy refers to the practice that one woman (the surrogate mother) carries a child for another person(s) (the commissioning couple), as the result of an agreement, the child should be handed over to that person after birth. (Gibbs 2008) There are two types of surrogacy: partial surrogacy and full surrogacy. Partial Surrogacy refers that the surrogate mother is also the genetic mother of the child, (i.e. using her own egg) and conception usually occurs by artificial insemination (人工授孕) using the commissioning father's sperm. (Gibbs 2008) Full Surrogacy refers that the gametes of both commissioning parents are used; both gametes come from donors or one of the commissioning parents provides the gametes and a gamete donor the other. The conception takes place through In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF-體外受精) and embryo transfer (胚胎移植). (Gibbs 2008) Generally, there are mainly three parties involved in surrogacy: the commissioning couples, the surrogate mother and the child. The Commissioning Couple are the people (or in some cases, person) who wish to bring up the child after his or her birth. (Gibbs 2008) The Surrogate Mother is the woman who becomes pregnant, carries and gives birth to a child on behalf of another couple. (Gibbs 2008) The Child who is the surrogate mothers gives birth but handed over to the commissioning couple after his or her birth. (Gibbs 2008)

The Commissioning Couple in Surrogate Pregnancy
Originally, the aim of the surrogate pregnancy is to serve couples who are unable to become pregnant, unable to carry a baby or should not attempt pregnancy because health risk in medical reasons. Such assisted reproductive technology and surrogate pregnancy give hopes and opportunities of reproduction to infertile couples and help them maintain their family integrity. In some sense, it may understandable for the infertile couples have children through surrogate pregnancy. However, surrogate pregnancy not only becomes a viable alternative for the infertile couples, but also renders a way...
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