A Surrogate Mother is defined as "an adult woman who enters into an agreement to bear a child conceived through assisted conception for intended parents". The couple is usually referred to as intended parents who enter into an agreement providing that they will be the parents of a child born to a surrogate through assisted conception, using an egg or sperm of at least one parent. 1 RIGHT - Surrogate motherhood is a right entitled to those who are ready and able to take on the responsibility of parenthood. Surrogate mothers fills a fundamental human longing. Procreation is a primitive instinct, and to many people it is devastating not to be able to become parents Surrogate motherhood is a solution to this age-old problem. Even in the bible, Abraham and Sarah resorted to a 'surrogate mother' that produced their son Ishmael.
2 NEED - Surrogate motherhood fills a need for infertile couples. 2.4 million infertile married American couples. It is estimated that one in six couples are affected by some degree of infertility. Many people are marrying later and are delaying having children. After age 45, about 95% of women are unable to conceive on their own. Surrogate mothers also fill the need for non-traditional families including the gay and lesbian population as well as single heterosexuals.
ISSUES OF COMMERCIAL SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD Although compensation might not be the main motive for surrogacy, by making compensation illegal, it may decrease the amt. of surrogates available Some people may refer to surrogate motherhood as "baby selling" but surrogate mothers are not selling the child - they are just providing a service Medical Ethics professor at University of Texas stated", Baby selling is you have a born child that is sold to another person. Here we " re talking about agreements made before conception has even occurred where there is no existing child. Secondly, the genes, in the case of gestational surrogacy, are being provided by the couple that is hiring the surrogate, thus, in a sense, it is their genetic child". -the fee paid to the surrogate mother is not for the baby - it compensates her for her time and effort, initiating and carrying the pregnancy, giving birth, accepting the risks of pregnancy and childbirth (pain, depression, sleep disturbances), and possible loss of employment opportunities This $$ is often times seen as a gift to reciprocate the surrogate's generosity. Most people don't realize most surrogates are gestational carriers only who are paid by an agency and who carry in the infertile couple's child for them. If you question the ethics of this, then you must also question foster mothers who are paid by the state to take care of children like they were their own. Since most surrogate mothers are required to have had at least 1 successful childbirth, their surrogacy fee is usually spent on their own children, home improvement, or related expenses, and not on themselves.
Some people may argue about a financial access barrier - that only the affluent couples will be able to afford surrogate mothers-well this is the same for most services related to infertility - for certain medical procedures, and adoption as well 3 PROVIDES ANOTHER OPTION TO ADOPTION - In the US, might have to wait 3-7 yrs (hard to get a baby) - Allows for one or two of the 'intended parents' to be biologically related to the child. Allows the opportunity for the 'intended couple' to be involved in the pregnancy itself. Surrogate motherhood allows for a scrutiny and monitoring of prenatal care by the intended couple, as compared to adoption where your child may not have had adequate prenatal care. The intended couple would have reliable health info about the child.
The surrogate mother can be screened (to make sure she is healthy). Agencies take this screening process very seriously Joan London, former host of Good Morning America, had twins resulting from a surrogate pregnancy. The agency that she used (The Center for Surrogate Parenting) screens hundreds of surrogate applications each month and accepts only about 6 per month. Sometimes surrogacy can be completed faster than an adoption More adoptions fall through than surrogacy arrangements 4 Surrogate MOTHER - allows surrogate to perform an altruistic task (sister, family member, close friend, or people who just want to help others). 5 LEGAL ISSUES - Couples must know what they are getting involved in before signing any form of contract.
Advice can be sought to decrease risk of problems. State laws differ. PA, unlike some of its neighbor states, has not formally expressed through either in court or its legislature any overt hostility toward surrogate parenting. While the lack of law directly addressing surrogacy necessarily creates uncertainty and attended risk, at the present time, PA may be viewed as the state where carefully structured surrogate parenting arrangements can be successful. Arthur Caplan, pHD, professor and director of the center for BioEthics at the University of Pennsylvania, "Helping infertile couples have babies is a highly ethical thing to do - and surrogacy is a piece of that.
As long as everyone understands going in what his and her rights and obligations are, It can be a good way to help people have a family who couldn't otherwise". Any attempt to prohibit surrogate motherhood would limit the autonomy of infertile couples and surrogates. In the US, the freedom to decide whether and when to conceive or bear a child is a highly protected right. Intended parents and surrogate mothers should be free to cooperate in procreating, at least in cases of medical need and where care is taken to avoid harming others, especially the prospective child.
Commercial surrogate motherhood should not be banned, but regulations should be enforced to assure that financial REBUTTALChildren's Reaction - my parents really wanted me or "I could have had a disease " Only 1% of all surrogate mothers change their mind and want to keep the baby as compared to 75% of birth mothers who change their minds in a traditional adoption The people who have struggled so hard to conceive their own child are probably the best candidates to be good parents, not the worst The American Fertility Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have recognized infertility as a disease. The statutes that are designed allow the surrogacy option only for those who are affected with a medically recognized disability. Baby M - a psychological examination showed that Mary Beth Whitehead would have a problem giving up the child, but he agency handling the transaction did not bother to read the report. - some agencies require that their surrogate applicants have some minimum family income level before being accepted into their program. Money is a motivation just like it would be in other situations in which people are paid to be surrogate parents (nannies, workers in day care centers, foster parents, and teachers in elementary schools).