Surrogacy: The Legal and Ethical Issues

The ever-raising pervasiveness of sterility world has lead to the advancement of Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) treatments. Herein, the surrogacy comes as an alternative where the sterile couples can have the baby through this process. Surrogacy is an agreement where a substitute mother bears and delivers a baby for commissioning couple. Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy arrangement which is also considered legal by many state laws. In gestational surrogacy, an embryo, which is fertilized by In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), is implanted into the uterus of a substitute mother who carries pregnancy for nine months and delivers a healthy baby. In traditional surrogacy, which is not popular and also considered illegal by many state laws, the substitute mother is impregnated by the sperms of commissioning father by Artificial Insemination (AI) therapy. In traditional surrogacy process, the substitute mother is genetically connected to the new-born. Therefore, this type of surrogacy is banned by most of the state laws.

At a glance, the surrogacy process seems to be very attractive alternative for poor women as they get good money by this process. The commissioning couples get their long desired biologically connected baby, but the real fact divulges the bitter truth. In most of countries like England, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Italy, surrogacy and surrogate agreements are considered illegal. These countries do not allow both types of surrogacy. Therefore, infertile couples from these countries move to India, United States of America, Ukraine and California where the surrogacy is considered legal. However, it is painful to know that none of these countries have proper legislation for surrogacy. Due to lack of proper legislation and transparency in the system, both commissioning couples and surrogate mother are exploited and profit is earned by the middlemen. There may be chances of getting involved in legal problems as none of these countries have regulations and transparency in laws governing surrogacy.

When the commissioning couples visit other countries to realize their dreams of parenthood by having a biological baby, they need to fight a long legal battle by crossing the language and cultural barrier to get their baby. Even if everything goes well with the commissioning couples, they need to stay at least two to three months to complete the required formalities after the birth of a new-born. While the intended couples face all these difficulties, surrogate mothers have another set of problems. The things with the surrogate mothers are even worse and unethical. If the substitutes are selected from rural background, the middlemen exploit them constantly. Sometimes, these ladies even don’t get complete compensation paid by the intended parents.

In conclusion, we can say that, if commissioning couple desire to have their own biological child, they need to contact the best agency where they will be guided legally and ethically, where the agencies conduct psychological screening and legal counselling for surrogate mothers (mandatory in the US). If you succeed in finding the best agency, then you can realize your dreams of parenthood without any legal and ethical difficulties.