The future of surrogacy is in equilibrium

Exploitation and health risks are so prevalent that caution must be exercised before changing laws

  • Sonia Soda/The Observer

My first thought was surrogacy when a friend was having trouble getting pregnant. If you could have a baby for your loved one, would you? It didn’t take long to think. I knew I couldn’t hand over my baby personally.

Surrogacy is fraught with moral complications. On the one hand, there are joyful parents who never thought they would have a biological child, and women who say being a surrogate mother is fulfilling. On the other hand, heartbreaking stories of what happens when things go wrong, stories of the terrible exploitation of women in poor countries, and more recently, during COVID-19 and subsequent wars, countries such as Russia and Ukraine A baby stranded without a parent in

The UK is one of the relatively few countries where surrogacy is legal. However, it is allowed, not recommended. Commercial surrogacy is prohibited. Women who are surrogate mothers should only be compensated for reasonable costs. Surrogacy is legally treated after the fact. A woman is always the legal mother of the child she gives birth to. After the child is born, the eligible parents must apply to the family court for an order to raise the child. We remain small with only 300-400 orders per year.

Some women have had positive experiences. “Literally changing someone’s life,” says Sarah Jones, head of surrogacy UK’s five-time surrogacy and surrogacy. She has no regrets, even though in her previous pregnancy she contracted COVID-19 and had gestational diabetes that put her in the hospital for five weeks.

But not even one happy story or a few can eliminate the exploitative potential inherent in having a baby for another person. I also spoke with a woman who had a terrible experience. Made to feel like an object throughout her life, she was not allowed to see the baby in the hospital after her delivery and was blocked by her parents on social media days later. left. No one knows how prevalent these experiences are in the UK, as there is little independent contemporary research on the mental health effects of surrogacy.

However, surrogacy is known to come with health risks. All of the usual risks of pregnancy increase with age. Carrying an embryo made using someone else’s eggs also carries significantly higher risks, as does transferring multiple embryos. The ‘costs’ are high and sometimes centralized, sometimes exceeding £20,000 (US$22,000). That is, it is quite possible that some women decide to become surrogate mothers for financial reasons, or are pressured to do so.

Surrogacy is banned in most European countries, although some have adopted a fully commercial model.India has a booming industry that attracts people from all over the world. rice field. Research has shown that some poor women acting as surrogate mothers are housed in communal accommodation in poor conditions, unable to see their own children, and unable to meet the family to which the baby will go. It turns out that was not allowed either. Surrogacy is outright banned in India, with Georgia emerging as a cheap destination instead. Sex selection of embryos is legal in some areas, although there are stories of parents rejecting babies born with disabilities.

It’s not just in less wealthy countries. In most of the United States, a woman can receive anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 per pregnancy, including health insurance. Feminist activist Julie Bindel said of her surrogate mother that she interviewed in California:

Surrogacy is contracted. A woman is obligated to surrender a baby, and a woman who has an abortion without her parents’ consent of her intention can be sued and her bodily autonomy compromised. This is considered the trafficking of children by the UN Special Rapporteur on Child Exploitation.

About half of parental orders in the UK are given to British parents who have surrogated abroad. Family courts have a duty to do whatever is in the child’s best interests.

The Law Commission seems to be moving forward on the premise that the law should be more permissive

Surrogacy also raises questions about the importance of pregnancy to parenthood. The Legal Commission is reviewing the framework for surrogacy in the UK to allow women to become legal parents at birth as long as the woman giving birth does not object and all parties involved are counseled before conception. We are proposing a route to

This will make a big difference for parents.I spoke with a gay father whose life has been changed by surrogacy.

But it also shows that the Legal Commission treats surrogacy as another form of assisted conception as much as possible.

However, surrogacy allows single men to become parents without anyone else involved. You will not be criminally prosecuted., family court or social services for domestic or child abuse?

The committee also proposed removing the requirement for genetic ties to babies born through surrogacy in some circumstances, raising the question of whether more commercial payments should be made to women who conceive babies. is left.

Surrogacy raises ethical questions about how we reproduce. I don’t think the law should encourage surrogacy. Others may disagree. But despite the lack of data on public attitudes, the commission seems to be moving forward on the premise that the law should be more permissive. In doing so, it has appointed the sole moral arbiter of the problems of all of us as a society.

Sonia Sodha is a columnist for Observer.

Comments are moderated. Please keep your comments relevant to the article. Statements containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotions will be removed and users will be banned.The final decision is at the discretion of Taipei Times. The future of surrogacy is in equilibrium

Show More
Back to top button