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Surrogacy as a Reproductive Technology

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It has been estimated that more than 80 million people are affected by infertility across the world. When a couple is not able to conceive a child naturally it seems to have a huge impact on the relationship as in most cases women are the normally blamed for being infertile. Society has also created a stereotype for women who are infertile to see themselves as different from the women who can conceive. This results to a crisis in the couple’s relationship which leads to the couple failing to communicate to their family and friends about having children because they are afraid, they might be judged for being infertile. There have been many assumptions of what causes a woman to be infertile, in most cases people believe infertility is caused by old age where women experience menopause, however in developing countries such as sub Saharan Africa it has been discovered that infertility in women is caused by poor-resource settings.

However, in other cases a couple might experience infertility due to getting married late, delaying procreation for educational, vocational or economic reasons, which eventually leads to the decline in fertility, in male’s infertility is caused by the growing toxicity in the environment. However, the development of New Reproductive Technologies (NRTs) has provided a solution for infertile couples to have children using methods such as IVF and surrogacy and people have come to accept it as they are desperate for having children and being discriminated by society. Despite the rise of NRTs it has caused a controversy as it challenges the traditional understanding of relationship between sex and procreation, it also challenges the structure of linage and kinship networks. As a result, the use of new reproductive technologies has caused a huge impact to the lives of many infertile and sub-fertile couples around the world. Therefore, this essay will discuss what IVF and surrogacy involve for couples and its impact on modern society.

NRTs (New reproductive technologies) refers to those technologies that assist conception by introducing a third person into the usual two-party parenthood (donor or surrogate). This third person may or may not be known to the recipient couples. (Lecture notes). NRTs have brought into a customary speech a minor change among social and biological parenthood. Consequently, the new reproductive technology have isolated the, origination from birth, bringing about the recently brought together components of multiplication being recognizable as three separate components, specifically the genetic (conception) gestational, (pregnancy – conveying of the embryo for 9 months) and social aspect (nourishing and child nurture). It has also created a division in who the mother of the child is, it has deconstructed motherhood as a unified biological process, resulting in uncertainty about what motherhood itself means. It also questions who the father is. This occurs in same sex marriages and parenting of lesbians and gay couples where it challenges the kinship and genetic relatedness between the parent and child. (Taylor).

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In vitro fertilization is defined as medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by a sperm in a test tube, the term In Vitro fertilization means fertilization in a glass. The resulting embryo is then transferred back into the uterus a few days later. This process is used by a couple that is not able to conceive naturally. The introduction of IVF has assisted reproduction technology which have resulted in in the creation of families that would not have existed. At first, IVF was reconsidered for women with absent, blocked and damaged fallopian tube but it has also been used in cases of unexplainable infertility, where male’s infertility an ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is used in cases of severe male factor infertility. IVF questions who the social is and biological parent, when the father spermatozoa and mothers’ eggs are used that child genetically related to both parents, however in a case where child is conceived through donor insemination are genetically related to the mother only and when a donated egg is used that child is only genetically related to the father. There are cases where both the egg and sperm are donated which mean the child is not genetically related to both parents. These are considered to be the same as children who are adopted*

Surrogacy, is also supported by a legal agreement, whereby a women (the surrogate mother) agree to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person(s) who is or will be the parent of the child. Surrogacy is defined as a form of assisted reproductive technology where a women (surrogate mother) offers to carry a baby through pregnancy on behalf of another person or couple through and return the baby to the intended parents once it is born. Surrogacy requires for the couple to produce their egg and spermatozoa to create an embryo which is then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. That means the surrogate mother is not genentically related to the child. However in cases where there is a donated egg or spermatozoa the surrogate mother be related to the child if they offer to donate their egg to the couple. This process has resulted to a child have five possible five parents: the egg donor, spermatozoa donor, the birth mother and social parents whom the child know as mother and father. This reproductive technology results in a new complex social structure being form. These new reproductive technologies have captured the public’s imagination and preyed on widespread fantasies for couples whom cannot conceive naturally to have chance of having a family.

However these technologies have challenged the traditional understanding of relationship between sex and procreation, as it challenges the structure of linage and kinship networks. It raises question on who the biological and social parents are? Many couples have come to use these reproductive technologies such as gay and lesbian couples as they do not have the ability to conceive a child naturally. This process however leaves a question on how does IVF and surrogacy impact on our modern society and does it have an impact on the child’s life (those who are raised by gay and lesbian couples).

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Surrogacy as a Reproductive Technology. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-as-a-reproductive-technology/
“Surrogacy as a Reproductive Technology.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-as-a-reproductive-technology/
Surrogacy as a Reproductive Technology. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-as-a-reproductive-technology/> [Accessed 5 Oct. 2022].
Surrogacy as a Reproductive Technology [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-as-a-reproductive-technology/
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