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Surrogacy One Of The Most Common Approaches To Address Both Biological And Social Infertility

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Introduction

Nature has bestowed the beautiful power to procreate a life within women, and every woman cherishes the motherhood experience. An individual’s right to reproduction is his inherent right. The desire for children is a common phenomenon among couples. Parenthood is a life-altering experience that is eternally rewarding. The pain and suffering of struggling to fulfill the parenthood vision are unmitigated. The science of care for infertility has advanced by leaps and bounds. The institution of family has been granted primary importance by every culture worldwide. When two people come together and enter into a marriage relationship, a new family is created and with the birth of children, this family becomes complete.

Children are considered from ancient times to be a requirement for the continuity of family lineage and a source of joy for the parents. Psychologists point out that a baby’s birth establishes a bond between the partners that can help maintain difficult relationships in the long term. However, a significant section of the population is unable to have their child due to different reasons. Research has shown that these problems occur in one in six couples. A child’s absence is viewed as a shame to the family. There are also cases where the incapacity to have a child contributed to the breakup of marriage. The inability to have a child known in medical terminology as infertility is a global issue. The incidence of infertility around the globe is about 10-15 percent according to the WHO survey.

Some types of infertility which in the past were deemed untreatable today have easy solutions. Until recently adoption was the only alternative for childless couples. The advancement in medical science, particularly in the field of artificial human reproductive technologies (ART), has come to rescue these individuals and has provided them with various options for the creation of a genetically related infant. There are different options in ART such as artificial insemination, In-Vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, etc. Surrogacy has become common among all methods.

Meaning and concept of surrogacy

Surrogacy has arisen with the use of a woman’s womb to reproduce children for another woman as a new stage of scientific development for reproduction. ‘Surrogacy’ is one of the most common approaches to address both biological and social infertility. Surrogacy has offered opportunities to provide a genetically related child for couples who cannot reproduce by artificial reproduction and in vitro fertilization. Surrogacy has become an appealing choice for pairs and individuals wishing to have a biologically related infant.

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The idea of surrogacy has gained worldwide popularity. Surrogate motherhood is viewed by infertile couples as a blessing, as it is an innovative hope of having a child. The word ‘surrogate’ was derived from a Latin word ‘surrogates meaning a replacement, who is a person named to work on another’s behalf. Traditionally, surrogate motherhood is referred to as ‘an arrangement between a married couple who are unable to have a child due to the infertility of the wife, and a fertile woman who decides to conceive the child of the husband through artificial insemination, bring it to an end, and surrender all parental rights in the kid.’

Types of surrogacy

In Genetic / Partial Surrogacy, the woman’s egg is either fertilized by artificial insemination or less frequently by natural intercourse by the sperm of the couple’s male partner (commissioning father) who desires the fetus. Here the surrogate mother is the child’s genetic mother and the commissioning mother plays the social and legal mother role. This form of surrogacy is often named Partial Surrogacy or Traditional Surrogacy. Total surrogacy is when the egg of the surrogate is fertilized with the donor sperm or with the parent who commissions it.

The egg and semen are retrieved from the commissioning couple (or from anonymous donors) in Gustatory / Gestational Surrogacy, and the resulting embryo is then inserted into the surrogate or the carrying mother. Here, there is no genetic connection between the surrogate mother and the boy. Also, this form of surrogacy is called Full Surrogacy.

Surrogacy may also be classified into two forms that are based on financial compensation. The first is Altruistic Surrogacy and the second is Commercial Surrogate. Financial compensation for the surrogate mother is not provided in Altruistic Surrogacy, although the commissioning parent can provide the surrogate mother with fees and costs in bringing an embryo to maturity. This form of surrogacy is primarily popular among family or close friends. The usual explanation given why no financial compensation is required is because the decision to be a surrogate in this form of surrogacy stems from love, not from personal gain or even avarice. Whereas in the other form of surrogacy – commercial surrogacy – the language of kindness is often used, the surrogate is financially compensated beyond the costs associated with pregnancy. That is, it charges the mother for her gestational services

Moral and ethical issues which led to the ban of commercial surrogacy

  1. Harm to Surrogate Mother- Most women served as surrogate mothers because of deprivation or other economic necessity. However, surrogacy technology can entail certain risks and can affect the health and life of the surrogate mother. This poses the essential question of responsibility for harm caused or sustained by a surrogate mother. Unless there is no medical error on the part of the doctors and other medical personnel, it will be impossible to resolve the liability and thereby account for the damage suffered by the surrogate mother;
  2. The benefit of the Child- Surrogacy usually includes the cash payment to the surrogate mother for the conception and delivery of the infant to the commissioning parents. It is then criticized as being equal to buying and selling an infant. It is argued that this will lead to the selection of sex and features in an infant, i.e. the development of designer babies. As a consequence, surrogacy will lead to the infant being viewed as a commodity that is considered immoral and unethical;
  3. Surrogacy Degrades the Dignity of Women-The right to dignity is one of the fundamental and valued rights of every human being. It is asserted that surrogacy violates the intrinsic integrity of a woman. Surrogacy requires the use of a woman’s body to deliver a child that is handed over to the commissioning parents. At the time of pregnancy, the pregnant mother must comply with the conditions laid down in the contract and has no right to make any decision involving her womb;
  4. Surrogacy has been compared to prostitution-Many scholars have criticized the idea that surrogacy is like prostitution, as it entails the sale of the reproductive power of a woman and the use of her body in exchange for payment of money. It is further argued that it is equivalent to a prostitute who has no control and power over a customer who has purchased her favor and paid money;
  5. This practice of outsourcing has been subjected to great criticism raising issues like the slavery of women, neocolonialism, and exploitation of poor women;
  6. Affinity to the Gestational Parent – In a surrogate case, the gestational parent is the woman who bears the child. This can be a very challenging task, both physically and emotionally – and special in that, since a surrogate mother physically holds the baby during her pregnancy, she has to physically and emotionally separate herself from the infant once she is born.

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Surrogacy One Of The Most Common Approaches To Address Both Biological And Social Infertility. (2021, August 02). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-one-of-the-most-common-approaches-to-address-both-biological-and-social-infertility/
“Surrogacy One Of The Most Common Approaches To Address Both Biological And Social Infertility.” Edubirdie, 02 Aug. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-one-of-the-most-common-approaches-to-address-both-biological-and-social-infertility/
Surrogacy One Of The Most Common Approaches To Address Both Biological And Social Infertility. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-one-of-the-most-common-approaches-to-address-both-biological-and-social-infertility/> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2023].
Surrogacy One Of The Most Common Approaches To Address Both Biological And Social Infertility [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 02 [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/surrogacy-one-of-the-most-common-approaches-to-address-both-biological-and-social-infertility/
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