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Surrogate Motherhood: Good or Bad

There are many controversies surrounding the idea of surrogate motherhood, by its definition, it is a course of action that goes outside natural reproduction. Although surrogacy was first brought up in the bible it is only until recently that it has actually become an issue for criticism and debate.

Factors such as the growth of infertility in modern society, coupled with the declining number of children available for adoption, and the development of surrogacy contract and commercial surrogacy agencies in 1976, have resulted in increasing publicity and public interest in the formation of agreements between infertile ouples and surrogate mothers (Stuhmcke, 3). Surrogate motherhood can be approached in more than one way, and some surrogacy procedures receive more condemnation than others.

One type of surrogacy is when an egg is extracted from the infertile female and placed in a petri dish and is then fertilized by the fertile males sperm, the fertilized egg is then placed into the fertile females uterus so she can give birth to the child. This procedure is done when the uterus of a female is in some way defective, but her eggs are in fine condition, this is called invitro fertilization surrogacy or IVF surrogacy (Hanafin, 3). IVF surrogacy, or total surrogacy is the procedure that receives the least criticism because the baby is in no way related to its carrier.

The more common type of surrogacy is through artificial insemination or AI. This is when the couple wishing to have a child are unable because of the females eggs, the male then uses his sperm to impregnate a fertile woman. In this case the child would not be related to the legal mother in any way, and would have the genes of the surrogate mother, this is also known as partial surrogacy (http://kizuna. cwru. edu/rlgn120/projects/feminism/opinions. tml). Laws about surrogacy vary from state to state. However, only a few states have actually passed laws concerning the matter, the others have simply dodged the issue.

Partial surrogacy in comparison to total surrogacy is much more difficult to work out legally. There are the issues of half-siblings, the biological mothers role in the childs life, whether or not the woman raising the child will be able to handle such issues, and what the child will be told when he/she gets older. For such reasons, surrogate motherhood has been avoided by lawmakers in most states (http://www. phoenix. et/townhall/surrogat/surlaws. html). The initial demand for surrogacy is likely to come from women, or the partners of women incapable of pregnancy, and there are many ways a couple can go about finding a surrogate mother.

There are agencies in states that have legalized surrogacy, and there are also online databases, such as www. surrogacy. com, which display message boards of people looking to be surrogate mothers or couples looking to use a surrogate. Before an arrangement is made there are many issues to discuss and precautions to be taken. The first issue would be whether or not the surrogate other will be paid for her troubles, in almost all cases she is given some sort of fee, and in nearly every case her medical bills and living expenses are taken care of by the parents that will be raising the child.

When a surrogacy arrangement is done for money it is called a commercial surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy is looked at by some as a form of prostitution because the woman is being paid for use of her body. However, it is difficult to find a surrogate mother that would carry a child simply out of love or sympathy. Nonetheless, when an arrangement is made without compensation for the surrogate mother it is called ltruistic surrogacy (Stuhmcke, 2). Other debates include moral and ethical questions.

Does surrogacy go against natural selection, and is the burden it will cause to the children, the parents, and the surrogate mother, worth it? Some people believe that if an individual does not have the ability of reproduction, it should be selected, and technology should not be used to alter Gods plan. Another reason people think it is a risky matter is because of the effect it could have on the child. Some believe a normal parent-child relationship could not be formed, and it could leave the child feeling confused and lone.

I, however, look at surrogacy as having the same effect on a child as adoption. While there may be confusion, there will not be a lack of love for the child because he/she was not conceived or carried by the legal parents. I am all for surrogate motherhood. I believe the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Surrogacy provides some couples with their only hope of raising a child genetically related to at least one of them. I believe that everyone should be given the chance to have a family, and if the surrogate mothers are willing to do it, I do not see a problem with it.

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