Suggestions and Solutions to the Issues in the Surrogacy Field
The moral and ethical questions that arose from surrogate motherhood came about due to advances in modern technology. Without new reproductive technologies (NRTs), questions confronting ethicists and infertile couples today would have been moot and academic since the only possible recourse would be adoption. An issue of surrogate motherhood does not involve a few individuals only but rather the whole society (Surrogacy a service that ignores mother-child bond, 2014). A priori question that precedes an informed debate on surrogacy rights is the conflict between individual rights and the right of the whole society especially that of women’s rights. There are some flaws that have been identified in this article “Surrogacy a service that ignores mother-child bond.”
Firstly, the article suggests that surrogacy is a transaction that reinforces the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Infertile or gay or image-conscious Western couples can buy a baby (Surrogacy a service that ignores mother-child bond, 2014). This statement is an error, and since for those who want children (infertile couples, gay couples, single men and women), the only viable option left is to use surrogate motherhood. There might be some moral, ethical and religious qualms about surrogacy, but the fact is that new reproductive technologies are here to stay. More and more people will resort to this option because it is attractive and alluring (financially, emotionally and psychologically) and simply because the new technology is there for everybody to use (Papaligoura, Papadatou, & Bellali, 2015). If there are life-prolonging devices in hospitals, why not use the same medical technology and knowledge to create and produce human life? Surrogacy has essentially two forms: the commercial and the non-commercial – hence the “have not’s” can use the non-commercial option. There are compelling reasons for surrogate motherhood especially from feminists, and even “gift” surrogacy is not spared from the debate. Both forms can take either the traditional or the gestational surrogacy. Those who argue against surrogate motherhood always try to exaggerate the rare cases where surrogacy contracts were not followed by all the parties concerned. They conveniently ignored the other instances in which parents brought to their homes a very much-desired baby. The happy parents are now given a chance to raise a child that is genetically related to them through the wonders of new reproductive technologies and critics of surrogacy disregard these new parental arrangements where everybody comes out happy, and all the involved parties derived considerable tangible benefits (Carr, 2019).
Secondly, the article states that surrogacy should be outlawed because it was as exploitative as prostitution (Surrogacy a service that ignores mother-child bond, 2014). This statement is a flaw since surrogate motherhood, whether voluntarily entered or coerced, is mostly an exercise of an individual’s rights. Either commercial or altruistic surrogacy involves freedom of choice in most cases and would be no different in other equally contentious issues like smoking, gun rights, pornography or abortion. The rights of an individual to smoke, carry a gun, have an abortion or view pornographic materials cannot be abridged and are limited only when there is potential harm to others, which in surrogacy cases, usually involve the child and the surrogate mother. The lack of federal law regarding surrogacy has put the question to the states which, as mentioned earlier, vary widely. This extra state power leads to differing interpretations, and one aspect of that is tort law (Gunnarsson Payne, 2018). Regulating surrogacy rights and motherhood will eventually go the same way as censoring pornography, good in theory but very difficult to implement. If we can recall, the early days of the Internet also called for its regulation, but rapid digital technological advances made that proposition impractical. Medical technology advances plus a host of other issues (poor women) will make surrogacy more widespread.
Thirdly, the article suggest that surrogacy disregards the intimate bond a baby and mother stitch together in the nine months before delivery is also very wrong. Although efforts are still made to make adoption as smooth as possible, lack of a genetic connection with an adopted child often results in a feeling of failure on the part of adoptive parents. A new option emerged through the use of assisted reproductive methods but raised moral questions. Many infertile couples feel to be doubly fighting an unseen enemy or struck by some natural disaster or uncontrollable calamity when dealing with this very sensitive issue in their lives (infertility) and then when they consider adoption as a solution, are often confronted again with a new set of psychological and emotional issues (Stuvøy, 2018). Much of the literature here regarding adoption involves the experience of adoptees who are more likely to seek therapy from emotional problems. Adoptive children have vulnerabilities that adoptive parents should be acutely aware although some experts point out that problems may not be due to the adoption itself but to attendant factors like lack of good communications and stigma often associated with adoption. The use of surrogate motherhood avoids these common pitfalls and provides another emotional benefit: knowing there exists a direct genetic link (Kristinsson, 2016). Couples (especially married heterosexual couples) dream of starting their own families and produce children whom they will love, nurture and cherish. Nothing devastates a couple more than learning they will be unable to bring children to this world. Whether the male or the female is sterile is often beside the point for these couples. What breaks them is their dream of raising a family has been shattered through no fault of their own. In older times, the only remedy for this bad situation is adoption and seek solace from their religions. But the practice of adoption has always been fraught with risks and complications (Ruiz-Robledillo & Moya-Albiol, 2016).
In conclusion, there have been several approaches suggested with regards to surrogacy, but whether it is banned, allow non-commercial surrogacy (altruistic) but disallowing commercial surrogacy or enforce both forms of surrogacy through contract and adoption laws, surrogacy will continue to gain acceptance among couples today. This is especially true when there are now more women in the workforce (and who may give more premium to their careers) by not getting hindered with pregnancy, and also to the fact, there are now more infertile couples due to lifestyle changes, more pollution and other factors causing infertility (such as stress). People who resort to surrogacy need to develop good relationships with surrogates and also reconcile their personal and religious beliefs to make the arrangement a successful one for all concerned (Burrell & Edozien, 2014). In short, they need to have good chemistry among themselves to make everything work out. At issue here are an individual choice and procreative liberty which even the US Supreme Court tacitly recognized as extending to include a context of non-coital reproduction (Eggen,1991). A child is the best gift anyone can ever give someone today.
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