Surrogate Motherhood Ethics

We live in the epoch of the science-and-technology progress. Space vehicles have been ploughing expanses of the universe for long. Cellular communication, satellite television and Internet have become an inseparable part of our daily life. One would think that there may be no surprise for a man of today. On the other hand, no matter how fast is the advancement of humanity, there still exist issues that have thrilled millions of human minds all over the world. Surrogacy is one of such issues which makes the subject of argument for ordinary people, politicians, clergymen, etc. The attempts are made to present moral aspects as immoral ones, and vice versa. It’s quite common for women who carry babies for infertile couples and childless spouses themselves, i.e. the ones who made use of surrogacy services, become subject to criticism. Surrogate mothers are branded as women who sell their own children. Infertile couples are accused of immorality.   

It appears extremely difficult for those family couples who have passed through numerous failed medical procedures to convey their great desire to become parents and press their own babies against their breasts to those who always “vote against”, who are capable of giving birth to their own children.    

Surrogacy – from the time Adam was a boy

Origination of surrogate motherhood dates back to the biblical times. Potentialities of the medical science of that time may not be compared with the present-day great achievements. In those distant times surrogacy services were provided by maidservants and slaves. Since conception was natural, a surrogate mother was genetically related to a child whom she carried. Today, a similar surrogacy service is known as traditional (natural). Having had given birth to a baby, a surrogate mother remained to be his or her nurse.

Many thousand years after the medical progress advanced far, and the traditional surrogacy services were replaced by gestational surrogacy.  This method involves collection of genetic matter (oocytes and spermatozoa) of would-be parents and its further fusion in an artificial medium, while mature embryos are transferred into the uterine cavity of a surrogate mother, using a special thin catheter. Hence, the surrogate mother ceases to be biologically related to a newborn child.

Due to the existence of political and religious contradictions, the use of surrogacy services was completely forbidden in such countries as Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Sweden, as well as in some US states (Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey).   

In Victoria (a state in Australia) and Great Britain, only non-commercial surrogacy is allowed, where current expenses borne by a surrogate mother during the period of pregnancy and birth may be covered.

The use of surrogacy services is materially restricted by the legislative base in Denmark. In Canada, Israel, Netherlands, American states of New Hampshire and Virginia any advertising of surrogacy services and offering services of surrogate mothers or selecting them are strictly forbidden.  

In Belgium, Greece, Spain and Finland surrogate motherhood does exist. However, similar programs are not regulated by the active laws in these countries.

To become parents, childless couples are ready to cross any borders and whole continents. Neither priests nor politicians can be entitled to forbid a man or a woman to become a parent.  A child is a continuation and inseparable part of ourselves.  And as a baby and the parents get so much alike, as we recognize ourselves in his or her habits, an invisible link connecting us with our offspring becomes much stronger.