Monday, May 2, 2016
Often times, surrogacy is the only option for some individuals to start a family. It is for these reasons that this process is highly controversial and key ethical issues are addressed.
A. Attachment to Gestation mother: In a surrogate scenario, the gestational mother is the women who carries the baby for the family, the entire term. This can be a demanding process both physically and emotionally. There was a study done in its purpose to assess the emotional experiences of surrogate mothers. The study consisted of qualitative research where a systematic subjective approach was done to describe the life experiences. The subject included eight women aged 29-34 years old, all participants had children.
Experience acquired in pregnancy:
1. Feelings toward pregnancy: Coercion having no feeling to baby
- All participants stated that they tried to have no motherhood feeling to the child inside their womb. “That baby would never belong to me,” stated one of the participants.
2. Doubt about informing own children of the pregnancy type:
- One participant stated: “I have a little girl who is very smart and understands many things so I did not know how to tell her. She frequently asked: "Mom, do you want to bring me a brother or a sister?”. I could not really explain it to her. I did not know what to say.”
These are just a couple of the emotions that the surrogate mothers were feeling. This is not to suggest that the results of depression in surrogate women are higher in general population. Most importantly, there should be more factors included when deciding to be a surrogate mother. The study shows that more attention should be paid to choosing suitable hosting applicants with professional counseling before pregnancy, Detachment is important in surrogacy, whether the surrogate showed mental capabilities in the beginning.
B. Breach of Contract: Either party, whether it be the intended parents or the surrogate mother can breach their contract.
Definition: a legal cause of action in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other party's performance. (google.com)
-Voluntary abortion by the surrogate without consent of the intended parents.
- Surrogate can breach the contract by failing to follow certain behavioral restrictions (alcohol/drug consumption).
-Failure of intended parents to pay for all expenses and fees.
C. Ethical Issues (My View): Surrogacy can be considered a baby selling process to a certain extent. I feel as though, surrogacy cheapens the value of human life to create a child and shop the surrogate around looking for someone willing and able to pay the cost. Not saying all experiences are the same. In some instances, you have families that would rather have their family members carry their child, rather than some women through a surrogacy company. This is an extreme case because it raises thoughts of sincerity, detachment, and distress on both parties. I think all possible options should be considered. Looking out for both the intended family and surrogate, it is a very touchy situation. If this is the last option, more research should be done. In some U.S. states surrogacy is considered favorable, surrogacy parent contracts are forbidden, etc. Question: To be a surrogate or not to be?
*Link to study*: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126251/