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< Back to question Should surrogacy be legal? Show more Show less

Surrogacy refers to the process through which a woman intentionally becomes pregnant with a baby she does not intend to keep, instead carrying the foetus for its intended parent or parents, usually because the parent is unable to do so without her. Surrogacy may be altruistic where the surrogate is not paid, or commercial where she is. Countries and states often have unclear legislation on surrogacy. Should surrogacy be legalized? Under what conditions should surrogacy be legal?

Yes, surrogacy should be legal. Show more Show less

Everybody should have access to parenthood and women can decide what they do with their bodies. Surrogacy should be legal.
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Surrogacy allows people unable to have children naturally to have them

Some people can not have children without scientific help and surrogacy can fix this inequity.
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The Argument

For those who want children the inability to have a child naturally can be frustrating and stressful, whether it be due to infertility, an LGBT couple who cannot naturally conceive, or a host of other reasons. Using a surrogate allows potential parents the possibility of attaining the dream of having children. Within the framework of reproductive rights, the right to parent is seen as human right so gender identity and sexual orientation can not be discriminated against. Additionally, surrogacy carries with it the bonus of one or both parents being able to be biologically related to the child. To many potential parents, this is an important aspect of surrogacy, especially when adoption can be extremely complex.

Counter arguments

There is no “right to a child”. Even though infertility is unimaginably difficult for affected couples, no one is owed the life of another person. Surrogacy is more available for the wealthy and there is a risk that potential surrogates living in poverty could be coerced into surrogacy.


[P1] It is an injustice that some people are unable to have children. [P2] Surrogacy allows people to correct this.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] It is not an injustice that some people are unable to have children - there is no 'right' to a child.


Further Reading

Baker, B. (1996) A case for permitting altruistic surrogacy. Hypatia, 11(2), 34-48 Krawiec and Busby, K. & Vun, D. (2009) Revisiting The Handmaid's Tale: Feminist Theory Meets Empirical Research on Surrogate Mothers, 26 CAN. J. FAM. L. 13(44). Teman, E. (2010) Birthing a Mother: The surrogate body and the pregnant self. Los Angeles: University of California Press. van den Akker, O. (2017) Surrogate Motherhood Families. London:Palgrave MacMillan.


    This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 10:08 UTC


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