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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?

No. Surrogacy should be illegal. Show more Show less

Commodification of human life is immoral and surrogacy is exploitative.
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Surrogacy is immoral

Commodification of human life is immoral. No country allows the sale of human beings.
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Context

The debate framing surrogacy as a 'market' implies that the product being bought and sold is children.

The Argument

The artificial production of a child is an extreme form of consumerism, creating a 'market' for children. Rather than acknowledging the importance of the gestational process of a child bonding with their mother in the womb, it makes the child a commodity because the successful embryo is selected from a group of embryos on account of certain attractive characteristics that it has.

Counter arguments

The market for surrogacy does not involve the buying and selling of children, but the sale of gestational labour. Surrogacy is not carried out because of a desire to create a genetically 'perfect' child, but because of a desire for a couple to have a child of their own that is related to at least one parent. Technical fertility innovations have all moved from being controversial to increasingly accepted over time, from sperm donation, to in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF), egg donation and gestational surrogacy. Surrogacy may also use donor sperm in which case the intended parents have no biological relationship to the baby or babies. There may be multiple surrogates, fathers, mothers, donors, and babies. It can get very complicated. Surrogacy exposes parenthood, not as a biological fact, but as a legally and socially constructed status with responsibilities and obligations as well as benefits

Framing

Premises

[P1] Surrogacy commodifies children. [P2] It is inherently wrong to create a market which buys and sells people.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Surrogacy does not commodify the life of a child, but rather the gestational labour of the surrogate who carries the genetic child of the intended parents that they are unable to do themselves.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

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    This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 11:03 UTC