Parenthood is one of the most challenging responsibilities a human being can ever bear. It is also one of the biggest joys a family can experience. However, there are many people, who—due to various reasons—cannot have children. Usually, they have little choice: either to adopt a child, or live without children. However, throughout the recent decades, there has been another option for such families: surrogacy, or surrogate maternity. Omitting the details, surrogacy is paid childbearing: a fertile woman receives payment for being impregnated and giving birth to a child of a couple who cannot have children on their own. And although to some people this might seem to be an acceptable alternative, surrogacy in fact is not only traumatizing and exploitative, but also immoral and should be proclaimed illegal.
Surrogacy completely infringes on the rights of a child. It is not a secret that parents play the most significant role in a child’s development—children are also known to be extremely interested in their parentage. The Convention of the Rights of the Child proclaims that every child has a right to know their parents, to have their dignity respected and protected, to be protected from trafficking, and so on. Now, if we take a look at surrogacy, we can suddenly see that all these rights are being threatened. Cases when “customers” change their minds and decide to not have children, or refuse to accept a child because of physical or mental disability, are rather frequent. In this case, surrogate mothers give birth to children whom no one needs anymore; most likely, such children will end up in an orphanage (The Conversation). All this is an obvious violation of children’s rights.
There was a related scandal with an Australian couple who decided to “order” a child from a surrogate mother from Thailand. The genetic material would belong to parents, so the woman would only have to give birth to a child. After nine months of pregnancy, this surrogate mother gave birth to twins: a completely normal girl, and a boy with Down Syndrome (he was later named Gammy). Gammy’s genetic parents refused to bring him up, and claimed they rather would have preferred an abortion to take place. In this case, Gammy was unwanted by all the sides of the conflict: neither his biological mother, not his genetic mother were not legally obliged to take care of him (Independent.ie). Who can guarantee that this situation does not happen again? Are there ways to legally regulate parental responsibilities in the case when a child is unwanted by all contractors?
In the case of surrogacy, a child born as a result of a commercial arrangement turns into some kind of an end-product, for which customers (the wannabe parents) pay money to the executioner (surrogate mother). This is nothing else but objectification of a child. A child is being produced and sold for money: is it not human trafficking? In many countries, surrogacy is legal, or at least not prosecuted by law. The fact that it is so does not make surrogacy less dangerous, though. It is the same with alcohol: while being legal almost all over the world, it is still a dangerous drug that can lead to many unwanted consequences; analogically, surrogacy may be justified and even morally acceptable, but its actual, highly possible consequences are so drastic—mostly, for children born as a result of a commercial agreement—that it should be proclaimed illegal. Fostering is a much more safe and noble act.
Surrogacy might seem to be an acceptable alternative to families who would like to have children but cannot, due to various reasons. However, surrogacy is in fact a severe violation of children’s rights, which can lead to many unforeseen consequences. There are many moral and legal gaps in this question, so surrogacy should be legally prohibited.
“Making Surrogacy Legal Would Violate Children’s Rights.” The Conversation. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
Quinn, David. “Commercial Surrogacy is a Disaster and Must Be Banned.”Independent.ie. N.p., 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
Doe, John. “Why Surrogate Maternity is Immoral.” IFR. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.
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