Surrogate Motherhood Essay

Surrogate Motherhood Essay

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Surrogate motherhood refers to that condition of a fertile (footnote) woman who has been contracted to become impregnated via reproductive technologies such as donor or artificial insemination. It is that condition wherein that fertile woman also has agreed to transfer her rights on the child to the biological parents after giving birth. This is bounded by a contract that was signed by the contracting parents and the surrogate. The reasons for this generally fall into two categories. Either the contracting couple is unable to produce a child or they would prefer to eliminate or enhance certain genetic traits. My argument would apply to either case. For the purpose of this paper, the motivations are irrelevant and the logic following applies to both. The possibility of surrogacy has gotten people into quite a tizzy with furious debates concerning issues such as the commedification of a woman’s reproductive organs, the physiological & psychological harm, and its social impacts on a religious definition of marriage. I will defend the claim that surrogacy is an immoral action which places a socially constructed and therefore arbitrary value on the natural phenomenon of human reproduction, the implications of viewing the natural in terms of the artificial can be seen through the increase psychological and health risks of the women that contract.
Prior to discussing the ethical issues, I must discuss the scientific process involved. There are actually various types of reproductive technologies women can undergo. These would include, as mentioned earlier, donor or artificial insemination, assisted hatching, in vitro fertilization, gametra fallopian transfer, zygote intrafallopian transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and embryo micromanipulation. These are actually the technologies employed in the process of surrogacy (Hinman, 2001). Surrogacy or surrogate motherhood, like reproductive technologies, can be further classified as gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy, and egg donation.
     Gestational surrogacy, as defined by various references, would refer to the surrogacy condition wherein there in absolutely no genetic link between the child and the carrier. This may be in the form of the following (Canadian Surrogacy Options, Inc.) Traditional surrogacy, on the other hand, would refer to the surrogacy condition wherein ...


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O'Neill, Terry (ed.). Biomedical Ethics: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, Inc., San Diego CA, © 1994. pp. 185-196.
Ragone, Helen. 1994. Chasing the blood tie: Surrogate mothers, adoptive mothers and fathers. American Ethnologist.
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Whitehead, Mary Beth, with Loretta Schwartz-Nobel. A Mother's Story: The Truth About the Baby M Case. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.
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The Case of Baby M: 1988. Women's Rights on Trial, 1st Ed., Gale, 1997, p.312.
     

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