Surrogacy is a binding contract between parents with difficulties in siring babies and surrogate mothers. Surrogate mothers are healthy women willing and able to carry a pregnancy on behalf of such parents. In return, the baby’s parents compensate the carrier and pay all expenses for the pregnancy and delivery. Although surrogacy looks like a win-win arrangement, it remains controversial due to ethical and legal issues.
Surrogacy presents difficult questions to answer concerning humanity and dilemmas hard to tackle. Here are just a few:
Psychological Risks: The surrogate mother faces many emotional challenges in the entire journey. For example, social stigma affects many mothers for agreeing to carry babies who are not theirs genetically. A huge concern include should anything go wrong with the pregnancy; the carrier faces the risk of not getting paid. Some women undergo postpartum depression due to guilt and anger since they no longer have the babies in their custody. Children born through surrogacy may face a dilemma on who they should consider as the mother.
Dehumanization: Surrogacy takes the complete form of a business and disregards the humans involved. The parents of the baby are seen as clients, while the surrogate mother is a carrier. The whole arrangement is nothing more than a sale.
Human Trade: The sale of organs and babies remains a severe cry to human rights. Critics view womb renting as part of organ sale and transfer of the child as a sale of babies.
Exploitation: Some surrogate mothers get coerced into the practice due to the monetary gains involved. Opponents of this practice wonder if there is no better way to assist such women than viewing them as a product.
Rights of the Surrogate Mother: Since there is a contract defining the responsibilities of each party, the surrogate mother does not have a say during the gestation period.
She strictly adheres to the wishes of intended parents. For instance, if there are complications during pregnancy, the intended parents decide to abort or keep the baby. There are few to no considerations about the health of the surrogate concerning the procedures.
Rights of the Parents: The law recognizes the person who gives birth to the baby as the legal mother. However, in surrogacy, the rights to the child are handed over to the commissioning parents immediately after birth.
The legal issue surrounding this exchange is the case of breach of contract. Most states do not have explicit laws that detail the procedures to follow in case of breaching of contract in surrogacy. In some cases, the surrogate may change her mind.
Rights of the Child: Surrogacy is an issue that revolves around children who are independent individuals that have rights. They have a right to nationality, especially in cases where the surrogate does not share her nationality with the commissioning parents. The law fails to provide a comprehensive framework that protects these rights.
If you are an intending couple or surrogate, you should involve an attorney as you begin the process. If in Sydney, you can contact Prime Family Lawyers, who will provide legal and helpful information throughout your surrogacy journey.