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[Solution] Surrogacy

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Recent Orders

In recent years, a spate of stories about surrogate mothers has filled the headlines. The word surrogate means “substitute,” and surrogate mothers have been employed (the word employed has two meanings here) to bring newly conceived babies to term for other women who are infertile or cannot bear the burden of an embryo.
Ethical and legal dilemmas revolve around the facts that most surrogate mothers contribute an ovum to the child and that, even when the child is conceived in a laboratory dish, surrogate mothers nevertheless sense the babies developing within them and can grow attached to them. If they change their minds and do not want to turn the babies over to their “parents,” there can be a legal struggle, as with the well-known “Baby M” case. Surrogate mothers are usually paid fees and sign contracts requiring them to surrender the newborn child. Such contracts have been invalidated in some states, however, so that surrogate mothers in these states cannot be compelled to hand over the babies.
Discussion questions:
o       What does it mean to be a mother?

In the biological sense, being a mother begins with contributing the ovum and continues with carrying the child to term. So when a “surrogate” mother is artificially inseminated with the sperm of the husband of the infertile couple, is she the “real” mother, biologically speaking?
What of other surrogates who have embryos implanted in their uteruses, but do not supply the ovum? They are not the mothers, genetically speaking (they have not contributed the baby’s genes), but they have certainly nurtured them to term.
If you do not consider the women who have the embryo implanted in their uterus the mother, do they consider a woman who adopts a baby its mother? Why—what are the characteristics and definitions that make a woman a mother?

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