In Vitro Fertilization plus surrogacy brings about ethical issues for discussion. We are now able to take the eggs of one woman and the sperm of one man, create a viable embryo in a petri dish, and transfer that embryo into the womb of another woman who carries the resulting baby and delivers her to the waiting arms of her biological parents.
It used to be the stuff of science fiction, but now it is becoming increasingly common, world-wide. But what, exactly, are the ethics of surrogacy? Just because we have the ability to create children in this manner, is it right?
One of the most common arguments in the ethics of surrogacy is that infertile couples should adopt some of the less fortunate children of the world. After all, there are a plethora of children in foster homes. How can a set of intended parents be selfish enough to desire to produce their own biological child with the assistance of a surrogate mother, when there are so many children needing parents that already exist?
This is an interesting dilemma, and one that takes introspection from each and every parent to their own biological child. Babies are born every minute of every day. Why did not those parents, who were able to reproduce without assistance, take it upon themselves to choose not to have their own biological child, but instead to adopt? Should not those parents be faced with the same ethical concerns?
The fact of the matter is, infertility does not equal adoption. There are other options out there, including ART and surrogacy. Some families choose adoption. Others do not see that as the right path towards parenthood, and there is nothing ethically wrong about that, just as there is not anything ethically wrong with a healthy couple seeking to start a family on their own.
So what about the fact that rich parents take advantage of surrogate mothers? This ethics of surrogacy concern is huge, especially with present economic circumstances and the fact that surrogate mothers are poor, right? Well, no, actually. Women who are in need of money are not qualified to become surrogate mothers. A woman on any sort of government assistance, or someone without a reliable source of income is automatically disqualified.
Most surrogate mothers are in the same social-economic class as the parents they help, or not too terribly far away. While compensation is involved, it is usually used for projects such as saving for a big purchase, like a home, or to pay down debt. It is not used for a surrogate mother and her family to live off of.
And most intended parents are by no means rich. They have scrimped and saved for years to be able to afford a surrogate mother; for the ability to hold their child in their arms – something too many fertile couples take for granted.
The fact that science has come so far as to make it possible for one woman to carry a child for another woman is truly remarkable. When examined in depth, one finds that most objections to such an arrangement can be overcome with logic and common sense.