Bioethics Blogs

“Commercial Surrogacy”: Women’$ Bodie$ as Container$

The title of this blog thread ” ‘Commercial Surrogacy’: Women’s Bodies as Containers” with the plural expressed with dollar signs may be a bit over descriptive but yet it emphasizes a commerce present today which is utilizing local women or bringing foreigners into the United States and elsewhere to directly participate in the pregnancy and delivery another family’s genetic child.  The question is whether this is a fair utilization and commercialization of a woman and her body and whether, after delivery and she is no longer a container for the pregnancy, she should be allowed to maintain some relationship to the child and the child’s family.

This topic is, I think, very nicely described, in a paper by a PhD student Hannah Giunta on the Michigan State University Bioethics website. The ethical and humanistic point which is stressed by Ms Giunta is Commercial surrogacy arrangements where prospective parents possibly supply the raw ingredients, sign a contract, and return for pick-up with the intention never to see the surrogate again require women to do fundamentally relational work without relational support or respect. Effectively, couples are saying,’You’re good enough to carry our child but not welcome as part of our family.’ It’s this attitude that is unacceptable.” 

 What I would like to see discussed here on this blog thread is both the ethical good or bad of this form of commerce but also Ms Giunta’s concern that if such use of women and their bodies is socially and legally acceptable whether something more should be offered to these women: acceptance into the newly born child’s family as a family member.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.