Bioethics News

Surrogate motherhood stirs deep controversy for both medical and ethical reasons

Surrogate motherhood can be genetic (using sperm from the contracting father or oocytes – eggs – from the contracting mother) or gestational, which refers to the implantation in the surrogate mother of an embryo that was obtained by one of three means:

  • using an egg and sperm from the contracting parents;
  • using a donor egg which is fertilised with sperm from the contracting father;
  • using donor egg and sperm.

Surrogate motherhood is illegal in most European countries, including France, Italy and Switzerland. In contrast, it is legal in Georgia and the Ukraine, and outside of Europe, in South Africa. In October 2013, altruist surrogacy was regulated in the United Kingdom (UK).

Now, the results of a survey using data from clinics authorised in the UK since 1998 to perform this practice have been published. A total of 54 clinics responded, 51.4% of those surveyed.  Of the participating clinics, 42.6% offer surrogacy. When the results were assessed, heterosexual couples were the largest group to request this service, followed by homosexual men (our last approach HERE).

The authors of the article concluded by stating that it is important that professionals in the UK are well informed of the legal implications of surrogacy and that clinics that offer this service have well-designed protocols and appropriate technical support (Reproductive Biomedicine Online 31; 327-338, 2015).

We should add that the major ethical and social problems inherent to surrogacy should not be forgotten, specifically that it might mean objectification of the surrogate.

La entrada Surrogate motherhood stirs deep controversy for both medical and ethical reasons aparece primero en Observatorio de Bioética, UCV.

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.