The Moral, Legal, And Economic Impediments Of Surr Essay, Research Paper
“Blimey!” I exclaim. “Sounds like a plant!” “It was,” she replies without the slightest irony. (Handel 3) In this country, the last trait in a mother that needs to be supported stands as the attribute of being able to let a baby out of her hand at the drop of ten grand. The fact that surrogate motherhood demands a mom give up her infant at any point remains immoral. Most aspects of surrogacy are also illegal. Any contract that constrains a woman to forfeit her child is considered a void contract. Recruiting females to execute the task of bearing a child for compensation is selling children. The motivation for surrogacy is economic, and it constitutes the sale of children. This division of reproductive technology is wrong. Surrogacy itself is not new. Evidence of surrogacy has been traced as far back as the Old Testament. The Bible transcribes two occurrences in “Genesis,” and further implies that surrogate motherhood was an accepted exercise in the Ancient Middle East. As printed in Time Magazine, about 300,000 artificially assisted pregnancies have taken place in the past 20 years (Golden 1). Although it is quite old, surrogacy is, without a doubt, the most contradictory of the reproductive technologies. Surrogate mother’s fee vary between $10,000 and $100,000 per pregnancy (General 2). In many cases, the surrogate bears the child for the contracting couple, willingly gives up to them the child she has borne, and accepts her role with no difficulty (Rae 7). Many surrogate mothers are friends of the impoverished couple; however, the practice of commercial surrogacy has increased greatly in the past ten years. The difference between what was practiced over 2,000 years ago and today’s arrangements is the presence of lawyers and intense contracts. The surrendering of offspring to a contracting couple is immoral. When the mother gives her child up to his new parents, she forfeits all her rights to a genetically linked creation from herself. Many avenues of alleviating infertility are available, such as artificial insemination by donor, artificial insemination by husband, or surrogate motherhood. The implement in the arsenal of procreation technologies that interjects a third party into the reproductive equation is surrogate motherhood. By definition, a surrogate is a substitute mother. She will carry the fetus of the male in the relationship, and most likely donate the egg. The new addition who donates an egg is now supplying genetics. In distinctive circumstances, the wife’s genetic matter is injected into a donor egg inside the surrogate mother. When injection cannot take place, the situation can also be paralleled with a surrogate mothers providing the egg from which the baby will begin formation. Having a donor egg raises significant moral issues dealing with the custody of the child after he is born. The Bible outlines a story in “1 Kings” about two women who were prostitutes. They lived in the same house, and each of them bore a child within three days of each other. One night, one of the women laid on her son and he died. When she discovered that her son was dead, she took her dead son and placed him in the other woman’s bosom and put the child that was alive in her own. When the victim rose in the morning to nurse her son, behold, he was dead; but when she looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not her son, whom she had borne. Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” They took their issue before the king to judge the situation. Then the king said, “The one says, This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’ The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” (1 Kings 3:16-28) True motherhood is not possessive. A mother, in the sense of the word, need not be related to the child by blood. A mother cares for and protects like a mother. Like the true mother in the story out of the Bible, a matriarch of a child should care for and protect her child until the end. Surrogacy demands that a female give up her natural rights to her baby. The Bible assumes the concept that only husband and wife will be parents of children. The Christian Research Journal relays that there is a continuity between the genetic and social roles of parenthood (Rae 3). Surrogacy, however, disrupts the process and clearly separates the two roles of a parent. It demands a birth mother forfeit her rights to her young. Contracting couples may want a child simply to have a child, and in that way infertility may be considered a disease used supernaturally to limit a couple’s ability to produce offspring. From a moral point of view procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not desired as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union…the procreation of a human person [is to be] brought about as the fruit of the conjugal act specific to the love between persons (Rae 3). Ethics is a more fundamental and wide-reaching discipline; it concerns private as well as public behavior, as articulated by Kevin O’Rourke, O.P. (O’Rourke 1). Moral habits are of use both inside and outside of personal matters, such as procreation. Law concerns public behavior and is designed to establish justice by protecting ethical relationships in public life. Thus, the decisions of courts and legislatures should be based upon ethical norms (O’Rourke 1). Surrogacy is illegal. Although in many states, including Massachusetts, no laws prohibiting surrogacy have been enacted, naturalistic rights are violated in this type of reproduction. In the great majority of surrogacy cases, the surrogate provides both the genetic material and the womb (artificial insemination by husband). Thus, by any definition, she is the mother of the child. To force her to give up her child under the terms of a surrogacy contract violates her fundamental right to associate and raise her child (Rae 11). A traditional surrogacy agreement involves a detailed contract outlining each duty and accountability appropriate to the surrogate mother. The arrangement forces a woman to give up the child she has borne to the couple that has paid her to do so. Should she have second thoughts and desire to keep the baby, under the contract she would nevertheless be forced to give up her child. A contract that requires a woman to give up the child she bears prior to birth is not considered a valid contract. In Massachusetts, a couple is not prohibited from working with a surrogate. John J. Weltman, Attorney at Law remarks, “The most recent decision in the issue simply warns couples that if a surrogate changes her mind, they may have already paid a surrogate substantial sums and then have to do battle over what is in the best interest of the child’ (Weltman 5).” A traditional surrogacy agreement is unenforceable until the surrogate mother actually signs a surrender form and relinquishes the child to the intended parents. This can happen within four days after the birth of the child. Four days’ waiting is not a long waiting period after the birth for insecurity (Weltman 1). Thus, the consensus that had been taking place between the surrogate and the couple was null and void due to the laws in these states.
As humans, we were created with the capacity to discover all sorts of new inventions. Throughout the ages scientists and great inventors have uncovered the skill to create such items as dynamite and the atom bomb. Just because we have the ability to uncover such destructive technologies does not indicate that we mush apply all these to use. Simply because a novel form of fertilization and gestation is possible does not imply that it is ethical nor does it imply that it should become public policy. In the contracts that are drawn up in a surrogacy settlement, obviously some sort of monetary exchange will take place, otherwise no individual in their right mind would volunteer to become involved in this type of agreement. Surrogate mothers are often paid between $10,000 to $100,000 per pregnancy, in essence, paying for a baby. Should surrogacy become more socially acceptable, and states pass laws making it legal, it is not difficult to imagine the various ways surrogacy brokers might attempt to hold down costs in order to maximize their profit (Rae 9). Persons were not created to be fundamentally things that can be purchased and sold for a price. The fact that proponents of surrogacy try so hard to get around the charge of baby-selling indicates their acceptance of these moral principles as well (Rae 8). Surrogacy involves the sale of children. Commercial surrogacy, the fastest growing division of surrogate motherhood, uses surrogacy brokers to “peddle” the children of pre-contracted mothers to infertile couples. Many times, the potential surrogates are of the low income social bracket, and that is the motivation to become involved in this type of transaction. This is a true statement because in this day and age, one would not see a wealthy doctor with an affluent practice take the time and energy and risk of reputation to carry a child for a lower class couple. The women are compensated for their nine months worth of troubles, often organized by a surrogacy broker. The surrogacy brokers are the sales agents that essentially advertise the children and merchandise their prospective traits. Vending these children reduces the infants to objects of barter by putting a price on them (Rae 8). That breaches the Thirteenth Amendment that outlawed slavery because it constituted the sale of human beings. Rather than debate over whether humans should be bought and sold, it is over whether commercial surrogacy comprises this sale of children. If it does, most people would agree that the case against surrogacy is quite strong. No one has the right to buy or own children. They do not live to be possessions or property. Bill Handel the surrogacy agency executive who has been called “the man who sells babies” and “the baby farmer,” charges 35,000, or roughly $56,500, for couples to obtain a baby (Handel 2). Parenthood does not endure as a commercial enterprise nor a temporary commitment. Surrogate mothers train to give up their offspring for a price. Said Brenda Mayrack, “In surrogate motherhood…women do not sell their bodies or allow others to use their bodies as objects. Instead, surrogate mothers are compensated for their services (Mayrack 1).” The explanation given here parallels an identical definition of an illegal practice in these United States. Substituting prostitution for surrogate motherhood in that sentence, a completely false statement is created. The practice of surrogacy is essentially the same deal as prostitution, and it stands as common knowledge that prostitutes sell their bodies. The children produced by these agreements are the end product of a permanent transaction taking place between two sets of adults, affecting the outcome of a child unalterably. If we legalize the process of renting wombs and buying children, we act contrary to our purpose in life. Finally, through surrogacy parenting we ask women to act directly contrary to the values associated with responsible motherhood because this form of parenting demands that mothers be prepared not to love their children (O’Rourke 2). The combination of desperate infertile couples, low income surrogates, and surrogacy brokers with varying degrees of moral principles raises the probability that the entire commercial enterprise can be exploitative. Surrogate motherhood is immoral, illegal, and economically motivated. It is, in a word, wrong. Bibliography Campbell, John H. “The Moral Imperative of Our Future Evolution.” http://www.phoenix.net/ townhall/surrogat/moral.htmlLandau, Elaine. “Surrogate Mothers.” 1988, Franklin Watts, New YorkGeneral. “General Information About Surrogate Motherhood.” http://www.phoenix.net/ townhall/surrogat/informat.htmlGolden, Frederic. “Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards: Brave New Baby Doctors.” Time Magazine 29 March 1999 Volume 155 No. 12Handel, Bill. “Interview with Bill Handel.” http://www.phoenix.net/ townhall/surrogat/bhandel.htmlHutchens, Melanie. “A Gift of Motherhood.” The American Surrogacy Center, Inc. 1996 http://www.surrogacy.com/article/giftof.htmlLaws. “Overview of Laws and Legal Precedents Affecting Surrogate Arrangements.” http://www.phoenix.net/ townhall/surrogate/surlaws.htmlMayrack, Brenda. “Surrogate Motherhood and the “Pursuit of Happiness.” PHIL 202-080 http://copeland.udel.edu/ mayrackb/sm.htmlOBGYN. “OBGYN Curriculum Module 4: Reproductive Technology: Surrogate Motherhood.” 28 June 1998 http://repse.medical.org/public/bioethics/obgyn_4.htmO’Rourke, Kevin, O.P. “O’Rourke–Issues: King Solomon and Baby M.” March 1987 VIII/7 http://www.op.org/Domcentral/study/kor/87030807.htmRae, Scott B. “Brave New Families? The Ethics of the New Reproductive Technologies.” Christian Research Journal Spring, 1993: Editor-in-Chief: Elliot Miller http://www.mustardseed.net/html/toethicsrep.html Weltman, John J. “Surrogacy in Massachusetts.” http://www.surrogacy.com/legals/article/malaw.html