Surrogacy: Permit or Prohibit

The world changes so rapidly and every now and then new things which need their own way of understanding emerge.  Throughout the history, every community or group of people who live in a specific location do have their own ethics and ways of making ethical decisions. However, as a result of globalization the world is becoming a village where all its inhabitants share common ethical behaviors. This has been facilitated by the improvement of the technology, interdependent among the countries and the worldwide media. In this essay, I will examine one of the most debatable ethical issues which emerged recently, and that is surrogacy. This issue has divided the people into two extremes, first its patrons which claim that it should be allowed and the second group which insists it should never be permitted.  A surrogate mother is a woman who carries and gives birth to a baby for another couple who are unable to have children in the normal way. This could be because the woman is unable to actually give birth, in which case the surrogate would carry the fertilized egg for the couple, or because the woman is not actually fertile, in which case the male’s sperm could be used to fertilize the surrogate’s egg by a surgical procedure. Despite being the best solution which will allow infertile couples to have children, it is my contention that it should be prohibited. This is because its drawbacks far much outweigh the benefits and arguments supporting it are not sufficient.

The advocates of surrogate motherhood claim that it is good option for the couples who are desperate to have children and it also a good source of many poor women. Many people argue that surrogacy will reduce the plight of couples who could not have their own children. This is good point and it can be accepted to some extent, however the truth is that though it will help those parents it will create misery to the surrogate mothers. This is because many of them develop parental love during the pregnancy, hence they suffer later to give the child to the couples who wanted the child. Therefore, the important point to be considered in this situation is that the decision of surrogacy should not harm both sides, but in this context it does harm and it means taking the misery from one side and transferring to the other side. Besides, they also argue surrogacy creates employment for poor women. It is absolutely true; however, the surrogate mothers are doing this because they have no other option. This solves their short term  economic problems, but puts them in a vicious cycle of poverty, which means once they give birth they lost the chance of finding someone to marry since most man are finding women who did not give birth.  Consequently, they find difficult to find someone to marry and the only choice left for them is to find people who are looking for surrogate mothers.

Firstly, parenthood, through surrogacy, is controversial and many religions and cultures are against it. This is because many societies have hierarchal family relationship; nonetheless it becomes difficult how surrogate babies will fill in the hierarchy. This will have physiological effect on the child when he/she grows up and he/she will not ever live as the other people because he will think he is not complete or normal as other people. Therefore, many cultures and religions discourage it, for example according to Islamic point of view it is not allowed and Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia, a great Islamic scholar said “it is not allowed because it is akin to zina (adultery) since the surrogate is carrying the fertilized egg of someone who is not her legal husband. The child produced therefore has no lineage through legal marriage and will have to be considered as illegitimate. Therefore, if the product is haram, the means of acquiring the product (the surrogate’s renting of her womb) is also haram. This means the child cannot be considered to be the right child of the parents who wanted since a third party involves in the process. In addition to this, it is against the Allah’s plans, because he is the only one who is capable of giving those who need children. So if Allah chooses not give them, then it is not ethical for humans to play God. Perhaps the God knows that having a child is not good for that couple and it might bring problems to them, and that could be the reason He opted not give them.  Science is going too far and this may lead to irreversible disastrous in the future if we keep trying and playing with the God, therefore it is very unethical to play the role of God.

Secondly, payment for bodily services dehumanizes the surrogate mother and exploits her reproductive organs and capability for personal gain of the wealthy. Many of the surrogate mothers are exploited by lawyers and the rich couples who want to have the babies. Surrogate mothers don’t always get the amount of money which both sides agreed and they are deceived when they carry the baby. The situation becomes worse when the small amount of money they receive ends up in the medical centers and yet it will not be enough for them to gain the maternity care they needed. Furthermore, lawyers are making more money than the poor women who wants to earn an income through surrogacy.  Furthermore, people who are capable of affording to hire surrogate mothers are rich, so it is unfair for a poor infertile couple who also wants to have children.

Thirdly, while there might be some advantages for infertile couples to have a children, I think we should focus on taking care of all the children who are already here, and not able to enjoy the benefits of being part of a family. On the surface, surrogate motherhood seems harmless. However, given the world’s population, and the number of children who are unwanted, abused, or otherwise unable to live a healthy, happy life due to their circumstances, I feel it would be far better to focus on making those children’s lives better. For infertile couples, I believe adoption of children who will otherwise not have parents is a far better solution that will not result in even more population growth. Let us make the world better place by taking care of the children who get no parents and who knows those one may be better for you than you own children.

To put in a nutshell, despite being the best solution for infertile couples, surrogacy brings more social problems than help. Therefore, it is my recommendation that it should not be permitted in any means. I am not ignoring the suffering of people who are not able to have their own children, but I rather I would advise to them to choose adoption over surrogacy. Besides, surrogacy is so controversial and so traumatic for all concerned, that more conventional methods such as adoption should be used instead. Parents should not put their own desire to be parents over the possible damage it might cause to the baby.

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