Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Ban surrogacy

No right is absolute. Right to have a child is not absolute. Right to have a grandchild is not absolute.
Some people go to great lengths to have children. Science has made possible to have children in many ways. What is possible is not always desirable.
It is possible for a child to have five parents; one is legal father, one is legal mother, one is sperm donor, one is egg donor, one carries the child and gives birth.
Some countries have banned commercial surrogacy. It is not known how many of them allow altruistic surrogacy. Some people are in favour of altruistic surrogacy and oppose commercial surrogacy. Some say commercial surrogacy is commodification of child. Some say commercial surrogacy is by free choice. Some say poverty is the reason why women opt to become surrogate mothers.
Cases of altruistic surrogacy are rare. Mostly women within the family become surrogate mothers. It may be legal mother’s mother or sister.
A woman who gives birth to a child should be its mother in all respects. Biological mother should be legal mother.
In one case in USA a couple hired a woman to have a child. During pregnancy the couple came to know the foetus had some abnormalities and wanted to abort it. The surrogate mother did not want to abort it. She went to Michigan where biological mother is legal mother and gave birth there. Someone adopted that child.
In India to be a surrogate mother one has to be mother of two children and she can have three surrogate pregnancies.
Due to exchange rate India is a cheap destination for Americans and Europeans who want to hire surrogate mothers. It means 10,000 dollars is around 5,50,000 rupees and 10,000 euros is around 7,00,000 rupees and many women become surrogate mothers for 5,00,000 rupees.
If a couple hires a woman to be surrogate and later the marriage of the couple ends due to divorce and both of them do not want the child the surrogate mother is left holding the child. A Japanese couple’s marriage ended in divorce and the child remained in India. A German couple’s child did not get any citizenship and is stuck in India. Norway recognizes only biological parents and a child is stuck in India.
The child is taken away from the surrogate mother. After that she feels the need to breastfeed the baby but unable to do so.
Related to surrogacy is the problem of sperm donation. Many donors remain anonymous. In one town the sperm donor to around 150 women was the same, the doctor who performed artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. With surrogate motherhood chances of men and women who have different legal parents but same biological parents are high.
There are women who keep their dead husband’s sperm frozen and want to conceive one day. There is one case where a couple has kept their dead son’s sperm frozen and wants a woman to become surrogate mother.
No thought is given to what the child will feel when it comes to know its legal parents are not its biological parents or it was conceived years after the death of its father who was married or not married to its mother.
Surrogacy should be banned.

Updated: March 12, 2013 — 7:31 am

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