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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Surrogacy: Exploring Benefits and Potential Issues

written by: Rishi Prakash • edited by: Anurag Ghosh • updated: 8/13/2010

Today, with greater acceptance of the practice and scientific advancement, more childless couples are having babies – thanks to surrogate mothers and advances in medical technology.

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    What is Surrogacy?

    "Surrogate mother" means a woman who agrees to bear a child for a couple who are childless because the wife is infertile or not capable of bearing a child due to some physical problems. The process involves artificial insemination technology, whereby the husband’s sperm is transferred and the surrogate mother conceives the child. That is why the surrogate mother is considered as the biological mother of the child.

    However, in case of gestational surrogacy, the wife is fertile but not capable of giving birth due to some medical implications, in-vitro fertilization technology is used. The wife’s eggs and her husband’s sperm are used and the resulting embryo is transferred into the surrogate mother’s uterus.

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    Pros and Cons

    surrogate mother The concept of surrogate motherhood is becoming very popular, as infertile couples are coming forward and welcoming this concept whole-heartedly. Though it is an act of love, it also involves financial transaction. Surrogate mothers obviously charge for bearing a child in their wombs. But the question is what kind of women carries a child for a period and then hand over the baby after birth? Well, women - especially housewives or those who are living alone as their husband’s are serving overseas – they do the job as a surrogate mother and the main aim is to assist their family financially.

    Another vital reason for the rise in surrogacy is the advancement in medical technology. It is more safe and successful unlike other techniques. In the past decade the success rate was only 40% but now with the advancement of IVF technology, the success rate has reached up to 70 to 90%.

    However there are some legal and ethical issues involved with surrogacy that need to be discussed here.

    Legal procedure: The procedure for becoming a surrogate mother is not simple. There are certain medical tests such as Hysteroscopy/HCG or a hysterosalpingogram, which are done to ensure if the fallopian tubes are clear or not; shape, size and physical conditions of the uterus and lots more. Before fertilization procedure, the surrogate mother should know her legal rights and therefore, before signing a contract, legal counsel is inevitable.

    Ethical issues: Surrogacy concept brings several controversies, though it was tough initially, things are changing with time. Some of them are mentioned below:

    • What if the surrogate mother decides not to hand over the baby to the childless couple?
    • Is it wrong for a surrogate mother to abort the child?
    • Is surrogacy considered as baby selling?
    • What percentage of the society accepts this concept?

    In spite of legal and ethical issues, surrogacy is a new hope for childless women. So, let’s accept it unconditionally.


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