Prevelant Issues In Surrogate Parenting Essay

1757 words - 7 pages

The Prevalent Issues of Surrogate ParentingSurrogate parenting refers to an arrangement between a married couple who is unable to have a child because of the wife's infertility and a fertile woman who agrees to conceive the husband's child through artificial insemination, carry it to term, then surrender all parental rights in the child. Often, the surrogate mother receives compensation for her services. The final step in the process is typically the father's acknowledgment of paternity and adoption, with his wife, of the child. Through surrogate motherhood, a couple desiring a child need not wait an indefinite number of years for an adoptable baby, as generally happens at the present time. The married couple obtains a child who is the husband's biological offspring- a child for whose existence both husband and wife can feel responsible.Surrogate parenting is highly controversial by its very nature. Nevertheless, surrogate parenting is attracting wide spread attention as a viable alternative for infertile couples intent on having a child. Contract surrogacy is officially little more than ten years old, although surrogate mothering is a practice that has been known since biblical times. In 1986 alone 500 babies had been born to mothers who gave them up to sperm donor fathers for a fee, and the practice is growing rapidly.For this reason there are many questions and doubts that arise from this subject. Often there are many legal difficulties that come about with surrogate parenting. In some states the contracts that insure the infertile couple the baby of the surrogate mother mean nothing. This, in turn, can cause huge problems if the surrogate mother were to change her mind about giving up her child. Who has the rights to the child in this awful situation? Surrogate parenting is a wonderful alternative for infertile couples as long as all party's involved are educated on the subject and are fully aware of the pros and cons of this risky business transaction.Unfortunately laws on surrogate parenting aren't very helpful. Increasing numbers of surrogate custody cases are finding their way into the courtrooms. The most dramatic problem arises when the surrogate mother decides she wants to keep the baby.Whether she decides early or late in the pregnancy, at birth, or after the child is born, the ultimate issue is whether she or the infertile couple have parental rights.How is the law to respond to this kind of problem? Normally people would agree that a contract is a contract and therefore the infertile couple should be the ones to receive the baby. Unfortunately for some of us more sympathetic people this decision is not that simple. By changing her mind the surrogate mother is showing maternal feelings that are surely not reprehensible. Although she has promised to give up the baby her change of heart seems more understandable than dishonorable. After all how can a woman truly be expected to know how it will feel to give birth to a child and then...

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