Should Surrogate Motherhood Be Permitted? Essay

924 words - 4 pages

Surrogate Motherhood is when one women carries to termthe fertilized egg of another woman. This procedure is chosenby married couples who can not conceive a child in the "naturalway". In some occasions the mother may be able to produce anegg, but has no womb or some other physical problem whichprevents her from carrying a child. Whether or not the husbandcan produce a large amount of sperm is not a problem. Once theegg and sperm are combined in a petri dish fertilization is verylikely to occur. The couple will then choose a surrogatemother and make an agreement in which she will carry the babyand release it to the genetic parents after the birth. There arefour different kinds of surrogacy arrangements. TotalSurrogacy is when the woman bears a child that has been formedfrom the gametes of another woman and man and implanted in herbody. Partial Surrogacy occurs when the birth mothercontributes the ovum and the sperm is introduced by artificialinsemination. She is a biological parent of the child. CommercialSurrogacy means a business-like transaction where a fee ischarged for the incubation period. Lastly, there is aNon-Commercial Surrogacy in which there is no formal contractBradley 2or any payment to the birth mother. It is usually an arrangementbetween close friends or family members.(1-10)There is no federal policy on the issue of surrogacy, allfifty states have been left to decide theses issues themselvesand create their own policies. The majority of the states havenot yet legislated on this subject. Those states that have takenpositions differ greatly from one another, such as Californiaand Virginia, who have taken opposing viewpoints California isthe state that is the most sympathetic to the genetic parents.Under California law surrogacy agreements are enforceableand the genetic parents are given all legal parental rights tothe child. In Virginia, all legal parental rights to the child aregiven to the surrogate mother. Who is the legal mother? In thecase of Johnson v. Calvert, in Virginia, the surrogate motherwas found to be the legal mother of the child. If this casewould have taken place in California, the biological mother isthe legal mother. So it really depends on which state the act ofsurrogacy is taking place to name the legal mother. Arecontracts for surrogate motherhood enforceable underAmerican law? Again, it depends on which state the act is takingplace. In California, surrogacy agreements are against thesurrogate mother. in Virginia, surrogacy agreements are voidand unenforceable. Thus, so far, among those states that havelegislated on the issue, many are legislating that theseagreements are void and unenforceable in order to try to detercouples and surrogates from entering into agreements.(1-2)Bradley 3Surrogate arrangements are made usually through closefriends or relatives of the childless couple. However, thepractice of commercial surrogacy has increased greatly duringthe last decade. Many major cities have surrogate agencies...

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