Black Market Surrogacy

Surrogacy is an arrangement by which a woman (the surrogate) carries and delivers a baby for a person or couple (the intended parents) that (for whatever reason) is unable to do so on their own. Surrogacy is the topic of much debate across the globe, with some countries allowing it and others banning it either partially or fully.

Current Chinese legislation bans doctors from delivering children carried by surrogates. This is in accordance with a legislation concerning assisted reproductive technology that was passed by their Ministry of Health in 2001. This same legislation also forbids the trading of such human DNA as gametes, zygotes, and embryos.

However, it is evident that many in China are proceeding with surrogate relationships despite this legislative action. In fact, there is a thriving surrogacy black market that continues to grows. 2011 statistics show that, in Shanghai the number of babies born each year due to IVF treatments was higher than 20,000. However, since hospitals are unable to satisfy the demand, many infertile couples turn to surrogacy to make their dreams of parenthood come true. In fact , this demand has only served to cause the surrogacy market to grow exponentially.

In explaining why surrogacy is illegal, China Law Society member, Di Guozeng stated that it is essentially boring someone’s organ (the womb) to give birth and making a profit from it. The illegality comes in using organs for trade.

On one side of the argument, it is believe that surrogacy complicates things. They cite possible situations in which the surrogate mother has health problems that arise due to the pregnancy but is not compensated fairly, ones where the intended parents decide that they no longer want the child, leaving the surrogate to raise the child, as well as situations where the surrogate suddenly decides she does not want to part with the child. They also feel as though it forces legislatures to redefine the term “parent” as there are so many different people involved in bringing the child into the world and raising him or her.

One the other side of the argument, people feel as though perhaps it would be best to make surrogacy legal, but have legislations in place to limit commercial (for profit) surrogacy in which the surrogate is not compensated beyond fees associated with pregnancy, labor, and delivery. In that way, those people who are unable to bear children are afforded the opportunity to do so.

What do you think? Do you feel that surrogacy, in general, should be legalized? If so, do you feel there should be any limitations set? If not, why? Please comment below.

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