Introduction to the problemWhat is a surrogate mother? A surrogate mother is a woman who gives birth after carrying the fertilized ovum of another woman or, more commonly, after being artificially inseminated with sperm from the biological father. In the latter case, the biological father then legally adopts the infant.
Surrogate motherhood and its hopesSurrogate motherhood offers hope for the 60% to 70% of infertile couples in which the woman is the infertile partner. It is also an option for a woman whose age or health makes pregnancy risky. A surrogate birth poses no greater risk to the fetus (or surrogate mother) than any average birth.
Whose rigts are right?One of the ethical concerns about surrogate motherhood involves the potential conflicts concerning the rights of the surrogate mother the infertile couple, the fetus, and society. The basic dispute involves who has the strongest claim to the child. Does the surrogate mother have rights by virtue of her biological connection? Do the gestational surrogacy arrangements guarantee the infertile couple the right to the child? Courts of law usually rule in favor of the infertile couple.
Support systemsIn a surrogate mother situation, the role of the significant others is to support the mother. If the mother is the surrogate mother, collaboration with a social worker or a psychologist may be necessary.
In Vitro fertilizationInfertility can have devastating effects on the emotional well-being of a couple who yearns for children. As a result, many couples spend time and money to conceive or adopt a child. When medical procedures (such as fertility medication, hysterosalpingostomy, and artificial insemination) which are considered as reproductive technology may fail and adoption is not an option, infertile couples may turn to IVF.
In IVF, ova are removed from a woman’s ovaries, placed in a petri dish dilled with sterilized growth medium, and covered with healthy motile spermatozoa for fertilization. Three to five embryos are then implanted in the surrogate uterus 10 to 14 days after fertilization, and the remaining fertilized ova are frozen for future use or discarded. IVF can be performed using the partner’s sperm (homologous) or a donor’s sperm (heterologous).
Conception controversySome people hail the scientific manipulation of ova and sperm as a medical miracle. Others are concerned that IVF circumvents the natural process of procreation. Another IVF issue involves left over embryos. About 15 to 20 embryos may result from a single fertilization effort, but only 3 to 5 of them are implanted in the woman’s uterus. Some individuals question about the pros and cons of surrogacy and whether it is ethical to discard the leftovers embryos, destroy them, or use them for scientific study.
No matter what your values are concerning IVF, keep in mind that your goal is to provide the best care possible to the mother.
The Surrogacy ethicsThere are ethical and legal issues concerning the surrogacy. This involves the rights of the surrogate mother who volunteered to become a surrogate mother for the infertile couples. However, the more pressing issue about this concern is when the surrogate mother is attached to her biological child. It is a matter of special arrangements between the surrogate mother and the infertile couples. Most of the commercial surrogacy may provide a more comprehensive and justified contract between the two parties.
The Attachment of the gestational motherIn a certain surrogacy concern, the surrogate mother is the person who is the recipient for bearing a fertile egg and carries it until the delivery of a healthy baby. The problem is when the surrogate mother starts to make an attachment or develops a relationship to the child she is bearing is inevitable. Relinquishing the child after bearing all the pains both emotional and physical that she have encountered during the pregnancy period can be very exhausting. This may require them to have someone who can assist them to become emotionally and physically stable. The surrogate test allows a certain company or agency that provides this service to screen their applicants for surrogacy.
The gestational mother in a surrogacy arrangement is indisputably a significant part of the kid's background. It depends on the type of surrogacy selected, may be hereditarily connected to the kid. Though, since the gestational mother is not the sole primary guardian of the kid, and since typical assisted reproductive arrangements involve total parental legal rights are being shifted to another party, there will logically be queries about the degree to which the surrogate mother should be included in the life of the kid. Such provisions are often decided in detailed and supported in lawful agreements between the gestational mother and the intended couples or parent.
In some provisions, the characteristics of the two parties are never exposed to each other. In others, the surrogate mother may be allowed with lawful visitation rights. There are adequate types of provisions, with no guidelines ordering right or wrong. But it is significant for this preparation to be discussed out, agreed upon and perhaps recognized in lawful terms prior to commencement of the surrogacy.
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