What’s the big deal about surrogate pregnancies?

Portrait-of-Count-Pavel-Stroganov-as-A-Child.bigSurrogacy isn’t an issue many people are aware of…yet. The practice sounds simple enough, if a bit strange. Donor eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory. After conception, the embryo is implanted in a third-party uterus. That is, the baby is carried to term in a rented womb. The child may even have no biological connection to the intended parents at all.

What does the practice do to the concept of family? While the practice might seem distasteful to some, should we really keep people from doing what they want? Also, isn’t all life sacred, even life conceived and brought into the world this way? Are there any ethical and moral concerns to this brave new way of creating life?

There are many questions surrounding the practice of surrogacy. As a culture we haven’t answered many of them. We haven’t even had much of a debate about these matters. That’s the way some would have it, especially those that stand to make billions of dollars each year manufacturing children for the wealthy. Even though many are unaware of the dangers of surrogacy, this practice will impact us all. Please take a few moments to review the resources on this page and pass them along to others.

Surrogate Future

by Daniel Weiss [PDF]

A seemingly helpful cottage industry born of science fiction is harming women and threatening to redefine the family. First published in the October 2014 issue of Citizen. Used with permission.

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What’s Wrong with Third Party Assisted Reproduction?

by the Center for Bioethics and Technology

A two-page fact sheet highlighting the medical and scientific literature on issues that arise in third-party reproduction. The information is divided into sections that address (1) health and psychological risks to women serving as egg vendors or surrogates, (2) health and psychological risks to the children born via third party reproductive arrangements, and (3) serious problems associated with the commercialization of conception.


Breeders: A Subclass of Women?

by the Center for Bioethics and Technology

Surrogacy is fast becoming one of the major issues of the 21st century—celebrities and everyday people are increasingly using surrogates to build their families. But the practice is fraught with complex implications for women, children, and families. What is the impact on the women who serve as surrogates and on the children who are born from surrogacy? In what ways might money complicate things? What about altruistic surrogacy done for a family member or close friend? Is surrogacy a beautiful, loving act or does it simply degrade pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product?


Think Again: A Study Guide on the Legal, Medical, and Ethical Questions of Third Party Reproduction

by the Center for Bioethics and Technology

This study guide and companion to the film Breeders is intended to meet the needs of high school groups, university students, law groups, church groups, and any other group interested in the issues of third party reproduction.