Is surrogate motherhood morally correct?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2012, 12:00am


Elaine Yu Yee-nee, 15, Creative Secondary School

It is true that surrogate mothers provide an alternative for well-off couples who cannot have children themselves.

Yet surrogacy has dark sides. First, only rich people can afford such costly procedures.

Surrogate motherhood is just a fancy word for making and selling babies. Not surprisingly, many poor women from developing countries are used as surrogate mothers. It's a form of exploitation.

In a situation where babies can be sold and women can be exploited, morality is clearly lacking.

Surrogate motherhood has challenged the fundamental concept of being a mother. Usually, the surrogate mother provides both the genetic material and the womb in which a baby can grow.

So by definition she is the mother of the child. It is unfair to take a newborn away from its mother based on a contract.

We must also consider children's feelings. How will they feel if they find out they were bought by their parents from their 'real' mothers? It can cause them life-long psychological damage.

Morality doesn't simply mean knowing the difference between right and wrong. It also implies proper conduct.

When it comes to surrogate motherhood, it's well-off couples and middlemen who benefit. And they do so at the expense of poor mothers and their children.

Profiting at another's expense can never be right.

Ronald Ling Pak-ki, 20, University of Hong Kong

Surrogacy is a very controversial issue. There are plenty of ethical concerns to be addressed about it.

Surrogate motherhood may violate traditional ways of family formation, particularly in Chinese society.

Yet surrogate motherhood is fundamentally moral in the sense that it helps infertile women to have a family.

It is the right of every couple to have their own child.

Yet some females are infertile or face other medical problems that make it impossible for them to have a baby. As a result, they lose their right to have their own children. But surrogacy allows a couple to have their wish.

If this is what motivates surrogate motherhood, there is nothing immoral about it.

Many medical technologies save lives.

Surrogacy is simply one of those that save families.

Just as in the early stages of organ transplants, people in many societies need to come to terms with the ethical implications of surrogacy.

For instance, to what extent should women use their bodies to serve as surrogate mothers? And to what extent should a surrogate mother be allowed to keep in touch with a child?

However, so long as these ethical concerns are well considered, we can have a concrete and widely accepted system of surrogate motherhood in place.

Then surrogacy could become as common as organ transplants.