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Should surrogacy be legal? Show more Show less

Surrogacy is the carrying through pregnancy until birth of one couple's or individual's child by someone else. The science has advanced significantly in this area allowing for the choice of surrogacy as an option for many potential parents. Most countries have unclear legislation about surrogacy. Should surrogacy be legalized? Under what conditions should surrogacy be legal?

It depends: surrogacy should be legal only under certain conditions. Show more Show less

Conditions regarding the surrogate mother of the prospective parents.
<< Previous (3 of 3 Positions)

Only altruistic surrogacy should be legal

If no money is involved, than surrogacy is pure generosity.

<< Previous (2 of 2 Arguments)


Many countries accept altruistic surrogacy but not commercial surrogacy because it is the financial aspect (exploitation of the mother and commodification of the baby) of the surrogacy that seems problematic.

The Argument

By attaching financial incentive to surrogacy, a market is created in women's bodies. This is ethically wrong and leads to situations of exploitation where women are utilising their bodies in a deeply intrusive way due to a need for money. However, altruistic surrogacy, where there is not a financial incentive, should be allowed. Women should be able to have children out of the goodness of their hearts, in order to do a good deed for those who may not otherwise be able to have them.

Counter arguments

In reality, “altruistic” surrogacy means that a woman goes through exactly the same thing as in commercial surrogacy, but gets nothing in return. It demands of the woman to carry a child for nine months and then give it away. She has to change her behaviour and risk infertility, a number of pregnancy-related problems, and even death. She is still used as a vessel, even if told she is an angel. The only thing she gets is the halo of altruism, which is a very low price for the effort and can only be attractive in a society where women are valued for how much they sacrifice, not what they achieve.


[P1] Involving finances in surrogacy makes it exploitative. [P2] Women should be able to become surrogates, as long as it is an altruistic act.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Only allowing surrogacy without payment only ensures that women are not valued for the labour they are providing.


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This page was last edited on Monday, 6 Jan 2020 at 14:40 UTC