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Surrogate Pregnancy- Should It Be Used on Demand or Due to Health Problems?

Surrogate Pregnancy- Should It Be Used on Demand or Due to Health Problems?

For many couples, the ultimate goal of getting married is having children. Sharing their love and raising a family can bring so much joy, making their lifetime picture of a perfect family come to pass. However, this might be due to many issues, including health complications. The ability to have children in such a couple can be extremely terrible and devastating, causing a bridge in their initial arrangements. Today with the advancement of technology and surrogacy pregnancies, such couples who cannot have children can achieve their goal of bearing their biological children through surrogacy (Goli et al., 2019). The child is conceived by extracting the couple’s egg and sperm and transferring them to the surrogate, whose only mandate is to complete the pregnancy. As such, globally, surrogacy arrangements have become one of the leading solutions to childlessness. One leading type of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy, which occurs when women cannot conceive due to various health complications. Infertility is one of the leading issues for the high demand for surrogacy today. However, despite the growing number of women willing to become surrogates, there is growing concern about the well-being of the parties involved in these agreements (Ellenbogen et al., 2022). Opponents argue that surrogacy is morally wrong because sometimes it can be used for wrong purposes, such as exchange for currency (Ellenbogen et al., 2022). However, despite the ongoing debate, this practice has shown many advantages in ensuring families become complete. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss why many women are contemplating becoming surrogate mothers in most societies today by shedding on how the practice helps couples unable to get children to have their biological children. However, the paper will also analyze how the lack of proper legislation leads to the exploitation of surrogate mothers and, at the same time, how surrogacy for commercial purposes raises moral issues.

Solving the Problem of Barrenness

Surrogacy is a promising technique for treating bareness and lack of ability to bear children. Research conducted by Nuralievich (2023) showed that surrogacy dates back to historical settings and is even mentioned in the bible scriptures, such as the agreement between Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar in the Book of Genesis when Sarah could not conceive a child for Abraham. In many traditional societies, women have been used to bear children for kings and rulers in the context where their wives could not conceive. Today, many societies are embracing this practice due to globalization and technological advancement. For example, in a country such as the USA, surrogacy is considered from an ethical point of view (Goli et al., 2019), where childless couples are allowed to look for a woman willing to help them carry a child. However, despite surrogacy being a good practice that aims to help childless couples have children, surrogate mothers in most societies are more likely to face backlash due to stigma and labeling. Surrogate mothers have sometimes filed complaints about being mentally abused. Therefore, to help surrogate mothers, governments should create awareness of the important role surrogate mothers play in societies today.

Lack of Legislation

Despite surrogacy being a vehicle for helping childless couples get biological children, there are cases of abuse and misuse of women due to a lack of proper surrogacy legislation. According to research by Kitulwatte et al. (2022), surrogacy has been reported to exploit women experiencing financial difficulties. Additionally, the study showed that the lack of legislation has led to the exploitation of surrogate mothers and intended mothers, especially by authorities. For instance, Kitulwatte et al. (2022) shed light on the context of surrogacy in Sri Lanka, where authorities exploit women seeking help from surrogates and surrogate mothers. Authorities exploit surrogate mothers and those seeking surrogates even when the Sri Lanka law has legalized the practice, particularly where couples cannot conceive a child of their own.             However, in Sri Lanka, reproductive laws do not address other issues related to surrogacy, creating a gap that allows authorities to exploit potential surrogate mothers and parents (Puspitasari, 2022). For example, surrogate mothers have complained of a lack of access to maternal care, leading to maternal deaths. In addition, even in proven legal contexts, most surrogate mothers cannot access maternal care, leading to maternal deaths (Puspitasari, 2022). Therefore, there is a need for countries to put in place proper regulations to prevent the abuse of surrogate mothers and intended parents within an ethical framework.

Continuity of Life

Surrogacy has gained soaring popularity today due to the potential to ensure continuity of life even when couples cannot get children. In the majority of cases, the procedures go smoothly. However, there are a few instances like that of baby Gammy that shocked the world where commissioning parents had intentionally left Gammy, who had Down syndrome, in Thailand while taking his non-disabled twin sister Pipah to Australia, their hometown. Such incidents could cast a bad light on the practice by persuading the public to view surrogacy negatively (Ellenbogen et al., 2021). The main reason why most communities have not accepted surrogacy, despite its relevance, is a lack of awareness of the practice (Puspitasari, 2022). Research by Ellenbogen et al. (2021) suggests the need to educate societies about the few cases of abuse that lead to conflicting feelings raising ethical concerns about surrogacy. This is because surrogate mothers play a crucial role in shaping society by helping childless couples to have a complete family.

Argument against Surrogacy

Commercialization

Surrogacy has been described as a practice targeting vulnerable women. Due to the commercialization of the practice, women from vulnerable backgrounds are recruited and misused. For example, in the case of Ukraine, posters and adverts of surrogate commercialization come with a good token of about $20,000, eight times more than the average yearly income of a normal Ukrainian citizen. The booming industry attracted exploitation, leading to its shutdown. Also, in the U.S., women have been accused of their unwillingness to work and instead offer to become surrogate mothers for commercial purposes hence the increased number of children adduction and selling. Khvorostianov (2023) researched the motive behind most women offering to be surrogates today. This was a qualitative study using an online platform to carry out a survey. The findings of this study indicated that, out of 656 posts on Russian online platforms posted by Russian surrogates who have taken this as an occupation, most women are ready to become surrogates to get money despite the stigma faced by surrogate mothers in Russia. Research also indicated that childless couples could easily get a surrogate mother and pay them just a little due to the industry’s commercialization. This is the leading cause of exploitation cases in the surrogacy industry today. However, this is a weak point because both the surrogate mother and potential parents benefit from the practice. To curb this, there is a need to remind society about the positive side of surrogacy. Additionally, this negative stance can be done away with by formulating an Act that prevents commercialized surrogacy.

Health Risks

Due to the unregulated surrogacy destinations, there are increasing cases of botched surrogacies that violate a woman’s dignity. Some medical conditions that could arise due to botched surrogacies include gestational diabetes, hypertension, or the potential to destroy a woman’s reproductive system. Research conducted by Lahl et al. (2022) to compare the experiences of American women who have undergone gestational surrogates and spontaneous pregnancies indicated that most women applying to be surrogate mothers lack information on protecting themselves from possible side effects. The study investigated possible side effects and complications that result from technological reproduction. Risks of recovery, such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, and reproductive system harm, are among these adverse effects. According to Lahl et al. (2022), most women contemplating gestational surrogacy lack knowledge, hence high exploitation rates that lead to possible complications. Poor health measures during the process could lead to complications that result from technological reproduction (Riggs & Due, 2019). Technological reproduction could have possible side effects subjecting a surrogate mother to lifetime health challenges. In most societies where surrogacy is highly commercialized, most healthcare facilities are unwilling to educate surrogate mothers on possible side effects (Riggs & Due, 2019). The lack of information could lead to exploitation and negative physical and mental health outcomes. Lastly, due to unregulated surrogacy practices, there is insufficient data on gestational surrogacy’s physical and mental health outcomes. However, this is an inferior stance about surrogacy because there is little documented evidence. Approximately 9 out of 10 surrogates deliver healthy babies and continue living normal lives. The practice has helped millions of childless families to get their children. Surrogacy takes away the stress of trying to conceive among couples who cannot conceive due to health issues. Therefore, to curb the few existing ethical concerns, there is a need to review the legislation and laws on surrogacy to protect both the surrogate mother and potential parents from exploitation to protect the physical well-being of people engaged in the practice.

Conclusion

Surrogacy is a widely known practice that helps childless couples get biological children. The procedure can bring advantages, especially to those who cannot have children naturally, allowing teams to have their children without going through the long adoption procedure. Although these procedures initially ran smoothly, the soaring popularity has led to mistreatment and commercialization cases, increasing legal and ethical concerns about this industry. Surrogacy has had few ethical problems, especially due to stigmatization arising from primitive beliefs from varied socio-cultural backgrounds. This subjects most surrogate mothers to stigma and labeling. However, studies have shown that most participants who had helped childless families get children through surrogacy experienced some satisfaction due to a positive view of their actions. Despite the conflicting feelings due to ethical concerns about surrogacy today, like being misunderstood, surrogate mothers play a crucial role in helping childless couples get children. Therefore, to address these issues, there is a need to implement strict rules and regulations to ensure those engaging in the practice are only those who have gone through proper scanning and procedures legalizing them to participate in surrogacy.

References

Ellenbogen, A., Feldberg, D., & Lokshin, V. (2021). Surrogacy–a worldwide demand. Implementation and ethical considerations. Gynecol Reprod Endocrinol Metab, 2, 66-73.

Goli, M., Farajzadegan, Z., Heidari, Z., & Kohan, S. (2019). Reproductive and sexual health of surrogate mothers, developing a care program: a protocol for mixed methods Study. Reproductive Health, 16, 1-6.

Khvorostianov, N. (2023). The motives behind post-soviet women’s decisions to become surrogate mothers. Sexuality & Culture, 27(1), 38-56.

Kitulwatte, I. D. G., Gangahawatte, S., Perera, U. L. M. S., & Edirisinghe, P. A. S. (2022). Medico-legal and ethical aspects of surrogacy; a case report of a tragic maternal death from Sri Lanka. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 91, 102425.

Lahl, J., Fell, K., Bassett, K., Broghammer, F. H., & Briggs, W. M. (2022). A Comparison of American women’s experiences with gestational surrogate and spontaneous pregnancies. Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence, 7(3), 1.

Nuralievich, Y. S. (2023). Establishment history and concept of surrogate motherhood. International Journal on Orange Technologies, 5(3), 64-67.

Puspitasari, D. E. (2022). The legal status of surrogate mothers in Indonesia. Batulis Civil Law Review, 3(1), 19-28.

Riggs, D., & Due, C. (2019). A critical approach to surrogacy: Reproductive desires and demands. Routledge.

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Question 


Elaborate/expand on each idea from the Outline submitted on week 5, and write your Argumentative Research Paper # 2 in APA format. This Argumentative research paper must: • be in APA format. • have 5 pages of content (not including the Cover/title page and the References page). • have a Cover page/title page. • include headings to divide the paper into sections

Surrogate Pregnancy- Should It Be Used on Demand or Due to Health Problems.

Surrogate Pregnancy- Should It Be Used on Demand or Due to Health Problems.

(Each of the 3 points of your thesis statement must be stated as a level-one heading in the body of your paper). • have a counterargument and Refutation (Use a heading for this section). • must have a Reference page (a minimum of 8 reliable sources). (The same sources are used in the Annotated Bibliography and on the Outline).
Please use the Outline and Annotated attachment to create the research paper.

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