Responsible Surrogacy

Information regarding the ethical aspects of the process

Many women who have undergone surrogacy regard the lack of social support as one of the major difficulties. Specifically, they felt the need to share and consult with others before and during the surrogacy without fearing negative outcomes. In India, for example, surrogacy is often accompanied by social stigmas and is sometimes done secretly, isolated from the surrogate’s community and sometimes even their immediate family. A study on the subject in India found that this concealment is the main cause of anguish during surrogacy. Personal testimonials of Indian surrogates also emphasize the severe effect of the environment’s reaction to the surrogacy on the welfare of the surrogate. In other countries, the process is often more visible and accepted, but still accompanied by emotional difficulties. The support of the surrogate’s immediate family, and mainly her significant other if she has one, would likely affect the surrogates emotional state during the pregnancy and following it.

We suggest intended parents take interest in the surrogates social support circles early on in the process and confirm that indeed there are people who would support here during the course of the pregnancy. In case the process requires medical procedures in another state or country, we recommend confirming that the surrogate is accompanied by a friend or family member. In many occasions, another party is required to sign the surrogacy contract (either a significant other or relative). This has advantages as well as disadvantages: It promises that the surrogate is not completely alone in the process and is not conducting it in secrecy or without some support; but the involvement of a person other than the surrogate in the contract somewhat contradicts her full and exclusive autonomy over her body and raises questions regarding the pressures she might be under to sign. We therefore suggest to make an effort to assure that the surrogate receives full support – but is not somehow taken advantage of in the process (more on this here).

 Additionally, we recommend making sure that the surrogate has a mental care specialist (psychologist or social worker) who is made available to her. Other surrogates may also be a major source of support. In some processes, the surrogate undergoes psychological evaluation before the process to confirm that she has the mental powers for it. This assessment usually also looks into the support circles of the surrogate. We recommend that parents confirm their potential surrogate was indeed evaluated and found fit for the process.

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