Essay about Surrogate Motherhood

948 Words Jan 22nd, 2012 4 Pages
In the past adoption was the only alternative for infertile women who wished to have children. Advances in technology however have created new options for women who have a defective uterus or defective ovaries. Two alternatives that are gaining popularity are straight surrogacy and host surrogacy. In straight surrogacy, or traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is impregnated with the sperm of the intended father by way of artificial insemination. In these cases, the surrogate mother not only carries the child but is genetically linked to the child as well. She however relinquishes her role of social mother to the intended mother. In host surrogacy the intended parents produce an embryo through in vitro fertilization, which is …show more content…
Despite laws governing surrogacy problems and questions can still arise that can be difficult to resolve. Among them being, what happens if a surrogate mother decides she does not want to go through with the pregnancy and opts for an abortion?, or if a straight surrogate mother who is the genetic and birth mother of the child decides she wants to keep the child? Is it ethical to use legal action to force a woman to continue the pregnancy, or a straight surrogate mother who is both the biological and birth mother of a child to hand the baby over to the intended parents against her will, because it is called for in a contract? Such a question was raised when Beth Whitehead was hired as a straight surrogate mother and artificially inseminated with William Stem’s sperm. There was a possibility that Mr. Stems wife, Elizabeth, had multiple sclerosis and could suffer temporary paralysis during pregnancy. Surrogacy therefore seemed like the best alternative. Things however did not go as planned. When Whitehead gave birth to a girl on March 27, 1986, who she named “Sara Elizabeth Whitehead” she refused to give her up to the Stems. This resulted in a custody battle that ended in 1988 when a family court in New Jersey awarded custody to the biological father and visitation rights

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