Surrogate Mothers Must Not be Allowed to Profit
Infertility affects an estimated 6.1 million people in the United States, or 10% of the reproductive age population (1). For many couples, infertility carries a stigma with serious personal and social ramifications. Infertile couples face social rejection by friends and family with children and must also come to terms with the loss of lifelong dreams of rearing children. The psychological trauma associated with infertility has created a great demand for a solution, and the medical industry has responded with eagerness. Infertile couples spend millions of dollars on medical treatments, including in vitro fertilization, surrogate pregnancy, egg donation and a myriad of
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In the first, a genetic surrogate provides both her uterus and her egg, which is fertilized with the sperm of the male from the infertile couple. The second type involves a gestational surrogate who provides only her uterus and goes through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) to have the embryo of the couple implanted for gestation. In the third arrangement the egg is donated from a third party, combined with the sperm of the male, and implanted in the uterus of the surrogate. The more parties that become involved, the less successful and more expensive the procedure becomes. For example, in the case of gestational surrogacy, 38% of surrogates became pregnant per initiated cycle. Of that 38%, 17% of those pregnancies resulted in spontaneous abortion (i.e. miscarriage) (2). Success rates are even lower for the more expensive egg donation/IVF combination. The medical procedures for this option are expensive, and the infertile couple monetarily compensates both the egg donor and surrogate. Furthermore, the health problems that can occur with the hyperstimulation of hormone levels during these procedures are rarely discussed. Although these procedures have low success, astronomical cost, and sometimes severe health complications, the medical community encourages infertile couples to go through them again and again, failure after failure. In doing so, they exploit the hopes and fears of the couple, collecting their money along the way.
Exploitation of the