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Describe the religious and ethical issues raised by human surrogacy.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Describe the religious and ethical issues raised by human surrogacy. [35] Surrogacy is when a woman carries a child on behalf of someone else. There are four broad types of surrogacy: partial, full, commercial and voluntary. Partial surrogacy occurs when the surrogate mother provides her egg which is fertilised either in vitro and placed through artificial insemination into the womb or she is artificially inseminated by the intended father?s sperm. Only in very rare cases would sexual intercourse take place. Full surrogacy occurs when the intended parents provide egg and sperm. In some cases a donor sperm/egg may be used. Commercial surrogacy refers to arrangements whereby a woman is contracted and paid to be a surrogate mother and to deliver a baby to the intended parents; in many countries this is illegal. Voluntary or altruistic surrogacy refers to a surrogate arrangement where the surrogate mother voluntarily offers to bear a child for another couple but not for commercial gain. ...read more.

Middle

In 1987, the Donum Vitae congregation issued a statement on surrogacy, echoing the views of the Catechism and adding that it violates the dignity of the child. A further statement in 2008 through the Dignitas Personae congregation reinforced the teaching that conception should only be a product of conjugal love. They believe surrogacy devalues motherhood, especially commercial surrogacy which is carried out for personal financial gain. Additionally, the surrogate mother may become emotionally attached to the child and this could cause great emotional stress. The church believes that childlessness is God?s will and couples should consider adoption instead. Moving on to more secular ethical concerns, surrogacy had complex legal implications that can lead to identity issues for a child. Surrogacy poses questions as to what is meant by being a parent. Social or intended parents are those who initiate or commission the surrogacy and bring the child up as their own, genetic parents are those who provide sperm and egg. ...read more.

Conclusion

Situation ethics is based on the ideal that whatever is the most loving thing to do, is ethical. Applying this to surrogacy, it is difficult to judge the topic as a whole, and instead individual cases must be determined. For example, in the case of Baby M, it was not loving on Mary Beth's part to agree to a surrogacy contract, only to later refuse. However, it may also be noted that both the Sterns should have considered Mary Beth's psychological condition and reliability before entering into the contract. Neither acts were in the best interest of the unborn child and thus the decisions made were not very loving, nor ethical. Ultimately, surrogacy causes us to rethink our views on family, marriage, sex and what makes a mother. Regardless of our views, we should be compassionate towards those suffering from the effects of infertility. You cannot understand their situation unless you have experienced it personally. To quote Laura Bush, ?For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives.? ...read more.

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