The 7 “Pros” and Cons of Surrogacy

Surrogacy: Some Background Info

This article is meant to be an overview of the types of surrogacy that are being discussed openly in the public square, so Catholics may be informed of the types of surrogacy and ethical issues surrounding them. It must be stated right from the outset that there are no true “pros” of surrogacy, though we shall present some of the reasons people choose surrogacy.

Surrogacy is not even legal in all fifty states. In fact, the vast majority (43) are not even pro-surrogacy.

baby bump, pregnant woman

Types of Surrogacy Arrangements

There are two types of surrogacy and within those categories, three ways of conceiving a surrogate child.

  1. Altruistic Surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is not paid for her “services.”
  2. Commercial Surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is paid (usually by a middleman agency) and agrees to bear the child as a form of “employment.” In essence, the woman is renting out her womb to bear a child.

There are also three ways of conceiving the child in a surrogacy arrangement:

  1. Partial or Genetic Surrogacy: In this process, the prospective adoptive father donates his sperm to fertilize the egg of the surrogate mother. The child therefore has the father’s DNA.
  2. Total surrogacy: The sperm and egg are chosen from a donor bank to fertilize the egg inside the surrogate mother. The child will never know his/her biological parents, the adoptive parents are unrelated, as is the surrogate mother.
  3. Gestational surrogacy: The prospective adoptive parents both contribute their respective sperm and egg to conceive in vitro. Then, the embryo is implanted in the womb of the surrogate.  The child has both a biological albeit unnatural mother and natural father.

 

The Seeming “Pros” of Surrogacy

To those who do not know the real issues involved, surrogacy may seem attractive. Why?

 

1.Surrogacy allows otherwise infertile couples to have a biologically related child.

There are cases where surrogacy is the only way that a couple can have a biologically related child. However, there are other viable options which are not immoral, the most obvious one being adoption.

 

2. Some think surrogacy is faster than adoption.

While a typical timeframe for the entire surrogacy process (surrogate screening until birth) is around 15 to 20 months, adoption can actually be equally as quick, 18-24 months or longer. The difference is too complex to be explained here, because adoption circumstances are so variable. Surrogacy seems easier.

 

3. Surrogacy, on its face, seems to satisfies both parties.

“Seems” is the operative word here. There have been court cases where the surrogate mother changes her mind and does not wish to give up her child. If her egg is used in the equation, biologically half the child’s DNA is hers and the legal (not just moral) situation can be very messy.

 

The Cons of Surrogacy

Because the above benefits can be enticing to the unschooled, especially in today’s cultural climate, it is key for Catholics to understand the ethics of surrogacy and why it is immoral.

 

1. All forms of surrogacy require in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination, which are themselves immoral.

This is the most important of these moral objections. Regardless of the type of surrogacy chosen, the child is conceived outside of the natural process, which means that no matter how loving and human the rest of the process is, it will still be immoral because of this evil and essential part. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that in vitro fertilization and other such reproductive technologies are morally unacceptable:

They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children (CCC 2377)

There are more reasons  to reject IVF. One is that it involves the fertilization of multiple embryos. Each of these is a person. However, in implantation, it is possible for multiple embryos to implant. In this case, the medical technical will selectively abort “extra” children to make room for one or two, to try to encourage the pregnancy(ies).

Also, artificial insemination involves masturbation, a sin in itself. Due to the graphic aspects of this topic, we will leave it at that.

surrogacy pros and cons: surrogacy dehumanizes the surrogate

2. Surrogacy encourages same-sex couples as parents.

Becoming a parent is a sacred act, in which the husband and wife – spouses united in the most holy Sacrament of Marriage- unite with one another in the marital act and create another human being with God’s assisstance. Same-sex unions are disordered by nature, and should in no way be allowed to parent children. At this time in the United States some Catholic foster agencies have had to close their doors for refusing to bow to same-sex agenda which is attempting to force them to do so, while others are engaged in legal battles to maintain their rights to adopt children out to safe, wholesome families.

 

3. Surrogacy is essentially the same, in most instances, as child trafficking, apart from the timing.

In the case of partial and full surrogacy, the surrogate is essentially selling their own child. The only difference is that there is a contract prior to conception. How does one guarantee the safety of that child? The answer of course, is that one cannot. While there are laws against child abuse, with no overseeing adoption agency, the chances of abuse of the laws protecting the safety of both child and parents can be easily abused.

 

Conclusion

Surrogacy commercializes human life, undermines human dignity, and dehumanizes our society. While this is unfortunate news for couples who cannot have children on their own, we must realize that preservation of human dignity is of paramount importance; adoption is a better way for such couples to fulfill their laudable desire to raise children.

For more details on legal and ethical matters, visit “5 Facts about Altruistic Surrogacy.”



16 Comments

  1. Ackson Mumba on March 27, 2019 at 2:12 AM

    Very useful information for my paper

    • TeamLife HLI on March 27, 2019 at 10:10 AM

      Wonderful!

    • TeamLife HLI on March 27, 2019 at 10:10 AM

      Wonderful!

  2. Ackson Mumba on March 27, 2019 at 2:12 AM

    Very useful information for my paper

  3. Regina Smith on April 23, 2019 at 10:02 PM

    When I was looking for the pros and cons of surrogacy online, I was looking for scientific reasons. Not religious. I’m a little disappointed to say the least. Titling an article about the pros and cons of surrogacy and following it with opinions seems a bit biased. To each their own, but maybe a less misleading title would do.

    • HLI Staff on April 25, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      We very much appreciate your feedback! While it is certainly true that we are a Catholic website and present this viewpoint, we think you will find that the arguments largely hold for Christians and sometimes even non-Christians in general. After all, you will note at the beginning of the article, that surrogacy is illegal or not looked on kindly in 43 of the 50 states. Our pieces are well researched and contain factual data…not just faith-based information. However, if you have any questions about specific aspects of surrogacy not covered here, we would be happy to try and respond.

  4. IVF Conceptions on July 17, 2019 at 2:53 AM

    It is good to see how clearly you have mentioned the risk and benefit of surrogacy. Great!!

    • HLI Staff on July 19, 2019 at 9:20 AM

      Thank you!

  5. Tara on July 24, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    I was quite disappointed as this is a biased article and succumbs to several logical fallacies. If, due to your belief, you believe that any form of surrogacy ‘undermines human dignity’ then that’s your prerogative and you can choose to not go down a surrogacy route. However, i advise against condemning other people’s choices and taking their freedom of choice away. So, when publishing an article like this it would be great if you could label/title it as an opinion piece for clarity. Thanks

    • HLI Staff on July 24, 2019 at 9:55 AM

      Tara, We very much appreciate your feedback! While it is certainly true that we open this article with the stated intention of informing Catholics about surrogacy and the moral issues surrounding them, we think you will find that the arguments largely hold for Christians and sometimes even non-Christians in general. After all, you will note at the beginning of the article, that surrogacy is illegal or not looked on kindly in 43 of the 50 states. Our pieces are well researched and contain factual data… not just faith-based information. However, if you have any questions about specific aspects of surrogacy not covered here, we would be happy to try and respond.

  6. Virginia Dolajak on November 21, 2019 at 2:53 PM

    Very good and forward. Thank you!!

  7. tjf on March 25, 2020 at 10:24 AM

    it was my understanding that God is all accepting of everyone, loves everyone for who they are, and is all forgiving. Who cares if same sex couples are encouraged to have a kid of their own partial biological origin; if they love it and treat it as if it was made in the divine image and likeness of God (which it was) then it should make no difference. We all go to the same place in the end and God gives second chances. Aren’t we supposed to love our neighbors as ourself?

  8. tjf on March 25, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    It’s honestly appalling that this article was written with pros in quotations. that is immoral in itself, making it sound like surrogacy is a bad thing… are you trying to guilt the people considering surrogacy into thinking that they shouldn’t because of how “immoral” it is? What if the couple was rejected from adoption? What if the woman is infertile and the only thing she has ever wanted was a child of her own? This is a pro-LIFE organization’s website; surrogate and surrogate families want to bring LIFE into this world. There is nothing immoral about wanting to bring a child into this world to take care of it and love it as its own.

  9. HLI Staff on April 7, 2020 at 12:46 PM

    Indeed, tjf, an infertile couple’s desire to bring a life into this world is praiseworthy. Thank you for the opportunity to explain the Catholic position. While the couple’s desire is good, any means which does violence to the dignity of the human person and the institution of marriage is immoral. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a reproductive technology which eliminates the marriage act as the means of achieving pregnancy, instead of helping it achieve this natural end, and not infrequently leads to the mistreatment and destruction of innocent lives through selective abortion, or the freezing of embryos, sometimes subject later to experimental use. Every life, from conception to natural death, bears the image and likeness of God and is to be reverenced and protected as sacred.

  10. HLI Staff on April 8, 2020 at 9:58 AM

    Our God is a loving God, who forgives offenses when we repent of our wrongdoing, to be sure. This writer, for one, stands in need of His forgiveness daily. You raise several interesting questions. True love wills the good of the other. In nature children are conceived by a man and a woman, who are different but complimentary by design. Anyone devoted to the the good of a child will not intentionally create a motherless or fatherless home. To do so shows more the wish of the adult to have a child than the will for what is best for the child. It is in essence a selfish act to intentionally rob a child of his mother or his father. To your second question, we agree; we are called to love our neighbors. Permit me to counter and ask: When reproductive technologies not infrequently result in the destruction of “unused” human beings, how is that loving our most vulnerable of neighbors?

    • pro surrogacy on November 27, 2020 at 7:01 AM

      We don’t necessarily need a mother or father to live a fulfilling life. I’m sure God wouldn’t care who brings up the child as long as the child is happy and healthy. Why do you care so much? How can surrogacy be a selfish act when it brings so much happiness and joy to families, if anything naturally conceiving is worse as it could be a mistake and therefore lead to parents into not wanting to look after their child.

Leave a Comment