Friday, 3 June 2011
CASE 302 - The Surrogacy industry
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. This woman may be the child's genetic mother (called traditional surrogacy), or she may carry the pregnancy to delivery after having an embryo, to which she has no genetic relationship, transferred to her uterus (called gestational surrogacy). If the pregnant woman received compensation for carrying and delivering the child (besides medical and other reasonable expenses) the arrangement is called a commercial surrogacy, otherwise the arrangement is sometimes referred to as an altruistic surrogacy.
In a traditional surrogacy the child may be conceived via home artificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI (intracervical insemination) performed at a health clinic.
The social parents (that is, those that intend to raise the child) may arrange a surrogate pregnancy because of female infertility, or other medical issues which may make the pregnancy or delivery impossible, risky or otherwise undesirable. The social mother could also be fertile and healthy, and prefer the convenience of someone else undergoing pregnancy, labor, and delivery for her. The intended parent could also be a single man or woman wishing to have his/her own biological child. Some same-sex couples turn to surrogacy as an option to becoming parents. This area is also a massive multi billion pound industry, some mothers are slaves and get next to nothing in return for their child.
The advances in human reproductive sciences have made it possible for couples and others to have biologically their own children who otherwise cannot for a number of reasons. This has given rise to the concept of surrogate mothers. Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction. More common form is IVF/Gestational surrogacy in which the surrogate child biologically belongs completely to the social parents. The other type is gestational surrogacy where the surrogate child is genetically related to the male parent and the surrogate mother.
India where it is the only place where it is legal has emerged as a favourable destination for surrogacy and its Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) industry has evolved into a 25-billion rupee business annually, with Law Commission describing it as “a gold pot”. The phenomenal rise in surrogacy in India has been due to it being cheap, socially accepted. Moreover, surrogacy has emerged as a preferred option because of complicated adoption procedures.