Surrogacy, Its Benefits And Risks


Many couples around the world wish to have children, but some are unable to conceive or carry a baby due to various reasons. People who cannot go through the process of having a child often resort to surrogacy. The concept refers to the practice of a woman undertaking gestation and delivery of a baby who stays with their intended parents after birth (Piersanti et al. 2). Traditional surrogacy implies the use of the surrogate’s own eggs, making the biological mother genetically connected to the child (Payne et al. 183). In contrast, gestational surrogacy is based on utilizing the egg of the intended mother or a donor (Payne et al. 183). Accordingly, although the interest in surrogacy has recently increased, the procedure is affiliated with many concerns (Payne et al. 184). Despite having medical, psychological, legal, and ethical considerations, one can argue that the benefits of surrogacy outweigh its risks.

Surrogacy: Benefits vs. Risks

The practice of surrogacy offers advantages for all involved parties. Surrogacy is a treatment that helps couples who are infertile because of medical abnormalities to have a child who is genetically linked to them (Patel et al. 212; Piersanti et al. 2). For intended parents, it is a big opportunity to have children, a chance to realize their dreams to become parents and expand their family. For the surrogate, it’s an opportunity to help, to fulfill the intended parent’s dreams, to build a family. In addition, the surrogate acquires either monetary or moral compensation as long as the procedure can be commercial, with the birth mother receiving money, or altruistic, with the intended parents covering only pregnancy-related expenses (Patel et al. 212). Consequently, surrogacy aids couples have babies and financially rewards the carriers.

Surrogacy is often disputed due to medical and psychological troubles. For instance, the child may be born with a severe health condition, and the surrogate may have multiple pregnancies or complications such as urinary tract infections (Patel et al. 213). One can argue that the listed medical issues are likely to happen to those who conceive and carry babies themselves, whereas surrogacy is unique because of possible psychological perils. For example, a surrogate mother may face emotional difficulties after relinquishing the child, with the latter being at risk of developing psychological trauma when discovering the truth about their birth (Patel et al. 214). However, the majority of couples tend to have good relationships with their carriers, and children do not appear to be adversely affected by not being biologically connected to one of their parents (Patel et al. 216). Therefore, despite possible negative outcomes, the practice of surrogacy does not seem more dangerous than regular pregnancy.

The process of surrogacy is affiliated with legal and ethical debates, but the controversies are rarely influential. For instance, the US does not have a federal law governing surrogacy, and each region argues whether the procedure should be permitted (Piersanti et al. 6). Nevertheless, most states allow surrogacy, with some providing legal protections for the intended parents (Piersanti et al. 6). The primary ethical considerations revolve around the commodification and exploitation of women (Patel et al. 215; Piersanti et al. 2). However, although such disputes are used to oppose surrogacy, they are not confirmed by conclusive evidence (Piersanti et al. 10). The majority of surrogates are driven by the altruistic motivation to help, and the practice is said to strengthen women’s reproductive rights and liberty to choose (Piersanti et al. 10; Payne et al. 183). Accordingly, surrogacy is not completely restricted by law, and the carriers seem to make voluntary decisions.

Legal problems of surrogate motherhood arise in the aspect of international legislation as well. It is formulated by the fact that each country has its own views and laws related to this process. Thus, in some cases, cross-border surrogate motherhood may result in the child not being able to acquire the nationality of the country (Moreno). In other cases, due to differences in surrogacy practices in the country of the employer and the country of the surrogate mother, parents cannot receive a child. Thus, it creates a problem for the solution of which it is necessary to implement a strategy to simplify this procedure in a transboundary aspect. For example, for surrogate motherhood, one universal code could be developed for all countries, which would operate regardless of legislation. Surely, such a code would take into account all ethical and moral aspects but at the same time would simplify the procedure for cross-border surrogate motherhood.

Surrogacy is a way to solve financial problems in the absence of other options. As a rule, surrogacy is well paid. However, ethical and moral aspects must be taken into account. Bodies, a new play written by Vivienne Franzmann, shows how a woman, due to unfavorable financial circumstances, decided on surrogacy (De Ambrogi). It demonstrates possible problems associated with this process. For example, it may be difficult for a woman to part with the child, for which it is necessary to implement psychological testing before surrogacy. It may include particular psychological questions, on the basis of which the commission decides whether the person will experience psychological problems. Besides, it can be applied both to the surrogate mother and to the persons using such services.

Surrogacy has many controversial aspects, both practical and ethical. Practical problems are associated with the legal control of this process, especially in the event of controversial issues. Moreover, repeated surrogacy formulates a more difficult aspect for a mother, and one may negotiate higher payments (Lewis 62). In addition, views on surrogate motherhood differ among participants in feminist movements and groups. Thus, opinions are divided into those who condemn it and those who do not see any problems associated with surrogate motherhood.

Some believe that a woman has complete freedom to dispose of one’s body as one needs it. Thus, it is believed that the opportunity to give birth to a child can be used as the woman sees fit. However, some think that it is an unacceptable manifestation of the exploitation of women. In addition, it oppresses the rights of poor women and leads to the fact that the attitude towards womanhood worsens due to increasing prejudice.

It should be noted that in some countries, surrogate motherhood is sharply criticized. Moreover, it is considered a form of human trafficking, both the child and the mother’s body. However, one should understand that surrogacy formulates an exclusively voluntary aspect. Thus, one cannot claim that human rights are being violated since one decided to do it voluntarily. In addition, in some cases, agencies providing intermediary services do not inform future surrogate mothers about the consequences. It can lead to the fact that an unprepared woman who decides to perform it due to lack of money may face psychological problems.


To summarize, the benefits of surrogacy outweigh its risks because the latter do not have substantial support. While the intended parents and surrogates must consider such factors as whether their state permits the process, surrogacy is moderately secure. For example, the medical perils of surrogacy, such as the child’s potential health abnormalities, are likely to happen in couples who conceive and deliver babies without surrogates. Therefore, surrogacy is useful for people who wish to become parents but cannot and for women who strive to aid others and receive monetary rewards.

Works Cited

De Ambrogi, Marco. “The World of Surrogacy.” The Lancet, vol. 390, no. 10094, 2017, pp. 547. ProQuest, Web.

Moreno, Adi. “Surrogacy.” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies, edited by Daniel Thomas Cook, Sage UK, 1st edition, 2020. Credo Reference, Web.

Patel, Nayana Hitesh, et al. “Insight into Different Aspects of Surrogacy Practices.” Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, vol. 11, no. 3, 2018, pp 212-218. Web.

Payne, Jenny, et al. “Surrogacy Relationships: A Critical Interpretative Review.” Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 125, no. 2, 2020, pp. 183-191. Web.

Piersanti, Valeria, et al. “Surrogacy and “Procreative Tourism”: What Does the Future Hold from the Ethical and Legal Perspectives?” Medicina, vol. 57, no. 1, 2021.

Lewis, Sophie. Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family. Verso Books, 2021.