Utilitarianism: The Case Of Commercial Surrogacy

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Utilitarianism is a universal teleological system. It calls for the greatest good for the greatest number, meaning that whatever is beneficial to the greatest number of people is good, whereas whatever benefits the least number of people is otherwise. From the utilitarian stance, surrogacy may be morally right because the intended parents receive a much-desired child. In the case of commercial surrogacy, the surrogate mother receives a reward in form of payment, and in altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate (who acts voluntarily) gives the “gift of new life” (Saxena, Mishra & Malik, 2012). If a surrogacy is to unfold smoothly, then from a utilitarian stance, it is good; as the greater numbers of people are happy. Even in the application of the…show more content…
Others argue that there is a change in motives for creating children (Markens, 2007; Saxena, Mishra & Malik, 2012). Common ethical questions include; what is the degree of stress on the couple and especially on the surrogate mother? Can true informed consent ever be given by the surrogate, and can anyone predict the emotions associated with relinquishing a child? What are the possible adverse psychological effects on the child? What identity crisis might ensue, and will there be a desire on the part of the child to know his/her gestational mother? Will surrogate arrangements be used not only by infertile couples but also for the sake of convenience, or by single men or women? Should the surrogate be paid? Would this lead to commercialization of surrogacy and expose the surrogate mother to possible exploitation? Should the couple and surrogate remain unknown to each other? Should the child be told? What kinds of records should be kept, and should the child have access to them? What kind of medical and psychological screening should be provided to all parties? (Saxena, Mishra & Malik,…show more content…
On the contrary, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington have statutes or published case laws prohibiting compensated surrogacy contracts. Most states fall in the middle, and some do not have statutes that address the validity or legality of surrogacy contracts (Gugucheva, 2010). Perhaps legislation is slow in coming because the society is yet to resolve the myriad of ethical and legal questions surrounding surrogate motherhood.
Scholars who oppose surrogacy are of the opinion that infertile couples should consider alternative options to have children, such as adoption. The argument is that there are already-existing children and children about to be born in need of parental care and love. However, legal problems can be associated with this option, especially if the biological parents want the child back. Another similar alternative is fostering. The downside is that the children in need of foster care often have a difficult time adjusting. Parents need to be confident and patient. Also, there is a chance that such parents may not raise the children throughout their entire childhood years; nevertheless, it is possible to maintain contact. The opposing argument is that surrogacy is better, since the child and intended parents are genetically
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