I know that what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the
impossible is the least that one can demand. —James Baldwin
Ten to fifteen percent of married couples are unable to have children. Surrogate mothers
are not a new solution to the old problem of not being able to reproduce an offspring.
Surrogacy has been around a long time and dates back to biblical times. An interesting
bible scenario is Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Sarah could not have children in the
beginning. She gave her handmaid, Hagar, to her husband Abraham to produce them a
child. The method used was copulation. The outcome in this arrangement did not prove to
be a productive one and ended in disaster. In this scenario the spouse became jealous, the
surrogate became proud and refused to give up the identity of the child and consequently
the spouse had both her and her child ousted.
In the Philippines, married couples who are unable to have children wishes to patrons and
so much believe in the power of saints to grant their life's wishes. Women are encouraged
to dance at Obando, the fertility dance. Hence, some were given child, some where not.
But this is just part of Filipino beliefs and traditions.
Celebrating the patron saint of the
childless Santa Clara, the main feature of the festival, Sayaw sa Obando, is a dance by
childless women, believing that in their participation, they will be blessed and their wish
for motherhood fulfilled.
THE MAIN ETHICAL ISSUE
Surrogate motherhood is an agreement between the adopting couple and an agency or a
surrogate mother. Whether negotiated privately or through an agency, it is a highly
emotional situation involving large amounts of time, money and patience. This
complicated arrangement is legal in a few states, but illegal in others. Because of many
factors, this process may be a success or a failure. For example, many surrogate mothers
wrestle with emotional issues of letting a baby go after its birth. And many adopting
couples have to deal with legal snags and the ethics of buying a baby. Many people
question whether it is really worth the time and trouble to enter a surrogacy arrangement
just to have a child in this manner. [Laura Matthies]
Is there anything ethically wrong with surrogate motherhood? Many people confess their
inability to articulate their opposition in rational terms yet they feel uneasy. The practice
arouses negative emotions ranging from mild distase to revulsion. Others may say there is
nothing wrong, in principle, with surrogate motherhood. It is a way of helping infertile
Man or woman fulfill a fundamental longing and, therefore, should be permitted and even
facilitated. Many who are not fundamentally opposed to surrogacy nonetheless maintain