Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Bioethics. 2015 Oct;29(8):529-35. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12157. Epub 2015 Feb 17.

Surrogate Motherhood and Abortion for Fetal Abnormality.

Abstract

A diagnosis of fetal abnormality presents parents with a difficult - even tragic - moral dilemma. Where this diagnosis is made in the context of surrogate motherhood there is an added difficulty, namely that it is not obvious who should be involved in making decisions about abortion, for the person who would normally have the right to decide - the pregnant woman - does not intend to raise the child. This raises the question: To what extent, if at all, should the intended parents be involved in decision-making? In commercial surrogacy it is thought that as part of the contractual agreement the intended parents acquire the right to make this decision. By contrast, in altruistic surrogacy the pregnant woman retains the right to make these decisions, but the intended parents are free to decide not to adopt the child. We argue that both these strategies are morally unsound, and that the problems encountered serve to highlight more fundamental defects within the commercial and altruistic models, as well as in the legal and institutional frameworks that support them. We argue in favour of the professional model, which acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of both parties and provides a legal and institutional framework that supports good decision-making. In particular, the professional model acknowledges the surrogate's right to decide whether to undergo an abortion, and the intended parents' obligation to accept legal custody of the child. While not solving all the problems that arise in surrogacy, the model provides a framework that supports good decision-making.

KEYWORDS:

abortion; altruistic surrogacy; commercial surrogacy; fetal abnormality; surrogate motherhood; the professional model

PMID:
25688455
DOI:
10.1111/bioe.12157
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center