Evolving Attitudes and Laws
One of the most common destinations for surrogacy is Thailand, which has historically had no ban on commercial surrogacy, making it appealing for surrogates and intended parents alike. However, earlier this week, commercial surrogacy bans took effect, ending an ongoing debate which was spurred last year when an Australian couple left one of their twins behind in the country after discovering he had Down’s Syndrome.
While debates on surrogacy have often centered around cases where the surrogate mother refuses to give up the child, the conversation also begs an important question about the intended parents and “designer pregnancies:” if the baby is born and has a birth defect, do the intended parents have a right to refuse them, or try again with a different surrogate until they get the “perfect” baby? Can one couple use endless surrogates until they get the baby they want?
The Future of Surrogacy
With more countries placing laws and restrictions on surrogacy arrangements, one wonders if there could be a potential “black market” for surrogacy in the future. In the U.S., states continue to be divided not just on surrogacy, but other women’s health issues which maintain their status as political hot topics: abortion, contraception and even ongoing debates about the benefits of breastfeeding versus formula feeding.
As long as governments around the world have a thumb on women’s health issues, it’s unlikely that we’ll see an internationally recognized edict on surrogacy. For now, we’ll have to hope that the majority of those who seek the arrangements will love the child no matter what; just as we would hope of any parent, anywhere.