The Ethics of Commercial Surrogate Motherhood: Brave New Families?

by Scott B. Rae

This study addresses the two most controversial issues in surrogate motherhood: the commercial aspect of the practice and the issue of parental rights. After setting the legal and moral backdrop of procreative liberty in general, Rae argues that commercial surrogacy is the moral equivalent of baby-selling and should be prohibited. Add to this the potential for exploitation of the surrogate in practices that are already in motion and it is not hard to see the potential for harm to the parties involved. The book concludes with a survey of state and international law to date on surrogacy and a sample legislative proposal that could be adopted by states that are currently deliberating the issues. The commercial aspect of surrogacy makes it a potentially profitable business, not only for the surrogates but also for the brokers who facilitate the arrangements. This book promotes careful forethought, a reconsideration of definitions of parenthood, and a thorough examination of cases past and pending.

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