ACOG Issues Committee Opinion on Surrogacy
By Rachel Walden — February 4, 2008
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued an opinion statement on surrogate motherhood [PDF] through its Committee on Ethics. The piece addresses types of surrogacy, public policy, major arguments for and against surrogacy arrangements, and responsibilities of physicians when attending to such arrangements.
Among the guidances:
- “Because of the risks inherent in surrogacy arrangements, such arrangements should be considered only in the case of infertility or serious health-related needs, not for convenience alone.”
- “A physician may justifiably decline to participate in initiating surrogacy arrangements for personal, ethical, or medical reasons.”
- “The pregnant woman should be the sole source of consent regarding clinical intervention and management of the pregnancy, labor, and delivery.”
- “The obstetrician must make recommendations that are in the best interests of the pregnant woman and her fetus, regardless of prior agreements between her and the intended parents.”
- “The intended parents may have access to the patient’s medical information only with the pregnant woman’s explicit consent.”
The entire report is an informative read, summing up a host of surrogacy-related ethical concerns. I found it particularly interesting as it touches on physician refusal, the rights of the surrogate to make her own medical decisions, privacy, convenience vs. medical necessity, and many other topics that arise in discussions of other reproductive rights.
It is truly commendable that the needs of Surrogacy are being recognized and addressed here. The infertility rate is growing and consequently the number of people seeking surrogacy to tackle this problem is on the rise. In view of this situation there is a real need for a uniform, universal policy to protect all involved.
According to the information provided at this link http://www.syl.com/hb/thereareagreatvarietyofsurrogacylaws.html till date there is no national policy on surrogacy. However each state has come up with their own legal approach in order to shelter the surrogates from exploitation including possible cultural obstacles.
30. Surrogacy should be an allowed option. Surrogate motherhood should be allowed because it helps families who are unable to conceive a child have the ability to have a family that is biologically theirs. Women who decide to be a surrogate should realize how they maybe affected by giving up a child to fully choose if they want to commit to it. Surrogacy helps same-sex families and infertile families receive the gift of life, and be able to become a parent to a child that is biologically one of the partner’s. Also surrogacy is a quicker process than adoption which could be the family’s plan to have a baby sooner than later. The surrogate mother could be doing this out of love for a family because she could feel sympathy for a family that is unable to have a child, which makes surrogacy not all about the money.