Surrogacy has been helping infertile couples to find the happiness of a full family for many years. Surrogate mothers do what some infertile women cannot: they carry babies in order to give them to their biological parents. Although the practice of surrogacy has existed for many years, there are still many moral and legal issues that remain unresolved that touch on all aspects of surrogacy.

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Opponents of the surrogacy phenomenon argue that in this way we ourselves are pushing society to allow wealthy people to hire women to carry children, even if it is not necessary. In addition, opponents of surrogacy argue that in this case the very serious role of the mother is turned into an ordinary job, and express fears that in this case the surrogates’ lust for personal gain may become superior to the morals and the need to keep the child healthy.

Surrogacy is also actively opposed by the Church: church officials state that such attitude towards bearing and birth of a child leads to destruction of the sacred bond between a mother and her baby. In addition, the clergy contends that having children should not be the purpose of marriage, even though marriage itself is sacred. According to the clergymen, marriage is a sacrament of love, a union of two souls, and must not be reduced to mere procreation.

There is an especially grave concern that some surrogate mothers may be seriously traumatised by the necessity to give up the child they have carried for nine months. This is one of the biggest problems of surrogacy for which no solution has yet been found. Even though the woman goes into the procedure fully voluntarily and knowingly, it may end up being more difficult to give up the baby she has had time to become attached to. And this has been and still is one of the strongest arguments from the opponents of surrogacy.

Unfortunately, there are still cases where surrogate mothers refuse to give up their child despite the commitment they have made. In such a case the only hope of the biological parents is a well-thought-out legislation that should protect them. Luckily, in Ukraine, the law is thought out in such a way that a surrogate mother has no right to reclaim her child. All the rights to this baby belong to its real, biological parents. However, not all countries hold such a view, and still in some parts of the world a surrogate mother has full rights to reclaim the child she has carried.

The solution to such problems has been and still is ambiguous, since the legislation still has serious gaps regarding surrogacy in all countries. For example, still in America when it comes to deciding to whom the right of motherhood belongs: the surrogate mother or the real parents, the court does not always rule equally in favour of the parents or the surrogate mother. There are known cases when a born child has been left with a surrogate mother, when a surrogate mother was obligated to give the baby to his real parents, and at the end of the last century there was even a case when a surrogate mother was obligated to give the child to a shelter and then hand him over to his biological parents. This once again shows how many gaps there are in the understanding of what surrogacy is, who really is the child’s parents and how to deal with controversial surrogacy issues.

Scientists and medical professionals around the world disagree. Some of them believe that a surrogate mother has more rights to the child because the bond that is established between the baby and the woman during pregnancy and birth will be much more important than just a genetic link. In a sense, this idea is also supported by people who use someone else’s genetic material to conceive a child, in cases where, for example, they suffer from different genetic diseases. In this case the woman has to use another woman’s eggs in order to conceive and bear a child. In such a case, it is believed that the most important thing is the bond that is established between mother and child during pregnancy.

Other scientists, on the contrary, believe that the genetic connection is much more important than just carrying and giving birth. A great many different opinions, as well as quite serious arguments on each side, still leave open the question of how justified surrogacy is and who ultimately owns the rights to the child that is born.

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