Surrogate Mother

Published: 2023-01-11
850 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Middlebury College
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Surrogate motherhood is one of the most controversial issues of modern times. It refers to the practice of a lady bearing a child for a couple that is unable to have children. Some people view surrogate motherhood as ethically wrong while others suggest it is beneficial to couples who cannot get pregnant. The essay will expound on the issue of surrogacy and use both Kantian and Utilitarianism to examine the morality of the practice as described in a New York Times article "India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood."

The number of people seeking to hire surrogate mothers has increased. People who were unable to bear children have realized there is a way they could be parents. The practice of surrogate motherhood can take two forms. The first kind is referred to as traditional surrogacy. It is used when one of the partners is unable to produce an egg; for example a woman or for a gay couple. The husband provides sperm, and artificial insemination is done on the surrogate woman. Gestational surrogacy, the second type involves the extraction of the ovum and sperms from the intended parents, and in vitro fertilization done. Doctors then place the embryo formed in the body of a surrogate mother (Van den Akker, 2017).

The surrogate mothers give up all the rights of the child to the intended parents once the baby is born. In most cases, surrogate mothers are required to have given birth to at least one child, successfully. The process has led to many poor women looking for opportunities to be surrogate mothers so that they can earn a lot of money. Also, living standards of these women have therefore improved. Wealthy people and the affluent in the society can easily afford the service, just like they access better health care on issues about infertility. Whether surrogacy is ethically right or not is a debatable issue, and commercial surrogacy has been banned in some states in the U.S. and some European Countries (Van den Akker, 2017).

The morality of Surrogate Motherhood

Amelia's article "India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood" shows the increasing number of people in such of surrogate mothers. The righteousness of surrogacy can be viewed in two ways, by using both Kantian and Utilitarianism theories. Kantian theory suggests that humans are rational beings, and moral worth, goodwill, and duty should affect the steps to be taken in response to something. The theory suggests that human beings should respect human life and treat it as an end, a not just a means to an end. Actions should, therefore, show moral worthiness. Utilitarianism, on the other hand, follows a principle about maximizing happiness. The theory stresses the results of each activity, without considering the means followed to achieve them. Decisions should be made based on their benefit to the society according to Mill who advanced the theory (Hostiuc et al., 2016).

By using the Kantian theory, one can see how surrogate motherhood is ethically wrong. The theory states that human life should be treated with dignity. From Amelia's article, it can be seen that human dignity has been disregarded. Surrogate mothers rent their wombs to wealthy foreigners for some money which is mostly paid through hospitals. However, no amount of money would be enough to rent a human or human part. Also, the surrogate mothers forfeit all the rights of the babies, despite carrying them for several months. They will never see the babies again (Gentleman, 2008). The government should prohibit this practice since it is ethically wrong. Also, hospitals are supposed to respect human life not disregard it.

According to utilitarianism, the decision does not matter as wrong as many people in society are happy. In this case, many people from the western countries who could not enjoy having children can easily do so. Even poor westerners can benefit. Gays such as Mr. Gher can also have a complete family. Moreover, the Indian women who take care of the pregnancy earn enough money to take care of their families (Gentleman, 2008). The case, therefore, conforms to with the theory of utilitarianism. The major participants in surrogacy acquire benefits; hence it should be allowed.


The morality of surrogate motherhood is a debatable issue with many people having different views. Surrogacy involves a woman agreeing to get pregnant for a couple unable to get pregnant, but giving up the rights to the child to the intending parents. Many couples are moving to India to find surrogate mothers for their children at lower prices. Surrogacy can be ethically wrong according to Kantian theory. On the other hand, it can bring happiness to many people; hence it is morally right.


Hostiuc, S., Bogdan, C., Rentea, I., Drima, E., Aluas, M., Hangan, T. L., & Navolan, D. (2016). Ethical controversies in maternal surrogacy. [12], 99-102, //

BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Gentleman, A. (2008, 3 10). India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood. The New York Times, p. A9.

Van den Akker, O. B. (2017). Surrogate Motherhood Families. Palgrave Macmillan, //

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