Surrogate motherhood arrangements have increased in recent years and yet for many, the practice remains deeply controversial. The idea of being carried in another women’s womb is for many children, more disruptive than the idea of not being genetically related.
While there are, as I believe the majority of people would agree, very evident psychological issues which desperately need to be addressed in relation to surrogacy, research is scant and extremely limited. Much of the “evidence” is anecdotal and based on small samples sizes. Indeed, it was difficult to find much actually written on the subject, certainly with any sort of focus on the impact of the child.
It is shocking to think that the best interests of the child have been so under researched and neglected in debates surrounding the ethics of surrogacy. After all, the primary concern in all adoption and custody decisions is always the welfare of the child, so then, why not in the cases of surrogacy? The crux of the matter is that surrogacy undermines individual flourishing and may, it seems, even perpetrate needless emotional suffering.
Of course, in the media, we only ever hear of the positive stories, which are frantically pushed by the organisations that stand to gain the most from the practice.
It is the desires of the adults in the “buying part of the contract” that gain fulfilment, and the voice of the child along with the critical bond with the birth mother is utterly lost.
Research on adoptees show that many of the children feel they endured a primal wound when they were separated from their birth mother, despite the child being subsequently placed into a loving adoptive family and stable environment. The structure of the infants’ brain has been shown in some studies, to have been permanently altered due to maternal separation. Moreover, adoptees that have reached adulthood, believe that the trauma they suffered at birth due to maternal separation, caused depression and emotional problems that remained throughout their lives. It therefore begs the question; in a world where we have countless children needing caring and considerate homes, why intentionally create a baby [via surrogacy] that has the prospect of adoption-like trauma, ultimately manifesting into depression and emotional turmoil?
There is, a fundamental difference though, when it comes to adoption and surrogacy, since, the child of adoptive parents quite often seek to heal the wound inflicted upon the child from abandonment, the child born from surrogacy is raised by the very adults who inflicted that very same wound.
Additional content: For more information on the fight against surrogacy visit https://objectnow.org/surrogacy/