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Current perspectives on the ethics of selling international surrogacy support services

Authors Fronek P

Received 12 November 2017

Accepted for publication 23 December 2017

Published 7 February 2018 Volume 2018:8 Pages 11—20


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bethany Spielman

Patricia Fronek1,2

1Law Futures Centre, 2School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, Southport, QLD, Australia

Abstract: This review presents current knowledge on selling surrogacy support services in developing countries. Rather than focusing on dichotomous positions, ethical issues that are present and unresolved are discussed by following the journey of surrogate mothers and highlighting the position of children whose well-being is generally assumed in surrogacy arrangements. Ethical concerns about conflicts of interest, fundamental freedoms, autonomy, informed consent, self-determination, privacy, and protecting children are shared across countries. International commercial surrogacy is predicated on profit made by service providers and intermediaries where producing a healthy, desired child for the consumer of services is the goal. As such, business models conflict with the well-being of women and children. Selling international surrogacy support services presents complex and multi-layered problems that must be understood in the context of a growing body of knowledge to ensure ethical deliberations are not based on fallacious premise or assumed propositions. International surrogacy is not a level playing field. Would-be parents and practitioners need the information and the opportunity to grapple with ethical issues when considering surrogacy arrangements, or enabling or profiting from it.

Keywords: international commercial surrogacy, ethics, children, surrogate mothers

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