Laws needed to stop surrogacy

2021-01-28 12:02:43

A newborn baby. [Photo/IC] Surrogacy was trending big as a topic for discussion on social networking sites recently after news of an entertainment star having two kids through surrogacy but refusing to raise them went viral. Surrogacy, which is an arrangement under which a woman agrees to bear a child through assisted reproductive technology for someone else, who will be the child's parent after birth, is illegal in China. However, some illegal agencies are organizing surrogate mothers, doctors and nurses to carry out the procedure, while those who wish to have the baby pay for everything. The procedure can be harmful to the woman giving birth. Many women from poor rural areas who have volunteered to become surrogate mothers for a price have often had to undergo frequent abortions when the process failed, leading to infertility; some have even died in the process. Often, the agencies promise their clients a male child, and if the embryo turns out to be a female, they have to abort it. In other cases, babies born with deformities have been abandoned. Lawmakers need to look into these cases where the babies and the women giving birth to them lack any protection under the law. The babies can only rely on their guardians for protection, while the women have no right over the babies born from their wombs and might suffer health complications. The percentage of those "renting a womb" and later giving up the embryo or baby is not as low as believed. More importantly, surrogacy reduces life to a commodity that can be "purchased" or "returned". That is clearly a violation of people's rights apart from showing disrespect to life. It is time legislators considered tightening the law so that those who buy surrogacy "services" can be stopped and those organizing it are penalized.