Chapter-17 Surrogate Pregnancies: Ethical and Legal Aspects

BOOK TITLE: Ethical Dilemmas in Perinatal Medicine

1. Schenker Joseph G
Publishing Year
Author Affiliations
1. Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel, International Academy of Human Reproduction; Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
Chapter keywords


There is an ongoing debate in ethics literature regarding commercial surrogacy. Those in favor of surrogacy, regard it as an ethical concept of free choice and personal autonomy. The opponents argue that the moral nature of child-bearing and the parent–child relationship is negatively affected by commercialized surrogacy agreements. There is a fundamental distinction between paternity and maternity in surrogacy. While paternity is based on the genetic and only on the genetic function, maternity normally has two aspects, the genetic one, of providing the oocyte and the physiological function one, of gestation and parturition. On the one hand, surrogacy appears to reinforce the traditional family by allowing infertile married couples to create biologically-related children. On the other, surrogacy disrupts the traditional concept of the family. While surrogacy is represented as a last-resort medical ‘solution’ to the problem of infertility, the varying international responses to its regulation indicate that it. Each society (country) formulates its own most appropriate solution. The Israeli legislative and administrative framework regulating surrogacy. Arrangements are designed to protect all the parties involved. The Israeli Law (1996) gives priority to the interests of the child in every aspect of a surrogacy scheme. The most important aspects of the law are: (i) It provides a well balanced public committee to authorize and supervise every individual case. (ii) Only full surrogacy is permitted. (iii) The agreement is not commercial. (iv) Reasonable expenses can be paid to the surrogate mother under the supervision of the approving committee. (v) The surrogate mother must be single, a widow or divorced. (vi) Under certain conditions, the surrogate mother can withdraw from the agreement. (vii) The child is under the tutelage of a social worker, representing the State, from birth until the completion of the adoption procedure.

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