Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Let's Keep The Surrogacy Laws As They Are



Kenneth Roy's Scottish Review is one of my regular reads and yesterday he was rightly proud to give his readers his account of the International Young Scotland Programme which took place last week.

In yesterday's edition he included a few of the award-winning papers and this one I had to read three times, just to ensure my understanding was correct.

The writer's subject was surrogacy and she rightly says it is legal in the UK.  Her paper is entitled 'Let's reform this outdated law on parenthood'.

It was a couple of statements in her introduction which gave me cause for concern: (the bold is my emphasis)


I first learned about this mess when I started researching alternative ways that I might be able to have a child. Surrogacy appealed to me medically, side-stepping many of the physical issues I thought I might encounter getting pregnant. But it also appealed to me socially. In a far too optimistic way, I was charmed by the idea not of an old-fashioned village raising a child, but of a modern community embracing science to make a child.
I imagined how the framework of law, the opportunities of medicine and the extraordinary capacity for human kindness would combine to bring about a new way of creating a family. 

Is this young woman suggesting we reject the present definition of parenthood and adopt her ideas?  If so this is dangerous to the social fabric of parenthood.

She also decries the UK's laws on surrogacy as out of date and wants the 'intended mother' to have ownership of the baby before or immediately after its birth.

I've always supported the use of a surrogate for women who are unable to conceive or manage a normal pregnancy, but in some cases the 'intended mother' cannot supply eggs and therefore the baby does not have her DNA.  Some may say that's of little importance, most woman have mothering instincts and that's the point of Ms Kaye's paper. I disagree.  Our laws are such that they protect the surrogate and 'intended mother' and although I can criticise the prolonged justices systems we have in this country, I see the lengthy process currently in law as effective and respectful to both parties.

If we had 'quickie' surrogate arrangements that would open the door for surrogacy to become big business.  That's not the reason many surrogates decided to help other women - although it could be in the future if Ms Kaye's suggestions are taken on board by politicians. 

15 comments:

Apogee said...

Can I suggest that too many teenage and young women get their idea of lifestyle from the likes of "Eastenders" "Hollyoaks" etc and think that is real life and to be copied. Very soon they cannot separate fantasy from reality and then wonder why, when their life falls apart,when they use these soap operas as models for reality.

Joe Public said...

What planet does Ms Kaye live on?

"The bubble burst when I decided to read over my company's maternity leave policies, which I would later discover exactly mirror those of the UK government: Mothers-via-surrogacy are never eligible for maternity leave or pay. In fact, mothers-via-surrogacy have to wait months before they are legally recognised as mothers at all.The bubble burst when I decided to read over my company's maternity leave policies, which I would later discover exactly mirror those of the UK government: Mothers-via-surrogacy are never eligible for maternity leave or pay. In fact, mothers-via-surrogacy have to wait months before they are legally recognised as mothers at all."

She's whinging because a non-pregnant woman won't be paid Maternity Leave!

She seems to have forgotten that the employer will be paying ML to the physical mother.

Her comment was also sexist. What about ML for both men in the relationship? After all, there's the donor and the husband.

For the avoidance of doubt, /sarc for my last para.

Joe Public said...

My penultimate para should have read:

Her comment was also sexist. What about Paternity Leave for both men in the relationship? After all, there's the donor and the carrier's spouse.

David Kingston said...

How else do we get to a brave new world?

JRB said...

Simply because man may have the wit, the skill, the technology or the inclination to do a certain thing, does not automatically infer that such a thing is morally or ethically correct.

Surrogacy is surely just such a thing as to fall within this category.

The young ladies somewhat immature, ego-centric and consumer driven attitude can only serve to heighten the moral and ethical debate.

JimS said...

This is just part of the culture of 'self'. Anything goes as long as the 'self' gets what it wants.

Maybe the new 'off the shelf' children won't miss what they never had, roots, heritage and a culture.

Is it 'progress' when a child can be born with two 'mothers', neither of whom has any genetic relationship to it? Is it 'progress' when abortion has changed from being a medical response to a life-threatening emergency to main-stream contraception for the careless and selfish?

As JRB says, just because we can doesn't mean we should.

Jo G said...

Interesting response from you Rosie. I read the article yesterday too and my reaction was identical to yours.

My what a world we now live in.

subrosa said...

Sadly television does influence Apogee, along with all the magazines etc. I can't see it getting any better.

subrosa said...

I felt the same as you reading that section Joe, but I thought the post would be too long if I ranted further.

subrosa said...

No idea David. I can't see it being a brave one unless, of course, our politicians redefine the word. They seem to enjoy redefining our language these days.

subrosa said...

If Ms Kaye is stereotypical of today's young women I do hope the debate recommences JRB.

subrosa said...

The issues you mention concern me Jim, particular for the generations yet to come.

subrosa said...

It becomes less moral day by day Jo.

David Kingston said...

Perhaps a bit of Huxley and Orwell can be re-introduced to Mr Gove's new curriculum.

subrosa said...

Indeed David and about time too.

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