David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This essay examines the changing social and political meaning of surrogacy contracts over the twenty years since this issue first attracted public attention in the context of the Baby M case in the 1980s. In the protracted course of the Baby M litigation, surrogacy was effectively framed as illegitimate commodification - baby selling and the exploitation of women. This framing can be attributed to a moral panic generated by the media, politicians and a coalition of interest groups opposing surrogacy - primarily feminists and religious conservatives. The framing of surrogacy as commodification had far reaching effects on legal regulation. In the post-Baby M period, lawmakers in many states moved to prohibit or severely restrict surrogacy arrangements. In recent years, however, the framing of surrogacy as commodification has been replaced to a large extent by a more benign characterization which emphasizes the useful service provided by surrogates to childless couples. Further, over the past decade, regulators increasingly have focused on the goal of reducing uncertainty and providing procedures to efficiently establish the parental status of intended parents.This essay seeks to explain these changes. Several factors have been important: First, hostility to surrogacy has declined because the moral panic has dissipated as many of the predicted harms have not been realized. Further, advances in in vitro fertilization (IVF) have expanded the use of gestational surrogacy, which is less readily framed as commodification and thus, more palatable than traditional surrogacy. Finally, the interest group dynamic has changed: Women's groups have withdrawn, plausibly because the kinds of arguments made against surrogacy increasingly were adopted by anti-abortion advocates. These conditions have contributed to a political climate in which lawmakers have adopted a pragmatic approach, regulating with a goal of minimizing the social cost of surrogacy.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Paula Abrams (2015). The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 43 (2):179-191.
Similar books and articles
Jason K. M. Hanna (2010). Revisiting Child-Based Objections to Commercial Surrogacy. Bioethics 24 (7):341-347.
Amrita Banerjee (2010). Reorienting the Ethics of Transnational Surrogacy as a Feminist Pragmatist. The Pluralist 5 (3):107-127.
Richard J. Arneson (1992). Commodification and Commerical Surrogacy. Philosophy and Public Affairs 21 (2):132-164.
Stephen Wilkinson (2003). The Exploitation Argument Against Commercial Surrogacy. Bioethics 17 (2):169–187.
Alison Bailey (2011). Reconceiving Surrogacy: Toward a Reproductive Justice Account of Indian Surrogacy. Hypatia 26 (4):715-741.
Jennifer A. Parks (2010). Care Ethics and the Global Practice of Commercial Surrogacy. Bioethics 24 (7):333-340.
Kathryn MacKay (2009). An Examination of Exploitation in International Gestational Surrogacy Contracts. Dissertation, McGill University
Brenda M. Baker (1996). A Case for Permitting Altruistic Surrogacy. Hypatia 11 (2):34 - 48.
Yukari Semba, Chiungfang Chang, Hyunsoo Hong, Minori Kokado, Kaori Muto & Ayako Kamisato (2009). Surrogacy: Donor Conception Regulation in Japan. Bioethics 24 (7):348-357.
Casey Humbyrd (2009). Fair Trade International Surrogacy. Developing World Bioethics 9 (3):111-118.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads29 ( #135,244 of 1,796,321 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #468,135 of 1,796,321 )
How can I increase my downloads?