Because of the different parties involved and the roles that they play, there must be a guiding, ethical roadmap for intended parents to follow to ensure that everyone has a successful and positive experience, an ethical surrogacy.
Men Having Babies (MHB), a non-profit organization of which I am the board chairperson, recently introduced A Framework for Ethical Surrogacy for Intended Parents, available online in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. Attorneys also have such guidance in numerous articles and section committees dedicated to issues surrounding surrogacy.
Now there is a place where intended parents can go to review best practices and baseline protocols for ethical surrogacy, ensuring that each IP has the tools to create an ethical journey. What is Ethical Surrogacy?
Up until very recently, no such roadmap existed for intended parents. While compensation is part of the process, the act itself is not commercial because the IPs are not buying anything, particularly a child, which is a claim made by some anti-surrogacy activists. This comprehensive document is supported by several LGBT organizations in America and abroad.
Regulation is the key to achieving ethical surrogacy. How can Ethical Surrogacy be Achieved? Ethical Surrogacy – Making the Right Choices for the Right Reasons
Ethical surrogacy is, and must be, the goal of an intended parent (IP) who is looking to have a biologically related child with the assistance of a surrogate mother.
MHB’s ethical surrogacy framework revolves around the notion that surrogacy can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience for all parties involved, even if the surrogate is compensated for her efforts, risk and inconvenience. Reasonable and appropriate legislation should be enacted to allow perspective parents, donors and surrogates enter into legally enforceable agreements for surrogacy arrangements without having to cross state lines or country borders.
A surrogate efforts should be compensated, even if the journey does not result in a pregnancy or in the case of a miscarriage. Baseline Protocols for Providers
Several baseline protocols should be implemented by service providers to ensure an ethical surrogacy experience including, but not limited to: informed consent from all parties, medical screening, social and psychological screening, independent legal representation (with language interpretation is required) before any treatments begin, medical insurance review from the surrogate mother and an agreement regarding contact during and after the surrogacy journey.
Steps must also be taken to limit any medical risks that donors and surrogates face in the surrogacy process. Who will be the biological parent? Having laws in place that require independent representation for all parties ( in their home languages), ensuring that all parties are vetted medically and psychologically, limiting compensation so as not to create irresistible incentives for participation and making surrogacy legal in each state and in each country so IPs and surrogate mothers do not have extraordinary distances between them, all work together to create an ethical surrogacy environment.
This fosters more successful and fulfilling relationships between surrogate mothers and IPs. How many journeys do you anticipate? Doctors have such guidelines in the ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) Recommendations for Practices Utilizing Gestational Carriers. How will you explain your family make-up to your child?
Best practices are suggestions for "above and beyond" thinking that is required of IPs because so much of the integrity of the journey depends on them. What will the relationships be during and after the surrogacy?
Her family and community will also play a role in her pregnancy, so getting to know her circle of support is a wonderful way of bolstering that support, making the journey a happy and healthy one for your surrogate mother. While it may be your child that she is carrying, it is her pregnancy.
While the MHB Framework for Ethical Surrogacy for Intended Parents goes deeper into the specifics of making your journey an ethical one, this article is designed to begin a conversation about the quality and success of your surrogacy journey. After all, your family is worth it! These questions are just a few of those that need to be asked and answered in the surrogacy process.
Above all, the autonomy of your surrogate mother must be respected and supported. com or email Anthony at Anthony@timeforfamilies. For more information, go to timeforfamilies. Among these suggestions is the creation of a long term vision about your family. Insuring that she knows that you, as IPs, understand this distinction is critical to supporting her autonomy.
About the Author:
Hello from France. I'm glad to came across you. My first name is Leland.
I live in a small Surrogacy city called Marseille in east France.
I was also born in Marseille 37 years ago. Married in December 2004. I'm working at the the office.
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