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Surrogate motherhood : an acceptable solution for infertile couples?

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Maddock, Veronika(Maria-Veronika) (1987) Surrogate motherhood : an acceptable solution for infertile couples? Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

It has been variously estimated that one out of six
couplesl or 15-20 percent of couples 2 1are infertile. The
changes in social attitudes and social welfare policies
towards single mothers together with the increased use of
contraception and abortion mean that the demand for
adoptable babies now surpasses the supply. Those infertile
couples who are frustrated by the long adoption procedures
and are unable to be helped through the Artificial
Insemination by Donor (AID) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
programmes are turning in increasing numbers to a practice
with a long history which has only recently gained
world-wide attention - the practice of surrogate
motherhood.
The practice of surrogacy dates back at least to
Biblical times. One of the first recorded instances is
found in the Old Testament. Almost 4 000 years ago Sarah,
the wife of Abraham, could not conceive and sent her husband
to her Egyptian maid Hagar saying "It may be that I may
obtain children by her". Hagar thus bore Ismael. Another
example is that of Rachel, wife of Jacob, who required Billa
to "bear upon my knees that I may also have a child by
her". Jacob's other wife, Leah, had the same arrangement
with her slave-girl Zilpah. Today, surrogate motherhood has provoked considerable
debate on the moral, ethical, legal, and social
consequences, issues to which existing legislation has
failed adequately to address itself. In a jurisdiction
where no specific legislation on surrogacy exists, the
application of existing laws produce distorted results
which are beyond the probable legislative intent. Where
specific legislation prohibits the practice of surrogacy, it
has failed to recognize long term implications of such
prohibition. Most of the known cases of surrogacy arrangements
involve the insemination of the surrogate with the sperm of
the husband of the infertile couple. The insemination of
the surrogate with the sperm of a person other than the
husband of the infertile couple is, of course, a
possibility, but would probably be a method resorted to only
where both the wife and husband are infertile. In this
case, the resultant child has no genetic link with his
intended parents. The expression infertile couple in this
paper is used to denote a couple where the wife is incapable
of bearing, or carrying to term, a child.
Discussion in this paper is limited to infertile
couples who participate in surrogacy arrangements by the
most common means of the artificial insemination of the
surrogate by the sperm of the husband. It is by the use of
such a practice that the major ethical and legal issues arise.

Item Type: Thesis (Unspecified)
Keywords: Surrogate motherhood
Copyright Holders: The Author
Additional Information:

Thesis (M. Leg. St.)--University of Tasmania, 1988

Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 02:31
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:55
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