Surrogate motherhood, solidarity or trade?
Today it is increasingly common to find people who resort to surrogate mothers to have children. However, there is no official record because this practice is not regularized in the majority of countries, but what is behind this type of motherhood?
The surrogate motherhood is not as simple as the paint, because what begins with the desire to be parents may be tarnished later. Well knows Pattaramon Chanbua Thai, a young woman who wants to just talk about the future because the past years have been very hard for her to her husband and, above all, for his son Gammy, the child who had been "responsible" by an Australian couple and that Pattaramon arranged together with your mate. However, discovered that Gammy suffered from Down syndrome. It was then when the Australian couple reneged, alleging that he had paid for a child "in perfect conditions", and that is why we asked Pattaramon that handicapped. But she refused: "it was not to give lessons to anyone but to save a life", explained the Thai to Mission during the delivery of the I European Award one of us in defense of life the past 12 March in Paris (France). Pattaramon decided to give birth to and raise it to the small with trisomy 21. Today ensures that it is "the joy of the family. Is a pearl among the pearls" and "the biggest prize that never have given me".
Pattaramon had to endure many criticisms by bringing into the world a baby with Down syndrome in a situation of necessity as the living in Thailand. The same situation of poverty that motivated her to solicit the children of other. After this case, in February 2015, Thailand penalize the practice of surrogate motherhood since, although since 1997 had been banned for commercial purposes, there was no specific law that the condemn. From the entry into force of the new law, it is only possible to the recruitment of a belly of renting by married heterosexual couples in which the woman or the man is originating in Thailand, and the mother of rent must be a relative of one of the spouses.
Illegality in Europe In the face of these serious difficulties in Europe has also been the need to discuss this matter. Recently, the European Parliament rejected legalizes it in the member countries of the EU. Only Greece allows the maternal subrogation for foreigners. In Spain this practice is illegal, but it is estimated that some eight hundred Spanish couples resort to it each year. Mary Lacalle, director of the Center for Family Studies at the University of Francisco de Vitoria, explains that this incurs a "legal inconsistency", since "in our legal system is prohibited the surrogate motherhood, but nevertheless, there is a statement of the Ministry of Justice that allows you to enroll the child so designed". In this regard, Lacalle specifies that "we are forcing the law and the legal system to admit anything that is contrary to the reality of things" and stresses that, in Spain, "it is determined that it is the mother who has given birth. Therefore, in order to regularize this situation, it would be necessary to change not only the law of assisted reproduction, but also the Civil Code as the pregnant woman would appear as the mother of the child". In Mexico, where the surrogate motherhood is legalized, the authority warned the serious risks involved and which could be related to situations of trafficking of women for reproductive purposes. In India, the surrogate motherhood moves in the health sector about 138 million (approximately EUR 128 million) and increases 20 percent each year. The requirements for entering this "business" are strict. The medical conditions of women must be excellent; therefore, they are subjected to stringent health checks. Must have conceived a child of his own and count with the approval of the husband or close relatives. The price of the surrogate gestation in India ranges between 16,000 and 28,000 euros, a fourth cheaper than this same process in the United States. This causes around 2,000 children are born each year in India to be handed over to other parents, 80 per cent of whom are foreigners. The mothers receive between 3,000 and 5,000 euros, depending on the clinic.
Another form of exploitation Says Mariano Calabuig, president of the Spanish Family Forum, this is "a new form of exploitation of women" because it is "a type of market in which is responsible, is purchased, sells, it even returns or undertakes to abortion, as is the case of Chanbua". "In most of the cases, this is an attack on the dignity of underprivileged women in poor countries by people with resources from rich countries. And also to vulnerable women and without resources of Western countries," says Calabuig, who recalls the case of the company Babe-101 Eugenic Surrogate, which was discovered in the year 2011: "A network of American lawyers made an inventory of frozen embryos for sale to $100,000 each, using bellies of rent in Thailand". Also Just Aznar, director of the Institute of Life Sciences at the Catholic University of Valencia, accurate to Mission that the subrogation contains, implicitly, "a new difficulty ethics", which is "objectification of women, which is used as a tool for the benefit of third persons". This makes that arise as #NoSomosVasijas campaigns, which claimed that "women is not a mere container, passenger compartment or space in which solicit the son of third persons by economic reasons". There is no that ignore the suffering it entails for many couples not being able to conceive a child. However, there are morally licit alternatives to help them achieve a pregnancy. Similarly, many abuses could be avoided if the processes of adoption would facilitate and expedite.
Rights of children The great forgotten are children and their rights. Calabuig points out that "the desire to achieve something does not give the right to obtain it. The same thing happens with the desire to be a father: does not grant the right to have a child". Lacalle requires that, in the most fundamental, this type of maternity "goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the dignity of the pregnant woman and the small, because the two are the merchandized". At this point, coincides with Aznar, who says that "it is also a sociological reality that children not only have the right to know who their parents are, but that, furthermore, this parent-child relationship is essential for their proper development psychobiological". In addition, Lacalle aims that the alleged right to paternity have two faces: "One is abortion, the right to eliminate the son that arrives when it does not suit me, and the other is to have it when it suits me".
The biological dialog "You must also consider the welfare of the child that is going to be born, that is not respected, since it deprives him of the company and help of the woman who has been his pregnant mother. This can affect your development since, apart from breaking the obvious social ties that exist between both, each time he is knowing better the biological dialog that, during pregnancy, is established between the mother and the Son, and how such dialog can influence the development of the child", stresses Aznar. "mother-infant interaction can have an impact on the genome of the latter, transmitting genetic characters objectives", explains. Calabuig recalls a few words of the expert in Bioethics and researcher at the University of Navarra Natalia Lopez Moratalla: "The child spends in the womb nine months of gestation, during which the nature changes the body and brain of women converted into mother and is a perfect symbiosis of two human lives in which, as in every symbiosis, both win, and the child takes the baton". The President of the Spanish Family Forum insists that "will not even be a 'maternity delegated', since he will miss the second part of the wonderful process of life, but that will be the 'Contract for the rental of a belly, which lacks the subsequent aging of the child". Matches Lacalle, which recalls that up to six people could claim the parental authority of the baby and their custody: "Those who make the order, the respective donors of zygotes and their partners", precise. On these alleged donations, Gian Luigi Gigli, President of the Movimento per la Vita of Italy, explained to Mission that in his country the in vitro fertilization can only be done through the free donation of gametes. However, there are very few Italian women who donate their eggs, since "out there are risks and there is a need for cumbersome procedures, such as the hormonal hyper stimulation and a laparoscopy with local anesthesia", precise Gigli. "Some Italian regions signed agreements with spanish clinics authorized to conduct this type of interventions, to buy the gametes. I suspect that behind the so-called 'payment for the costs' there is a financial remuneration and is therefore taking advantage of a situation of need," says Gigli. Therefore, insists, "Spanish women should realize what is happening: in the name of their freedom, others are taking advantage of his body". Lacalle also underlines this fact: "Is a tremendous naive to think that is done on an altruistic. There is only to go online and see the great offer that there are. The donation of gametes should also be made free, but it disguises the payment as a compensation for the damage or problems suffered". The majority of women do because of economic necessity.
Feminists against the subrogation a group of philosophers, academic, constitutionalists and prominent personalities from the feminist movement in Spain launched last June the campaign #NoSomosVasijas, against the surrogate gestation, who joined the movement #StopSurrogacyNow. In its manifesto, show its "absolute rejection of the use of the belly of the women for the purposes of gestation for others" and alert to the political parties to bear it in mind that "the desire to be fathers and mothers and the exercise of freedom does not imply any right to have children".
A solution ethics: adoption. At present, approximately 170 million children are orphans. Of them, 132 million live in developing countries, according to data from the NGO Humanium. In spite of the fact that the process of adoption usually extend over five years - depending on the country of origin of the child-, may constitute an opportunity for those couples who cannot have children. In Spain, close to 13,400 minors living in nursing homes or centers. Thanks to the Children Act, recently approved, children have more possibilities to find a home, since it seeks to speed up the adoption process to prevent his childhood spent in centers and institutions. This law offers the possibility, for example, that the child will live, during seasons, with the family that could be adopted in order to facilitate its adaptation to it. For more information, you can access the website of the Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Equal: www.msssi.gob.es.
Translated by catholic.net