We Have a Friend Who Is Considering Being a Surrogate Mother. Do You Have Any Thoughts about Surrogacy?

(All names and identifying information have been changed to protect the individual)

First of all, attention must be given as to how the fertilized egg would be implanted in the first place. It’s my understanding that not all of the fertilized eggs (babies) are implanted in the uterus. This would be unethical since human life is created but not given continued life. There is an aspect of invitro that doesn’t respect the fact that children are a part of marriage. To carry a child fathered and then mothered by someone else interrupts the sacred process of creation that God ordained. There are more than just sexual ethics at stake. Procreation is reserved for the marriage relationship.

It is God that opens and closes the womb. We need to be very careful to not toy with God, and to respect the fact that He is the creator of life. In Scripture the same God that gives life also gives barrenness at different times. That is hard to understand, and we have great compassion on those wanting to conceive, but we also have to recognize God is God and He is sovereign.

What statement would this make to her children, friends, neighbors, etc.? How do you explain to her children, “Mommy is carrying someone else’s child, and we won’t be keeping the baby”? This could be very confusing to her own daughter if she has one (or may have one in the future) in terms of how she views marriage, childbearing, motherhood, etc. Surrogacy can seem utilitarian, pragmatic, functional, almost animalistic in its very essence. How critical is it for a couple to have their genetic identities passed on? Why not adopt a child that has no home? Adoption is a viable option for childless couples. It can be expensive, but it seems like surrogacy is more expensive.

Is there a place where one crosses the line related to life issues? Life belongs to God, not to us. One major concern about surrogacy is that there is often an “abortion clause” in the contract that gives the intended parents control over if and when a surrogate must abort the child.

Another major concern is the distress that it puts the child through to be separated at birth from the only mother he or she has ever known. The Center for Bioethics and Culture explains, “In surrogacy, the rights of the child are almost never considered. Transferring the duties of parenthood from the birthing mother to a contracting couple denies the child any claim to its ‘gestational carrier’ and to its biological parents if the egg and/or sperm is/are not that of the contracting parents. In addition, the child has no right to information about any siblings he or she may have in the latter instance.”

Nancy Pearcey writes in her book Love Thy Body:

What's wrong with surrogacy?

The ethical principle is that some things should be immune from commercial transactions—that some social spheres lie outside the range of the market. The most fundamental is the right of the human being not to be bought and sold.

In the words of ethicist Scott Rae, the reason we do not allow the sale of human beings “is that there are things that are so close to one’s personhood and individual self-fulfillment that they cannot be objects of barter without denigrating personhood.”

The underlying problem, Rae explains, is that “when a monetary price is put on a human being or an attribute of personhood, this creates an alienation by separating the person from the thing that has been commodified.”

Whatever is monetizable—including the body—is thereby treated as alienable from the self instead of integral to the self. The heart of the issue is a dualism that alienates the body from the self.

In my view, the arguments against surrogacy are stronger than the arguments for. God can provide children through adoption. We are adopted as His children, and there is another way for a childless couple. I’m 99% convinced this would not be good, but became 100% convinced when I realized there was a good deal of money involved. In essence it is being hired as a human reproductive vehicle, paid to deliver a desirable product to a family as a result of a pleasurable, bodily function to human beings (sex).

The Center for Bioethics and Culture says, “A review of most agency websites reveals a dehumanizing approach where patients are referred to as ‘clients,’ surrogate mothers are referred to as ‘carriers,’ and surrogate pregnancy arrangements referred to as ‘sales.’” (See Three Things You Should Know about Surrogacy.)

Also see Russell Moore’s thoughts on surrogacy and The Gospel Coalition’s article 9 Things You Should Know About Surrogacy.

Photo by Jordan Bauer on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries