Knowledge Sharing

2013.02.07

Looking for surrogacy

Reproductive Research Dr. HUANG,JUN-JIA

The Chinese traditional concept “There are three things which are unfilial, and to have no posterity is the greatest of them” has become a nightmare for numerous couples, but also promoted the development of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Infertility of many couples has so far been cured with ART. Male infertility from sperm problems such as oligozoospermia, azoospermia and asthenozoospermia can be overcome by testicular biopsy to obtain sperms for ICSI, insemination and pregnancy. Female infertility resulting from problems in ovulation or fallopian tubes, even women having no eggs, can be overcome successfully. Only women who lack a uterus can not have their own child under current circumstances.

According to Part IV Family, Civil code, the definition of mother is “a person from whom that person is descended”, and that of child is “he/she who is descended from that person”, which means the woman who has a baby or babies developing inside her womb is the biological mother of the baby, irrespective of the origin of sperm and egg. Therefore the surrogate mother being in place for years abroad is not feasible in Taiwan.

Recently, due to the vigorous promotion by some infertile patients and fertility doctors, Ministry of health and aware has noticed this issue and is currently working on a draft bill of surrogate bother. In that draft, surrogate pregnancy is only allowed for a woman who has no uterus, and the origins of sperm and egg should be the couples that use the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother has to been married and has a child/children to avoid battle for child custody. The surrogacy can take place only if the spouse of the surrogate gives his consent.

In foreign countries, an intermediary organization is responsible for the arrangement of surrogacyin most cases, and there is a clear relationship between surrogate mother and the clients from the beginning. The surrogate mother has to understand that the baby in her womb belongs to somebody else, and it’s noble to help the clients to give birth to theirchild.In addition, the remuneration must also be agreed in principle. Although commercial behavior is prohibited, it is impossible to for surrogate without remuneration. Instead of an under-the-table deal, it’s better to make it legal in principle.

The grace of parenting equals to the grace of childbirth. Family relationship isbuilt upover time. We are all glad to see women lack of uterus can have a child of herself and her spouse with the help of surrogate mother and modern reproductive technology.

Albeit there are agree and disagree to the feasibility surrogate mother in psychological, physiological, social and legal aspects, the heated discussion will ultimately come to conclusion to the realization of surrogate pregnancy. I personally recommend committee review on a case-by-case basis because there are wide variations in each case, as well as different opinions as time goes on.