As surrogacy arrangements become more and more common, debates need to be had about the ethical underpinnings of the law around surrogacy.
Different countries have radically different approaches to surrogacy. Only a relatively small number allow surrogacy on a commercial basis. In many, surrogacy is completely illegal. Some, including the UK, ban commercial surrogacy but allow unpaid, altruistic surrogacy.
In many countries where commercial surrogacy has been legal, including India, Thailand, Nepal, Ukraine and Georgia, there are concerns that the industry has not been regulated well enough and that it results in the exploitation of poor and sometimes vulnerable women. Very often, those seeking surrogates in these countries are wealthier couples from countries where commercial surrogacy is not an option. After several years of controversy, India is now in the process of outlawing commercial surrogacy for foreign couples as a result.
As this interesting and insightful article explains, there is a need for international cooperation to try to tackle this problem.
Surrogacy laws: why a global approach is needed to stop exploitation of women