When the bun in the oven isn’t yours

Several states, including Utah, have made the practice of using surrogate mothers illegal. There are many reasons for enacting such a ban.

Bioethical interest groups express concern that surrogate mothers are generally less economically advantaged than the prospective parents paying them to carry a baby. Surrogate pregnancy is effectively buying and selling children, according to these groups.

Another major concern is that by using a surrogate mother, donor sperm, and donor eggs (or any combination of the three), doctors and clinics are creating children with up to five parents. Various legal problems could arise if any of those parents decided they wanted to exercise their parental rights on the child.

Obviously, there are many ethical and legal problems associated with surrogate pregnancies.

The only way to address or eliminate these concerns is to legalize the practice, however. Not only will this make life easier for those seeking to create a family, it will also make legal and ethical concerns less difficult to regulate.

Currently Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, is sponsoring Senate Bill 14. This would allow Utah judges to approve gestational surrogacy contracts. If surrogate pregnancy is legalized in Utah, then Utah doctors and hospitals will regulate the practice. Concerns can then be addressed through public policy and legislation. Furthermore, infertile couples will not be forced to fly to Nevada or another neighboring state to try to start their family.

There are also religious concerns that must be considered. Many religions strictly prohibit the practice of surrogacy.

The obvious concern is that by using advanced technology to create children for infertile couples, doctors are circumventing nature and playing God.

In spite of the fact that playing God tends to upset the real God, I just can’t believe he looks on the creation of a child negatively. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s hard to imagine God sitting on a cloud, looking down at prospective parents and saying, “Oh, just you wait. You’re all in for some serious smiting.”

The fact is, once a couple decides they want a family, they will do almost anything to make it a reality. If technology allows the creation of a family for people that would otherwise be unable to have one, then why would we consider putting a blanket-prohibition on it?

Regardless of our individual views on God, we all have strong beliefs about the sanctity of life, the nature of the family and so forth.(Except for nihilists, I suppose, but they probably aren’t too concerned about infertile couples getting babies anyway.)

Creating a family is not an evil thing. So long as protective measures are in place to prevent possible ethical abuses, there is no reason why we can’t take advantage of the technology available to infertile couples.

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