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Ethical Issues with Surrogacy in Oklahoma

Part of becoming a surrogate in Oklahoma is dealing with potential backlash from friends, family, and even strangers. Surrogacy is a beautiful and selfless act, and surrogates deserve to be treated fairly and ethically. Over the centuries, as surrogacy evolves, some of the more significant issues have been addressed, but surrogacy isn’t perfect. With little positive media representation and general uneducated and uninformed public, surrogacy can get a lot of flack, mainly from those who don’t understand it. When considering surrogacy, potential surrogates and intended parents have to navigate through what might be regarded as ethical issues with surrogacy in Oklahoma. 

Of course, surrogacy isn’t perfect, but we want to help make the Oklahoma surrogacy process and journey of surrogacy comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma is a fully licensed agency with expert and compassionate staff to guide you through determining if surrogacy is right for you and talking through your concerns. We have the highest ethical standards for surrogacy to ensure everyone involved has a rewarding and overwhelmingly positive experience. 

So what could be ethically wrong or questionable about surrogacy? Surrogate mothers provide families the opportunity to have biological children when they otherwise may never have been able to. What’s the issue here? 

A Brief Legal/Ethical History of Surrogacy

It may seem obvious to us now, but surrogates were not always treated as ethically as they are today. This was especially true when traditional surrogacy was more popular. 

The 1970s were a considerable time for surrogacy evolution. Noel Keane, the lawyer who made the agreement, was a strong proponent of surrogacy his entire life and career. By 1980, although they were legal, since most state surrogacy laws weren’t advanced as they are today, surrogacy contracts weren’t enforceable. Today, surrogacy contracts are legally enforceable in most states. Surrogacy contracts are not only meant to ensure the surrogate is compensated but also protect the intended parents. 

The payment of surrogates for their service was completely unheard of, at least from a legal standpoint before the 1980s. That all changed with Elizabeth Kane. Kane was the first legally compensated surrogate in the U.S., getting a sum of $11,500 (almost $40k in today’s money). Today, surrogate compensation has definitely changed, including covering more costs, money for pregnancy items like maternity clothing. Although compensation is better, surrogates should still be careful of agencies that lack transparency in how the compensation is distributed and paid out to the surrogate. 

Ethical Gray Area With Surrogacy Today

If surrogates are treated better, protected by the law, and compensated fairly now, what’s the big deal? One truth of the world is no matter how pure and altruistic something is, there will always be holes to poke. Here are a few of the common ethical issues with surrogacy in Oklahoma.

  • Exploitation of Surrogates

One of the biggest arguments critics of surrogacy make is that surrogates are basically a vessel being used for reproduction and exploited by intended parents. In gestational surrogacy, none of the surrogate’s DNA is used, so they can be seen as a glorified baby oven. While, at its core, it’s true that surrogates are a place to bake the pre-mixed ingredients, surrogacy is so much more than that. Surrogates will tell you that having no relation to the baby actually makes postpartum mental and emotional healing much more manageable. 

  • Ethicality of Paying for a Life

When you break anything down to its raw parts, it can seem sketchy. Some will say that paying someone to be a vessel for a baby that isn’t theirs is ethically wrong, but that’s missing the point. Intended parents want a baby but can’t create one themselves, and surrogates have the ability and willingness to carry that baby. Surrogacy is, in some ways, a business transaction, trading money for goods and services. The fact that surrogates get paid is what makes it ethical. A life is priceless, but doctors, medications, IVF treatments, and hospital stays cost a pretty penny. Modern surrogacy allows for a needed service while compensating those who make it possible. 

  • The Risk of Surrogacy to the Baby

With any pregnancy, there are always medical risks involved. However, critics of surrogacy will say surrogacy creates greater medical risks. Some arguments say that children born using surrogacy are at higher risks for certain health conditions, but there is no evidence to support this. Since the surrogate does not pass any DNA to the child, only inherited genetic disorders are possible. Just being a child created through IVF and surrogacy does not mean a predisposition to any medical conditions. 

  • Surrogacy is Cruel to the Surrogate

Critics like to argue that surrogacy is cruel to the surrogate since they are being used and have to “give up” the baby they carry for nine+ months. While it’s true that surrogacy has a lot of emotional ups and downs, and postpartum can be emotionally taxing, surrogates will tell you it’s well worth the pain. Critics against surrogacy may also try to argue that there is a risk that the surrogate may want to keep the baby, creating an expensive, legally lengthy, and highly risky. The facts are that these cases are extremely rare and do not represent surrogacy today. 

  • Surrogacy vs. Religion

It’s the age-old battle of critics using religion to argue against something. Those who try to make the case that surrogacy is morally or ethically wrong based on religion will argue for the “traditional nuclear family.” A lot of religions put a heavy emphasis on a husband and wife needing to conceive a child “naturally” and on their own without assisted reproduction. 

Are There Ethical Issues with Surrogacy in Oklahoma? 

There are obvious reasons that OK surrogacy is regulated. Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma aim to provide the most ethical surrogacy experience for everyone, although some harsh critics may still disagree. Only you can decide if surrogacy feels comfortable for you. Your surrogacy agency, indented parents, and those around you will work hard to make sure you are heard, understood, and well appreciated. Surrogacy is a beautiful and selfless thing, and we genuinely believe that. Surrogacy has come a long way to benefit not only the intended parents but also the surrogate. Surrogates should be respected and praised properly for all that they are willing to do and provide. In short, we wholeheartedly believe that gestational surrogacy has become an ethical and respectable practice. Working with a top-tier agency makes a big difference, and we believe in setting and exceeding that standard. Do you have ethical questions about surrogacy? 

Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma is a surrogacy and adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and a leader in the community. We assist both intended parents and gestational carriers (surrogates). Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized experience to all involved in the surrogacy process.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790Email

Meet the AuthorMichelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years of experience as a freelance writer and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games. 

As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”


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