surrogate mother

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surrogate mother,

a woman who agrees, usually by contract and for a fee, to bear a child for a couple who are childless because the wife is infertile or physically incapable of carrying a developing fetus. Often the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child, conceiving it by means of artificial inseminationartificial insemination,
technique involving the artificial injection of sperm-containing semen from a male into a female to cause pregnancy. Artificial insemination is often used in animals to multiply the possible offspring of a prized animal and for the breeding of endangered
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 with sperm from the husband. In gestational surrogacy, the wife is fertile but incapable of carrying a growing fetus; the child is conceived by in vitro fertilizationin vitro fertilization
(IVF), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); sperm from the father are then added, or in many cases a
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 using the wife's eggs and her husband's sperm, and the resulting embryo is implanted in the surrogate mother's uterus.

Surrogate motherhood has raised complex ethical and legal issues, and lawsuits over custody after the child's birth have resulted from both types of surrogacy. In the highly publicized Baby M case (1986–88), Mary Beth Whitehead, the surrogate (and biological) mother, sued William and Elizabeth Stern, the baby's father and his wife, for custody of the child. Although the surrogate mother was not awarded custody in the Baby M case, she was granted visitation rights. Several European countries and a number of states have passed laws banning paid surrogacy.

References in periodicals archive ?
In its submission to the commission in January 1991, the CCCB's permanent council said that most of the new technologies were invasive, painful and experimental and that surrogate motherhood was "particularly exploitive.
What is regrettable about the decision is that by claiming to apply existing law it ignores the truly difficult issues raised by surrogate motherhood and fails even to explore whether the two types--with and without genetic material from the commissioning woman as well as from her husband--should be treated similarly to each other and to other forms of adoption.
Alta Charo, "Legislative Approaches to Surrogate Motherhood," Law, Medicine & Health Care 16 (Spring-Summer 1988): 104.
Her aim is to "sort out the legal issues involved in the surrogate motherhood debate so that a layperon can understand them" (vii).
Technologies such as artificial insemination (AID), in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogate motherhood and ovum transfer are seen, misleadingly, as a way of regaining control.
When four bills embodying different approaches to surrogate motherhood were introduced in the New York State legislature in 1987, Governor Mario Cuomo asked the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law to give the issue priority on its agenda.
Contemporary public policy has been burdened with the dilemmas of scientific progress in such notable areas as genetically engineered plants and insects, the patenting of animals, hybrid mammalian species, surrogate motherhood, and human gene therapy.
The decision in Baby M will set the legal agenda for future discussion of surrogate motherhood.
Some commentators have indicated that a Witness who undergoes sterilization, artificial insemination, or participates in surrogate motherhood, donates sperm or an ovum, or tests HIV positive, is susceptible to severe sanction by the congregation.
She had decided to do a documentary about surrogate motherhood and bought a camera nearly sixth months into the pregnancy.
Responding to natural disasters like the tsunami requires political advocacy more than philosophical or ethical analysis, but political advocacy can be improved by thinking about the ethics of biomedical innovations like cloning, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, gamete donation, surrogate motherhood, and the posthumous collection of gametes.
The social history is different, and--artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood notwithstanding--the physical potentialities are different; there is something to be gained by an accurate appraisal of one's bodily situation, even when the economic relationship can be cast more or less in existing molds.