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Concept: Surrogacy


In recent years much research has been undertaken regarding the feasibility of the human uterine transplant (UTx) as a treatment for absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI). Should it reach clinical application this procedure would allow such individuals what is often a much-desired opportunity to become not only social mothers (via adoption or traditional surrogacy arrangements), or genetic and social mothers (through gestational surrogacy) but mothers in a social, genetic and gestational sense. Like many experimental transplantation procedures such as face, hand, corneal and larynx transplants, UTx as a therapeutic option falls firmly into the camp of the quality of life (QOL) transplant, undertaken with the aim, not to save a life, but to enrich one. However, unlike most of these novel procedures - where one would be unlikely to find a willing living donor or an ethics committee that would sanction such a donation - the organs to be transplanted in UTx are potentially available from both living and deceased donors. In this article, in the light of the recent nine-case research trial in Sweden which used uteri obtained from living donors, and the assertions on the part of a number of other research teams currently preparing trials that they will only be using deceased donors, I explore the question of whether, in the case of UTx, there exist compelling moral reasons to prefer the use of deceased donors despite the benefits that may be associated with the use of organs obtained from the living.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Life, Organ transplant, Gestation, Morality, Surrogacy


This article explores the controversial practice of transnational gestational surrogacy and poses a provocative question: Does it have to be exploitative? Various existing models of exploitation are considered and a novel exploitation-evaluation heuristic is introduced to assist in the analysis of the potentially exploitative dimensions/elements of complex health-related practices. On the basis of application of the heuristic, I conclude that transnational gestational surrogacy, as currently practiced in low-income country settings (such as rural, western India), is exploitative of surrogate women. Arising out of consideration of the heuristic’s exploitation conditions, a set of public education and enabled choice, enhanced protections, and empowerment reforms to transnational gestational surrogacy practice is proposed that, if incorporated into a national regulatory framework and actualized within a low income country, could possibly render such practice nonexploitative.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Poverty, Obstetrics, Exploitation, The Practice, Surrogacy, Working poor, Capitalism


Surrogacy is a highly debated method mainly used for treating women with infertility caused by uterine factors. This systematic review summarizes current levels of knowledge of the obstetric, medical and psychological outcomes for the surrogate mothers, the intended parents and children born as a result of surrogacy.

Concepts: Medicine, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Obstetrics, Assisted reproductive technology, Surrogate, Bioethics, Surrogacy


The 16th European IVF-monitoring (EIM) report presents the data of the treatments involving assisted reproductive technology (ART) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) initiated in Europe during 2012: are there any changes compared with previous years?

Concepts: Reproduction, Assisted reproductive technology, Spain, Artificial insemination, Fertility medicine, Conception device, Sperm donation, Surrogacy


Australian law allows for altruistic surrogacy but prohibits compensation of surrogates beyond their expenses, or the use of professional surrogacy agencies. These restrictions limit local access to surrogacy, driving Australians overseas where they can access commercial surrogacy.

Concepts: Australia, Surrogacy, Terra nullius


This study examined the contact arrangements and relationships between surrogates and surrogacy families and whether these outcomes differed according to the type of surrogacy undertaken. Surrogates' motivations for carrying out multiple surrogacy arrangements were also examined, and surrogates' psychological health was assessed. Semi-structured interviews were administered to 34 women who had given birth to a child conceived through surrogacy approximately 7 years prior to interview. Some surrogates had carried out multiple surrogacy arrangements, and data were collected on the frequency, type of contact, and surrogate’s feelings about the level of contact in each surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate’s relationship with each child and parent, and her experience of, and motivation for, each surrogacy. Questionnaire measures of psychological health were administered. Surrogates had completed a total of 102 surrogacy arrangements and remained in contact with the majority of families, and reported positive relationships in most cases. Surrogates were happy with their level of contact in the majority of arrangements and most were viewed as positive experiences. Few differences were found according to surrogacy type. The primary motivation given for multiple surrogacy arrangements was to help couples have a sibling for an existing child. Most surrogates showed no psychological health problems at the time of data collection.

Concepts: Family, Pregnancy, Obstetrics, Philosophy of science, Interpersonal relationship, Surrogate, Motivation, Surrogacy


To evaluate trends and reproductive outcomes of gestational surrogacy in the United States.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Reproduction, United States, Obstetrics, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Surrogacy


To identify associations between fertility treatment use (assisted reproductive technologies, ovulation induction, and artificial insemination) and subsequent infant feeding practices.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Reproduction, Assisted reproductive technology, Artificial insemination, Fertility medicine, Conception device, Sperm donation, Surrogacy


This paper compares three groups of gestational mothers who relied on gametes from donors they did not know. The three groups are women who have conceived with donor sperm and their own eggs, women who have conceived with donor eggs and a partner’s sperm, and women who have conceived with embryos composed of both donor eggs and donor sperm. The paper explores three issues. First, it considers whether intending parents select sperm and egg donors for different attributes both when they are chosen as the only donor and when they are chosen as donors contributing to an entire embryo. Second, it examines how women imagine the donor. Finally, it looks at how women conceptualize the donor as an individual who contributes to their child’s characteristics. Two significant findings emerged in this analysis of survey data. First, the data show that gametes are gendered with different attributes both when those gametes are separate and even more so when seen as complementary parts of a whole. Second, the data show that women minimize the impact of the egg donor (both when a sole contribution and especially when part of the complementary whole) and thus ignore the influence or impact of the egg donor relative to how they make sense of the influence or impact of the sperm donor. The data for this study comes from an online survey developed by the authors.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Embryo, Sperm, Egg, Semen, Zygote, Donation, Surrogacy


How do the psychological health and experiences of surrogate mothers change from 1 year to 10 years following the birth of the surrogacy child?

Concepts: Psychology, Pregnancy, Longitudinal study, Epidemiology, Mental health, Sociology, The Birth of a Nation, Surrogacy