A Conservative MP in the British Parliament has called for a ban on surrogacy. Miriam Cates, 41, told “The House”, a magazine for MPs, that the welfare of the child must be put first: “You can’t take a puppy off its mother in this country before it’s weaned. You’re not allowed to.” This remark sparked a brief explosion in the British media…
“You have to look at it from the baby’s point of view. Of course adults have a strong desire to be parents, both men and women. Of course it’s a sadness if that’s unfulfilled for whatever reason – they can’t conceive, don’t have a partner, whatever it is. But to deliberately bring a child into the world in order to separate it from its mother at birth I think is just ethically not acceptable.”
She supports a ban on both commercial and altruistic surrogacy. However, she acknowledges that there is not much political will to legislate for a ban on commercial surrogacy. (Altruistic surrogacy is already permitted.)
Ms Cates, who has three children of her own, also expressed scepticism about the social value of IVF.
“I’m not sure making IVF cheaper and more available is going to help because it does encourage people to delay having children if they think that IVF is an option. IVF absolutely should be an option for people, but we have to be real: it’s not very successful, in terms of how likely you are to conceive on each round, sadly, and the older you get the less successful you get.”