February 22, 2024

Let’s make surrogacy professional

Two New Zealand academics want the government to regulate the market

Some surrogate mothers in California / Surrogate Alternatives

Two New Zealand academics have proposed a new model for handling surrogacy. At the moment, where surrogacy is allowed at all, it is either a private commercial transaction or an unpaid altruistic gesture. Liezl van Zyl and Ruth Walker, of the University of Waikato, have proposed a government-regulated system.

They want to see surrogacy move to a professional standing, legally regulated and with greater protection for intended parents, the planned baby, and the surrogate mother. It would not be about building a career, but recognizing the surrogate’s caring motives, and compensating her for her work.

“The Government needs to look at the current way of handling things,” says Dr Walker. “It is not in babies’ best interests, and there is no security for surrogates or intended parents.”

The two academics suggest in their new book, Towards a Professional Model of Surrogate Motherhood, that governments establish a kind of “Department of Surrogacy”. This new agency would ensure that demands made on the surrogate are reasonable; counselling is provided; the child has the right to have a relationship with the surrogate; and that the government sets the fee for the surrogacy. 

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