Child Commoditization


P1. Surrogacy commoditizes children

P2. Anything which commoditizes children should be rejected

C. Therefore surrogacy should be rejected


Baby M and the Question of Surrogacy | Retro Report | The New York Times


Third-party reproduction includes: (1) Sperm donation, a process where children are conceived using the sperm from a (typically anonymous) donor. This is an option that many lesbian couples pursue. (2) Egg donation, a process by which an egg from a (again, typically anonymous) donor is fertilized and then implanted in an otherwise infertile woman’s womb. (3) Surrogate motherhood, a process by which a woman conceives and bears a child with the intent of giving the child to someone else to raise (such as two men who cannot themselves bear children).

By facilitating the creation of a child for the sake of a third party, each of these methods has the potential to objectify children. To speak in economic terms, if the supply of children is philosophically separated from the demand, then there will automatically be created a market for children. Further, because third party reproduction is expensive, perverse market incentives can shift the attention of agencies and medical professionals away from the welfare of children and toward the prospective parents’ ability to pay.

Surrogacy experiences unique challenges when agreements are made between surrogates and intended parents such as: