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Exploitation and commercial surrogate motherhood

McLachlan, H.V. and Swales, J.K. (2001) Exploitation and commercial surrogate motherhood. Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics, 7 (1). pp. 8-14. ISSN 1028-7825

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Abstract

This paper discusses the exploitation argument against commercial surrogacy: the claim that commercial surrogacy is morally objectionable because it is exploitative. The following questions are addressed. First, what exactly does the exploitation argument amount to? Second, is commercial surrogacy in fact exploitative? Third, if it were exploitative, would this provide a sufficient reason to prohibit (or otherwise legislatively discourage) it? The focus throughout is on the exploitation of paid surrogates, although it is noted that other parties (e.g. 'commissioning parents') may also be the victims of exploitation.