For a Feminist Considering Surrogacy, Is Compensation Really the Key Question?

30 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2015  

Julie Shapiro

Seattle University School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Feminists have long been engaged in the debates over surrogacy. During the past thirty years, thousands of women throughout the world have served as surrogate mothers. The experience of these women has been studied by academics in law and in the social sciences. It is apparent that, if properly conducted, surrogacy can be a rewarding experience for women and hence should not be objectionable to feminists. Improperly conducted, however, surrogacy can be a form of exploitation. Compensation is not the distinguishing factor. In this essay, I offer two changes to law that would improve the surrogate’s experience of surrogacy. First, the law should treat traditional and gestational surrogacy similarly. Second, a surrogate should be considered a legal parent of the child she bears. These changes would address the most pressing feminist objections to surrogacy and open the way for compensation.

Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate mothers, assisted reproduction, feminism, compensated surrogacy

Suggested Citation

Shapiro, Julie, For a Feminist Considering Surrogacy, Is Compensation Really the Key Question? (2014). Washington Law Review, Vol. 89, 2014; Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 15-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2573910

Julie Shapiro (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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