The Role of Agency: Compensated Surrogacy and the Institutionalization of Assisted Reproduction Practices

24 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2018

See all articles by June Carbone

June Carbone

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

Jody Lynee Madeira

Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington

Date Written: February 12, 2018

Abstract

The surrogacy debate often conflates what should be seen as three distinct issues: the permissibility of the practice under any circumstances, the role of for-profit intermediaries in arranging surrogacy, and the role of compensation in influencing decision-making. For those who see surrogacy as intrinsically objectionable, nothing short of a total ban will suffice. For those who object to the commodification of reproduction or to the role of for-profit agencies in recruiting surrogates, however, the solutions lie in regulation rather than prohibition. Commercial agencies, unlike infertile couples who enter into arrangements with their friends and relatives, are repeat players. They are in a better position to institutionalize appropriate practices and instantiate acceptable norms than are parties driven by the desire to produce a child. We conclude that much of the objection to commercial surrogacy involves the practice’s growing pains. In the end, commercial agencies, particularly if they are subject to regulations that require transparency and provide oversight, may promote human dignity as well as, or better than, individually negotiated altruistic arrangements.

Keywords: family law, surrogacy, parenthood, commodification, gestational carriers

Suggested Citation

Carbone, June and Madeira, Jody Lynee, The Role of Agency: Compensated Surrogacy and the Institutionalization of Assisted Reproduction Practices (February 12, 2018). Washington Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 7, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3123361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3123361

June Carbone (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )

229-19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Jody Lynee Madeira

Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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