Consent in Surrogacy – Free or Manufactured?

Consent in Surrogacy – Free or Manufactured?
Ms. Soumya Verma
Indian Journal of Ethics, Logic and Philosophy, 21 April 2023
Consent has an important role to play in the ethical domain, and the method by which consent is obtained should also be taken into consideration. It should not be taken by coercion, violence, or force. Surrogacy, a highly debatable topic in the domain of applied ethics whose legitimacy is significantly affected by consent, given by the surrogate mothers, which can change the different moral considerations and ethical claims. The contemporary debate on the issue of surrogacy seems to be between traditionalists and liberals, but this paper will take the debate further. In this paper, we shall try to problematize the liberal conception, which looks at the consent given by women in surrogacy limited to its face value, i.e., they limit consent to their saying “yes” because they have reproductive rights over their own bodies. This paper will further argue that consent in surrogacy should not be limited to its face value as taken by liberals, as it is not an ideal society, situations are different for different women, and there could be different social realities that constitute the factors behind that consent. Financial constraint, an important social reality, will be the focus of this paper, which leads a woman to give consent for surrogacy arrangements.

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