What is Surrogacy’s Social Responsibility?

Surrogacy often offers great benefits to all parties, so why label the surrogate as a victim?

You wouldn’t say ‘That poor woman is forced to be a teacher’ or ‘she’s forced to be a nurse’. Why are we so quick to label the surrogate mother as a victim even though she often benefits greatly from the arrangement?

William Houghton, founder and director of Sensible Surrogacy, responds to ethical arguments against the practice of Gestational Surrogacy in a newly published interview in the Sensible Surrogacy Guide. The interview is aimed at detractors on both the right and the left who publicly condemn surrogacy as being exploitive or callous toward women.

A typical surrogate mother in India or Ukraine receives compensation of about $14,000 USD. That’s more than the average starting salary or an elementary teacher in the USA. The comparison is based on an analysis by Sensible Surrogacy from data provided by PayScale.com. Surrogate compensation overseas is the equivalent of about $45,000 USD in the United States when adjusted for the local cost of living. In comparison a new elementary teacher can expect to earn just $41,000 USD per year. Dental technicians make $31,000 USD annually, and a sales associate makes $21,000 USD.

“It’s hard to argue that a woman is being exploited based on that compensation,” says Mr. Houghton. “Or that being a surrogate doesn’t present a meaningful financial opportunity.” The full text of the interview is available on The Surrogacy Guide: What is Surrogacy?

Surrogate Mothers provide a tangible service that requires significant effort, Houghton points out. Their service adds clear value to society and has an altruistic component as well — plus many women experience great…

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