'Transaction' pregnant with risks

'Transaction' pregnant with risks
Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, plays with his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua's mother at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014.

Recently, there have been a number of reports related to surrogacy and surrogate mothers. On the surface, such a "transaction" seems mutually beneficial, but is it really?

I have no doubt surrogacy has brought happiness to many parents. But what about the pain caused to surrogate mothers?

Most surrogate mothers are not well educated, and are poor. To consent to carry a baby for someone else for nine months, under conditions of poverty and lack of access to complete information, just does not seem right.

Surrogate mothers may seem to be paid much, but there are so many what-ifs regarding pregnancy - for example, miscarriages, pregnancy-related illnesses and complications during childbirth.

Are these surrogate mothers properly informed and promised care, or are they conveniently sent back to their villages by unscrupulous agents when things go wrong?

A country cannot be promoting human rights, yet turn a blind eye to its citizens hiring surrogate mothers in Third World countries.

Baby Gammy's situation is unfortunate, yet fortunate because it was reported ("Gammy's parents deny rejecting baby"; last Sunday). Could there be many Gammys who went under the radar?

A more disturbing possibility is of criminal syndicates using surrogacy to raise children for corrupt activities, such as child pornography.

Surrogacy should not be left to spawn into an industry. It puts a price to life - life that is meant to be priceless, hence precious. It should be banned everywhere in the world.

This article was first published on August 17, 2014.
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