Many scholars have written about commercial surrogacy, which involvesa contract in which a woman agrees to carry a child for anotherperson to whom she will relinquish the child when it is born.’The typical case involves a married couple who cannot have theirown biological child because the wife is infertile. Therefore, thecouple enters into an agreement with a woman (the surrogate) whowill carry a child for them; the man (the father) provides the spermwhich will be used together with the surrogate’s egg to produce achild! The surrogate will carry this child to term and subsequentlyrelinquish it to the father and his partner (the recipient woman) .
This is known as partial surrogacy; however, the recipient womanmay also donate her eggs, rendering the arrangement a “full surrogacy.”5There are cases where friends or family members carry childrenfor each other without charging a fee; however, commercial surrogacy generally involves a broker who brings the parties togetherfor a fee and both the broker and the surrogate are paid.6The existing literature surrounding the commercial surrogacy debateshows that there is a tendency, by those on both sides, to comparesurrogacy to prostitution. This paper will show that this analogyis sufficiently weak to undermine the arguments for which theauthors intend it to stand. First, the analogy minimizes the harms ofprostitution, an act that can present many problems, and at the sametime, makes surrogacy-an act which has less potential for harmseemworse than it actually is by hiding the benefits and exposingonly tenuous harms.
Thus, the analogy does a disservice to both surrogacyand prostitution.8 Second, the analogy suggests, for some,that surrogacy should be prohibited because a woman cannot rationally”choose” surrogacy because of the negative connotations andstigma involved.Commodification 9 of the female’s uterus and/or eggs has furtherbeen used to argue against both surrogacy and prostitution.’