One of the assisted reproduction techniques around which there are many ethical dilemmas is known as “gestational carrier”.
Ever since the birth of the first baby conceived through IVF at the end of the 70s, assisted reproduction techniques have helped many healthy babies to be born and have brought happiness and hope to many parents. In the last decades the advance of these techniques has been amazing, offering new ways of experiencing maternity. However, some ethical dilemmas have appeared.
The first law created to regulate these methods appeared in 1988. That was the first specific law about Human Assisted Reproduction Techniques that has been changed with the advance in the usage of these techniques. The last modification took place in 2006.
The main ethical issue is if the right to have a family must be taken to the extreme of allowing certain reproductive techniques such as surrogacy or gestational surrogacy.
Gestational surrogacy, colloquially known as “gestational carrier”, consists in the following: a woman gets pregnant and carries the baby for another woman that, due to a reproductive problem, can’t carry children. That baby may come from the egg and the spermatozoa from the parents, preserving the genetic inheritance from both parents, or from the egg of the gestational carrier and the sperm of the biological father.
According to Dr. Sánchez Aristi, professor of civil law at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, legislations should be prepared to accommodate every new area that is brought up concerning reproduction. Professor Aristi names several criteria that legislation about surrogacy should cover, such as the fact that the usage of this technique would only be allowed to those people that have physiological or medical problems to have children, that centres regulated and authorised to perform this technique should exist, as well as a guarantee, that confirms that all the involved parties have received medical and juridical guidance, informed consents for all the parties involved, etc.
At the moment surrogacy is not allowed in Spain. However, it is allowed in other countries such as EE.UU., Canada or Russia. Some Spanish couples travel to this places, as surrogacy represents their last hope of becoming biological parents and fulfilling their dreams.