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Can pregnancy be confined to a business contract?

Pregnancy is not an experience that is easily relegated to the confines of a business contract. Nevertheless, that is exactly what the legalization of commercial surrogacy would strive to do. A proposed change to Minnesota law that would allow for business contracts between would-be parents and surrogate mothers could turn pregnancy into a for-profit business activity.

The topic of commercial surrogacy is extremely controversial. On the one hand, it could provide a means for parents who can't have children to have a child quickly by locating a woman they can pay to carry their baby. On the other hand, the fact remains that the act of holding a child in one's womb creates the most intimate bond between the surrogate mother and the child -- even if the baby doesn't have the mother's actual DNA.

The idea of treating the mother-child bond like it's a commercial transaction presents ethical questions. Some say that children are best served to maintain contact with their birth mother and that adopted babies who lose contact with their birth mother suffer as a result. Perhaps the answer to this question is not one that has a general answer, but needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Whether you're a surrogate mother seeking to keep the child you're carrying or you have established a relationship with a surrogate mother to carry and give birth to your child, you may be facing a legal dilemma that doesn't have a perfectly clear answer. An experienced family law attorney who is familiar with surrogacy and adoption laws can assist you in the navigation of your case.

Source: Star Tribune, "Contract law practices aren't a suitable model for surrogacy," accessed March 16, 2017

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