Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 383–387 | Cite as

Surrogacy, Compensation, and Legal Parentage: Against the Adoption Model

  • Liezl van ZylEmail author
  • Ruth Walker
Critical Perspectives


Surrogate motherhood is treated as a form of adoption in many countries: the birth mother and her partner are presumed to be the parents of the child, while the intended parents have to adopt the baby once it is born. Other than compensation for expenses related to the pregnancy, payment to surrogates is not permitted. We believe that the failure to compensate surrogate mothers for their labour as well as the significant risks they undertake is both unfair and exploitative. We accept that introducing payment for surrogates would create a significant tension in the adoption model. However, we recommend rejecting the adoption model altogether rather than continuing to prohibit compensation to surrogates.


Surrogate motherhood Compensation Adoption Legal parentage A professional model for surrogacy 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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