The debate surrounding the real parent of a “created” child is far from over. With myriad of court cases on the custody of surrogate children, there is seemingly growing worry and uncertainty over parenthood of children obtained from reproductive technology.
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As a matter of fact, some states are quite silent in terms of legislations governing gestational surrogacy while others have limited and unclear guidelines on the same. Needless to say, the simmering controversy regarding this form of alternative reproduction and parenthood needs to be resolved by enacting relevant pieces of legislations.
Up to date, it is still not vivid on who among the following is the authenticated parent; the egg and sperm donors, the adoptive parents who have paid for the egg and sperm or the surrogate who has carried and given birth to the child. Nonetheless, this essay argues that the egg and sperm donors ought to be the true parents of the ‘manufactured’ child.
While some of the most recent court cases on parenthood of such children have been determined based on how weighty the arguments are on both sides of the plaintiff and defendants, it is worth noting that genetic make-up of the born child is far much important and supersedes any other local arrangement that may have been made between or among parties (Stephanie 1).
It is profound to note that there are some states which have already laid down basic requirements for gestational surrogacy in the sense that the born child must at least share genetic features with one of the parties under agreement. In other words, the child must have genetic relationship with one of the custodians (Denise 1).
Perhaps, the most important reason why such a legal provision should be enforced is that a sperm or egg donor is highly likely to develop a close and more intimate relationship with the child born out of such an arrangement more than in the case whereby there is total absence of genetic sharing.
At this point, it is prudent to note that intimate parenting is directly proportional to well being of children during the whole cycle of growth. It is also definite that latter may be absent or completely unguaranteed in the event whereby none of the ‘parents’ is a sperm or egg donor (Stephanie 1).
In the case of adoptive parents who went through the process of buying the egg and sperm, catered for legal fees or medical costs for the surrogate, it is imperative to reiterate that such an action may only warrant partial custody of the child but not true parenthood.
In nay case, incurring financial costs on the general upkeep of the surrogate may be undertaken by any other well wisher (Denise 1). For instance, it would be quite misleading to argue that should the state take care of medical and other associated costs of children whose parents are ‘unknown’ then it implies the latter assumes the parent position.
For the surrogate who has carried the child and eventually given birth to him or her, she has only acted as a vessel or channel through the child has been born and lacks the ‘parenting touch’. As already mentioned, a ‘created’ child largely takes after the genetic characteristics of the original genes. While the environment of embryo growth is pertinent in the initial stages of life, it does not rule out the fact that the intrinsic emotional and character relationship has the greatest bearing on a child and depicts who the true parent is.
To recap it all, it is vital to reiterate that both the sperm and egg donors play immense role in determining both the intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of a child. The available legislations on gestational surrogacy are either silent or unclear on true parenthood of a ‘created’ child. Nonetheless, it is conclusive that genetic make-up of a child should be used as the sole determinant of a parent regardless of who undergoes medical/legal costs or carries the fetus until the time of birth.
Denise, Grady. Parents Torn Over Fate of Frozen Embryos. 4 Dec. 2008. Web.
Stephanie, Saul. New Jersey Judge Calls Surrogate Legal Mother of Twins. 30 Dec. 2009. Web.