Cross-Border Reproductive Care: The Impact of the Opinion and the Attitudes of the Society Toward Surrogacy in Women's Reproductive Rights

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Distributed Paper
María José RODRIGUEZ JAUME, University of Alicante, Spain
Diana JARENO RUIZ, University of Alicante, Spain
Gestational surrogacy is an assisted reproductive technique through which one woman (surrogate mother) will bears and gives birth to a child for another person or couple (intentional mother, intentional father, intentional parents) (IFFS, 2016: 70). In Spain, the Law on Assisted Human Reproductive Technologies (14/2006) expressly prohibits the contract of surrogate gestation agreement. However, it is estimated that around 1,000 children are born abroad every year through this method, which not only demonstrating their use, mainly to treat infertility of women by uterine factors, but also the emergence of the so-called phenomenon of cross-border reproductive care, considered today as a global industry (Lindheim, et al., 2014: 229-230). Research has emphasized that, in general terms, society disapproves of this practice and that surrogacy is perceived as the option less accepted among non-coital reproduction alternatives. It has been suggested that this social sanction is based on the fact that surrogate motherhood truncates the Western hegemonic and ideological models about family and motherhood. In this paper we present the results of a meta-analysis conducted in 22 studies, between 1988 and 2016, which have evaluated the opinion and attitudes of society regarding, specifically, surrogacy as a new reproductive practice. The purpose is to synthesize available scientific information in order to identify areas of uncertainty and processes of social construction, as these are key in the decision making process regarding women’s reproductive rights and maternal health. The search of scientific literature was carried out in the databases WOS, SCOPUS and ProQuest, without temporal and geographical restrictions. This search was complemented by references cited in primary sources, in articles’ reviews and in specialized manual search journals.