Surrogacy is like infidelity: Church
The church is opposed to surrogacy, said Father Stephen Fernandes, professor of medical ethics and moral theology at the Goregaon seminary.
He was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Surrogacy — Medical Marvel, Legal Labyrinth; Redefining Motherhood’ conducted by the DM Harish Memorial Government Law College on Thursday.
Citing ethical concerns surrounding new technology, Fernandes said, “Surrogacy fractures relationships. It is infidelity in a way and harms the institution of marriage. It is a contract without responsibility.”
He added: “Renting a womb is not the correct way for procreation. In this case, the ends cannot justify the means. It is wrong on the part of science to interfere with nature.”
Stating that adoption would be a better option for infertile parents, Fernandes said, “There are so many abandoned babies up for adoption. I feel adoption should be the last resort for infertile parents,” he said.
Terming surrogacy ‘baby outsourcing’, Fernandes said issues like the rights of a child following separation from the mother should be looked into. “You cannot completely cut off the ties between the child and the surrogate mother. We need to study the effects of medical treatment on both,” he added.
Additional solicitor-general Darius Khambatta said he was not against surrogacy but that the state could face legal problems. “We have to give a woman the right to rent out her womb so she can use the money to take care of her other children.”
He agreed with women’s rights advocate Flavia Agnes, who suggested that no clinic in India should entertain applications from foreign nationals whose home country does not approve of surrogacy.