This is a complex issue that lawmakers will have to decide. Today this possibility is prohibited in France. "The fact to intercede" for use of this practice is punishable by one year imprisonment and 15,000 euros fine. This fine is doubled if the act is done for profit-making reasons. The French ban was passed in 1994 and again in 2004. However there have been cases of surrogate mothers in France, as authorized by law are not at variance, are not at variance because the law did not exist. It was between 1987 and 1991. 70 It is estimated the number of children born to mothers during this period. To my knowledge, there are no epidemiological studies on monitoring these children since then, which could allow legislators to decide in full knowledge of and avoid the fantasies of both sides. (Shift 24/06/2009: The Express returns in its edition of Thursday, June 25 on the issue via an article taking the journey of three families with the testimonies of children born to carrier mothers).
Many today are the people and organizations to take a stand on this issue.
Among the proponents of a controlled authorization of surrogacy include: the Maia Association , the Committee Clara , Elisabeth Badinter , the Minister for Family, Nadine Morano , Genevieve Delaisi Perceval, a working group of the Senate.
Among the opponents, the most provided ranks, we find the "father" of the first French test-tube baby, the doctor René Frydman , the philosopher Sylviane Agacinski, the Housing Minister Christine Boutin, the 'OPECST (Parliamentary office dedicated to ethics which includes several deputies and senators sensitive to these issues and publish reports), the National Consultative Committee on Ethics , Catholic and Protestant churches as well as representatives of Islam and to a lesser extent the c of onsistoire Paris . About opponents René Frydman said he was "outraged by the lobbying of certain associations that advocate legalization of this practice to defend the interests of a few haves". It's bitter, strong, perhaps too much.
Each camp has their own influence to advance his ideas. Interviews are given, open blogs, participation in conferences or business seminars, mails and files shipped with parliamentarians, committed thoughts to advance his ideas, defend his point of view (as the synthesis of the Board State shows) increase its visibility and participate in the construction of the decision on this complex subject.
- Accepting an act of generosity . "Giving" his body time to pregnancy for a couple to host her own child is a selfless act of high level. It was the essential motivation of French surrogates in the late 80s This act is sometimes suggested by relatives of the woman who can not bear her child, the mother, sister, friend ... http: // www. dailymotion.com/video/x6hb3u
- Avoid reproductive tourism. Several countries in the world accept surrogacy. These include the United States, Canada, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Denmark and Greece, five countries of the European Union. Other countries, such as India accepts this practice and makes an industrialization of the process as it will be objected by opponents of legalization. Accept surrogacy therefore prevent double standard measures between those who have the financial and cultural means of establishing contacts with foreign countries in this regard, and those who, for various reasons, can not do . The argument is that the principle of equality prevails.
- Avoid problems of civil status . As suggested by the Mennesson case , recourse to surrogate mothers abroad is not without its problems upon return to France of biological parents with their child. Who is this child? The child of her mother according to French law? Who is his mother under the law? She who gives birth the child. QED. However, the child's interest, here that of having a legal identity, a civil status, without which no act of everyday life can be achieved (a passport, vote, take an exam ...) is essential, in our culture, over all other principles can be put forward.
- Do not refuse the advances in medical technology. While the donation of gametes, male and female, sperm and eggs is permitted, that embryo donation is accepted, why is it that the loan of his body he would be prohibited a consenting person? Under q ual ethical principles or moral? Would it not deny the interest of scientific progress in the medical field that reject this progress is reaching?
- Help combat the suffering of women who can not have children. Beyond the issue of convenience that could motivate women not to give birth (fear of childbirth, fear of decrepitude of the body thereafter, anxiety about suffering ...), there are a number of purely medical reasons that prevent women can bear children. This is the case of women whose uterus has been altered by radiation for example, women with Syndrome Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser . In total, it is estimated, according to Cross, 300 the number of women involved in the Mayer syndrome and postpartum hemorrhage. Or in society of ours, there is a strong social pressure (not to mention the biological and psychological pressures) that women of childbearing age would. This partly explains the fertility levels in our country, and this reinforces the suffering of those who can not afford the social role conferred on them.
- A movement is emerging in public opinion. Not that the French, according to opinion surveys, have become largely for this evolution, but 1/3 of them are not opposed. We know the laws which cause profound changes can be made without the consent of a substantial part of the population. For at least two reasons, first, because it enables supporters of this development to have support and drivers in public opinion, and second, because she suddenly cut the grass under the feet of opponents more Supports in the opinion, it is less of opponents in the street, on internet forums, in newspaper columns. Today, however, the point of view of public opinion, the game is not won for supporters of legalization. They have passed their first bet, however, that of putting the issue on the public square. It is no longer taboo. This is a first essential step in the recognition of surrogacy.
- This is already done, it is done. The argument which seeks to demonstrate that the practices are ancient and still present, despite the ban, are somewhat specious from the point of view of morality of public discussion, but is a fact. In France, as I recalled in the introduction, this has been a reality for four years tolerated. And even today, not that we know how many people are involved, this practice courses. If not in centers in the country at least by citizens traveling abroad.
- And the father in all this? It is often considered that the issue of surrogate mothers mainly affects women. It is true that there is no carrier-father and for good reason. However, "women can not do on their own children." At one point at least, a little before fertilization, man is necessary. By his presence, and his ejaculation or in absentia, having frozen his own sperm or giving his sperm in a CECOS. Or in the case of a couple of potential parents, a man and a woman so in the sense of the law, if we saw the power of the wish, desire or need, feminine, father's place, his desire, his desire or need, is neglected. He also has the right to have children, if it exists. And in a free society, it may decide with whom to have them. If this woman he wants for mother of his children can only accommodate the gestation of their child, would it not then undergoes a double punishment. That of seeing suffering and that of his wife can not be a father.
- There is no GPA without trade. It is a punchline. In very many cases, surrogacy is manipulated to become a business. In India, women confined in a nursing home, are recruited to become mothers-carriers on behalf of foreign or domestic super-rich who "buy" this possibility for just under 10,000 euros. In Ukraine, it takes 15,000 euros. In North America, about 40,000 euros. Depending on the nature of contracts, legal responsibilities, insurance, the price varies. The land is flat, wrote the American journalist Thomas Friedman. Nothing is more true regarding surrogacy. You can choose its production area and guarantees that go with it. The argument is without question but it remains theoretical. No one can say exactly that in France this would happen in the same way as the practice is prohibited. Everything leads us to believe that this is a considerable barrier to acceptance by public opinion: a child can not have prices, although here we do not talk about children but purchase loan or lease bellies then the tenant eviction.
- This is not "a public health priority." In an interview given on this issue with the weekly L'Express, the gynecologist René Frydman, indicates that already assisted reproductive requests, which he supported, Fertilization in vitro, artificial insemination ... are difficult to meet. For reasons of means in the few medical centers offering these services or because of a strong lack of gamete donors. Thus, the Biomedicine Agency indicates in its annual report that 400 couples per year are awaiting egg donation but only 220 women volunteers every year to follow the medical treatment inherent in the gift and ultimately to several their eggs.
- The medical profession does not accept this technique. The vast majority of doctors are reluctant to accept changes in the legislation on surrogacy. Jean-François Mattei, MD, former Minister of Health, author of a remarkable book on bioethics, asserts against for the reasons explained here. However, even if at the time of the debate the authorization of the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy in France in the early 70's, there were more than 10,000 against the anti-abortion sign a call, it is difficult to change laws Bioethics without their consultation or assent. The pressure group that is, even if its forehead is not always united, represents a strong power of influence even more than many parliamentarians are from their ranks and therefore less sensitive to their arguments by atavism .
- The surrogate mother's status is unclear from a legal point of view. Who is the woman who gives birth to the child who is not biologically his? Who is this child to this woman in labor? It does not measure well the psychological effects for the woman who gives birth to her child to leave his biological mother. The senate of the working group that studied the issue suggests that the surrogate mother can change your mind within three days after delivery. That is to say, it may decide to keep the child who is not quite, far from it, his own. Usually, in the classical case, during the three days following the birth of a child, the whole family, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, friends came to maternity or hospital, or the kitchen, or in the pool, see the child, praise the mother, the father of the child, evoke its resemblance to so and so, give gifts, take him in his arms. At birth the child already has nine months. He is given, it was given a name, an identity. He was welcomed into his family with open arms. It is the future. There is hope. How then accept that for three days, three long days, a couple or in the feverish expectation of a change of mind of the woman in labor? What anguish! What suffering of waiting! Finally, what about visiting enforceable law that could apply the surrogate mother? She still carried the child, fed, spoken, perhaps even whispered words of love. And if that is not the case, as studies have proven the importance of the peace of the mother during the pregnancy and the presence of the father, why this child would deprive it, from the Initially, beyond the vicissitude of torque lives of these attentions.
- This requires a contract that does not qualify. Use a surrogate mother assumed a contract between the two parties, the carrier and recipient, with commitments from both sides, the rights, duties. From a philosophical point of view, this assujétion, the alienation of man by man is not admissible. This is already happening in labor contracts, but not with these implications, this constancy during the time of pregnancy. This contract also entails legal responsibilities. What will happen if the surrogate mother prefers the fair at rest, alcohol Strawberry rolled cigarette the Russian cigarette? Selection of surrogate mothers should be able to guarantee upstream partly serious candidate but can not ensure full loyalty of the parent carrier vis-à-vis its commitments.
- And if the biological parents refuse the child? This question is rarely asked. We can assume that a couple who engages in this process knows why he is undertaking, weathered his reflection, tried everything outside of this process. But what if during the time of pregnancy parents separate? Does the common law on parental authority that applies? How to decide?
The issue of the opening of surrogacy for gay couples is not an issue here. Because it is assumed that it is the biological child, from the gametes of a couple, therefore differentiated between men and women, which would be carried by the surrogate mother.
We see from reading these arguments gathered that this issue is complex by its possible consequences. It also confronts us with our a priori. As Sylviane Agacinski said, "In this field, France is not late, she is ahead." Everyone will make his opinion , Sylviane Agacinski is clearly against, but in any case, our country is clearly ahead of the issue of public debate around this theme.
Sylviane Agacinski and François Olivennes discuss this thorny issue.