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Lecutre by Teresa Baron (University of Southampton) "Double donor surrogacy and the substitution problem”

Date: 07.11.2019
Start Time: 17.30
Place: Institute of Philosophy, room 25

We have the pleasure to invite You for a research seminar in the ‘BIOUNCERTAINTY’ research project. The subject of the seminar is 'Double donor surrogacy and the substitution problem' and it will be delivered by Teresa Baron from University of Southampton. The seminar will take place on Thursday, 7th of November, at 5:30pm in room 25 of the Institute of Philosophy, 52 Grodzka Street.

Teresa Baron is working on the metaphysics of pregnancy with the BUMP research group at the University of Southampton. Her research interests are the philosophy of parenthood and the ethical implications of modern reproductive technologies.

Abstract: New reproductive technologies have, in recent years, given rise to new and important questions about the ways in which family-making takes place, and the moral rights and duties of those involved in bringing children into existence. Various pathways are available to those who are unable to produce children through unassisted sexual reproduction. These include adoption, artificial insemination by husband or donor (AIH or AID), in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and surrogacy. There are two forms of surrogacy: ‘traditional’ surrogacy, in which the gestational mother is also the genetic mother of the child, and gestational surrogacy, in which the intending mother’s ovum (or an ovum from a distinct donor) is used. In the UK, at least one intending parent in a surrogacy arrangement must be genetically related to the child. However, the joint consultation report produced by the Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales this year recommends that UK law be amended to allow ‘double donor’ surrogacy (DDS), in which neither intending parent is genetically related to the child. In this paper, I raise the question of what distinction, if any, can be made between DDS and planned adoption. I demonstrate that there is no morally or legally significant distinction between such arrangements, and that we must either consider both permissible or both impermissible. I then argue further, by introducing what I call 'the substitution problem,' that we should conclude the latter.