Re: Surrogate Mothers

the Cheshire Cat (alanacat@wam.umd.edu)
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 12:32:53 -0500 (EST)

Moishe Rosenberg wrote:
>I would greatly appreciate any guidance in obtaining material on the
>subject of surrogate mothers and the halachic issues involved.

Rabbi Ya'akov Grunewald wrote:
>..... the view of Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg. In
>his view the mother is the woman who delivers the baby. He expressed this
>view some 10 years ago, but as far as I have been able to establish, he has
>not changed his mind. Rav Ariel himself thinks that motherhood goes to the
>lady whose eggs have been fertized. Recently I asked an eminent rabbi in
>Yerushalayim who was close to Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and he told me
>that the latter was of the opinion that the mother is the woman who gave the
>egg. See, however, in that article page 178, that in Sefer Nishmat Adam, it
>is reported that Rav Shlomo Zalman regarded motherhood in this case as
>doubtful and therefore thought that the baby had two mothers. Therefore,the
>Chumrot of both mothers must be applied to the baby. He says that both women
>have maternal feelings towards the baby.I feel,however,that this assumption
>is questionable in cases where the egg is fertilized in vitro and the host
>mother is only doing a favour to a childless couple who cannot have a baby
>in a natural way.

This final position fails to take into account the physical realities
of pregnancy.
Two which are immediately important:
1. Pregnancy is often an uncomfortable process. The discomfort that a
woman goes through during the pregnancy is likely to cause a bond with the
fetus, in a similar way to those who go through trials together become
bonded.
2. More importantly, the physical process of pregnant and giving birth
stimulate hormonal processes in women which incline her to bond with the
fetus. Particularly the process of giving birth stimulates in most women a
set of hormones which induce milk production. The hormones, in many
women, also stimulate the affection that women feel for the child. Thus,
even if the woman is not genetically related to the fetus, the process of
giving birth is likely to bond her to the child in a profound
way...possibly more profoundly than the woman who actually is related to
the child.

As a result, I think a ban against surrogacy is the way to go. It is
unwise to manipulate peoples' feelings for money, and I believe that this
is not consistent with Torah.

Alana Suskin