Reproductive technologies and reproductive rights
Keywords:Reproduction, surrogate mother, parenthood, artificial insemination, homosexual partners international surrogacy
We observe a modern approach that allows for the possibility of a planned separation between sexual relations and procreation. The widespread use of contraceptives created the possibility of sex without reproduction, just as reproductive technologies created the possibility of reproduction without sex. Consequentially, the individual`s ability to control and plan childbirth has expanded, but parallel possibilities have been created for societal intervention in that process. The question whether society may limit one`s right to be a parent through the use of reproductive technologies has become a crucial legal issue.
Artificial techniques of procreation present a special problem. On the one hand, we are concerned with planning the birth of a child and not with establishing what is best for a child already born. On the other hand, it is not a matter that begins and ends in the bedroom. Moreover: persons requiring artificial techniques expect not merely non-intervention but positive aid. It is submitted that a distinction should be drawn between limiting a person`s freedom to realize his right to parenthood as he sees fit, and the denying societal aid. The limits of positive societal aid are established through the changes in the legal definition of parenthood that society is willing to accept in order to meet individual desires. Thus, while we may question the existence of a justification for denying single woman`s freedom to procreate, or the freedom of a couple to seek the aid of a surrogate mother – that does not mean that society must provide the legal framework that might have the effect of denying parenthood to other partners to the procreative process.