Ethical concerns

The ethical debates on surrogacy centers primarily around justificaton of using another poor woman for carrying one’s child. Ethical debates centre around issues such as ‘womb renting’, and also refer to cases where some sponsoring parents left refused to take away the baby when it was diagnosed with some disease like Down Syndrome (recent case of an Australian couple opting surrogacy in India).

The Religious Aspect

The permissibility and sanctioning of surrogacy is pretty varied when it comes to the major world religions. Broadly speaking, the liberal minded religious scholars in almost all religions permit surrogacy of heterosexual (opposite sex) couple, as it allows in procreation and meets a couple’s desire to have a baby. The conservative scholars however disagree with the liberal views citing the fact that, involvement of another woman who is unmarried to the couple is not permissible, and thus, the legal and religious sanctity of the child is questioned.

If the religions have to be named;

Protestant Christians are more likely to agree to surrogacy, Catholic Christians are more likely to be hesitant. However, this is a very broad observation.

Islamic views on surrogacy are based on Shariah law. Some conservative scholars see surrogacy as an illegitime act; however, there are others who permit citing the need of procreation and expanding one’s offspring. Muslim countries are slowly opening up to the idea of surrogacy and IVF.

Judaism: Orthodox rabbis are likely to oppose surrogacy, whereas most liberal jews support surrogacy.

Hindus and Buddhists: Hindus and Buddhists are more receptive to surrogacy and normally do not have very strong opposing views.

To sum up, surrogacy is more or less permitted for heterosexual couples in every major religion.

However, if we are talking of same sex couples (gays, lesbians), all major religions strongly oppose that just as they oppose the idea of same sex relations.