Surrogacy and dignity: Rights and relationships

Kathrine Galloway

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In this Journal, Rachel Kunde shared her experiences as an altruistic surrogate, advocating for greater government support for surrogate mothers. Based on her own experience, her argument suggests that recognising women’s bodily autonomy is a central consideration in liberalising the regulation of surrogacy. Importantly, she argues that surrogacy arrangements need not impair the dignity of the surrogate mother. In particular, her advocacy appears to presuppose reproductive rights both in the intending parents to found a family, and for the surrogate to bear a child. This article responds to Kunde. While celebrating Kunde’s contribution to the discourse through her personal narrative, it takes a broader approach to the question of regulation. This article first addresses the question of rights for each of the intending parents and the surrogate mother, suggesting that even if reproductive rights have some standing at law, they are not of themselves sufficient to justify liberalisation of altruistic surrogacy. Instead, it argues for a relational approach to regulation, looking beyond the individualised rights-based experience to that of national, and indeed global, relationships. Central to this argument is articulating dignity and autonomy as the principal values at stake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-39
Number of pages5
JournalGriffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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