German ethicist critical of surrogacy


Central Europe


Photo Unsplash, Anastasiia Chepinska

The German coalition is considering reviewing altruistic surrogacy. Protestant Ethics Council member Petra Bahr sees it as "colonisation of the female body".

Bahr is sceptical about the possible legalisation of certain forms of surrogacy in Germany. The Hanoverian regional bishop told the Evangelical Press Service that a legal regulation that recognises veiled power relations and enables the child to have a permanent relationship within the split parenthood is extremely demanding.

Altruistic surrogacy happens when the surrogate mother does not receive a financial profit for her services. She might get some compensation, but she will not make money, like a commercial surrogate.

However, according to Bahr, a doctor in Theology, it is not so important whether money is involved. Altruistic and commercial motives are often mixed. The danger of "colonisation of the female body" is not averted, even with the best motivation of all those involved. Even the term "surrogacy" bears traces of this danger: "What you borrow, you want to give back. But even in this constellation, motherhood lasts a lifetime", Bahr says to the Christian German magazine PRO.

At the moment, surrogacy is completely banned in Germany. However, the coalition agreement shows that the governing parties want to explore the possibilities of opening up altruistic surrogacy. The coalition has not yet drafted a law.



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