The Metaphysics of Surrogacy

In David Boonin (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. pp. 649-659 (2018)
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As with most other areas of reproduction, surrogacy is highly regulated. But the legislation and policies on surrogacy are written in such ways that make large (and possibly mistaken) assumptions about the metaphysical relationship between the mother and the fetus – whether the fetus is a part of, or contained by, the mother. It is the purpose of this chapter to highlight these assumptions, and to demonstrate the impact that alternative metaphysical views can have on our conceptualization of surrogacy. With that in mind, I recommend that our public policies on surrogacy be at least neutral or otherwise responsive to metaphysics rather than presupposing it, such that the regulation and legislation of surrogacy will be metaphysically informed.
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