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Certainly, Anderson’s strongest argument is that women (not to imply that men would be any more capable; this would be the case with any human if they were capable of labor) choosing to engage in commercial surrogacy may not be capable of anticipating the degree to which they will feel “gestational ties” with the child growing inside them. Thus, Anderson argues, it is not right to legally mandate at the beginning of the surrogacy process that the surrogate mother release all rights of parenthood, regardless of her position at the end of pregnancy.

I believe that this is a very strong argument, as the attachment of a mother (or father) to a child may be unlike and significantly stronger than any other experienced attachment (such as to a romantic partner or a pet), and thus it would be unreasonable to demand that an unappealable decision be made prior to engagement. The best counter argument I can think of, which is mainly by example and is therefore weak, is simply that there are other situations where a preemptive decision must be made which limits or restricts one’s future autonomy, and in many of thosee cases the situations are dire as well (such as joining the army, or deciding to have a child in a natural setting).

I think that Anderson’s least persuasive argument is that because the manner with which surrogate mothers and the children they grant to “intended fathers” are similar to the way commodities are bought and sold, the surrogate mothers and the children are necessarily devalued and are not respected.

First, the premise of the argument, I would question as it seems as though the compensation for surrogacy acts more as a repayment for the burden of labor than a price for the baby (which is indicated by the absence of significant variance in this compensation and the absence of a correlation between its magnitude with demanded infant attributes)). But taking the premise to be valid, I do not believe that similar processes demand identical valuation of the objects they operate on. For instance, the pet industry certainly resembles if not is an exact instance of the commoditized market to which Anderson refers, yet one would be stressed to argue that pets purchased, adopted, or taken in as strays are valued or loved any differently by average owners and certainly that it was the manner by which the pets were obtained that affected this value and love.

Overall, I do not agree with Anderson’s argument. As mentioned above, I disagree with a significant portion of her argument. Additionally, many of her sub-arguments suggest that commercialized surrogacy is wrong because the child is not the target for benefit, but rather the natural mother or intended parents are the intended beneficiaries. I would argue that this may be the case, but this is not at all, or at least significantly different from the normally pregnancy procedure (that is, the birth parents are motivated similarly). Finally, Anderson argues that children remaining in their genetic family “provides [them] with a set of preexisting social sanctions which give [them] a more secure place in the world” compared to those who leave their genetic family. I see this as entirely false, as it is surely the case that in-laws receive an equal level of support as individuals with genetic ties.