Commercial surrogacy may be the lesser evil

Associate Professor Tan Seow Hon must be thanked for his comprehensive article (Should commercial surrogacy be legalised?; Jan 17)

He delved into the pros and cons of legalising commercial surrogacy, but ended with the conclusion that commercial surrogacy "remains rightly outside the realm of the legally permissible".

Perhaps we should give more weight to the benefits of legalising commercial surrogacy.

Countries like Russia and India, and some states in America legalise commercial surrogacy and laws are in place to regulate the transactions and to protect the interests of the parties involved as well as those of the child to be born.

Some countries have banned such transactions, driving these underground or overseas, leading to participants facing greater financial burdens and misery with aborted transactions.

China, which banned commercial surrogacy, is said to have some 20,000 black-market transactions a year, and some 1,000 couples seek surrogate children from the United States every year.

Legalising commercial surrogacy could be the lesser of two evils.

Lau Kim Boo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2018, with the headline 'Commercial surrogacy may be the lesser evil'. Print Edition | Subscribe