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  1. Cécile Fabre

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee123

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Fabre, C. 2013. Surrogacy. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (18 JUN 2015)


Surrogacy is a practice whereby prospective (or commissioning) parents who cannot gestate children entrust another woman with that particular task. There are many reasons why those parents resort to a surrogate mother. Typically, the female partner in a heterosexual couple is unable to bear children, because (for example) she had to undergo a hysterectomy, or suffers from severe endometriosis. In other cases, gay males who do not wish to adopt a child have no choice but to use a surrogate mother.


  • abortion;
  • bioethics;
  • contracts;
  • family;
  • medicine;
  • practical (applied) ethics;
  • prostitution;
  • rights