Heléna Ragoné | http://family.jrank.org
The United States is unquestionably the world’s leader in availability of surrogacy arrangements. Britain, for example, implemented a ban against commercial surrogacy—in other words, any arrangement in which a surrogate receives payment for her services. On the other hand, Israel permits commercial surrogacy but the Embryo Carrying Agreements Law (1996) advances the position that a “severe effort” be made to permit only unmarried women to serve as surrogates because it is reasoned that allowing married women to serve as surrogates would violate culturally prescribed definitions and norms about kinship, the status of the child that is born, and family (Kahn 2000). This position stands in contrast to U.S. arrangements in which established surrogate mother programs typically insist that their surrogates be either married or in a committed relationship. They also require surrogates to have children of their own in order to discourage them from wanting to keep the child. Programs reason that an unmarried woman who has never had children is much more likely to want to keep a child produced through surrogacy than a married woman with children of her own (see Ragoné 1994, 1996, 1998).