New Book Published by Anca Gheaus

May 28, 2024

Congratulations to Anca Gheaus, Assistant Professor, for her new book Debating Surrogacy, co-authored with Christine Straehle.

Debating Surrogacy | Oxford Academic (


Surrogacy is the commissioning of a woman to gestate and give birth to a child for another would-be parent. The practice raises several ethical questions concerning, for example, the commodification of both surrogate and baby and the exploitation of the surrogate, issues which have been extensively debated. This book offers a fresh take on two different questions that bear on surrogacy’s justifiability: Is providing gestational services a permissible way of employing a woman’s body—is it a legitimate form of work? And are children born out of surrogacy wronged by surrogacy agreements? Christine Straehle proposes that surrogacy is legitimate work—a way for women to realize certain goals through the fruit of their labour. She defends a right to become a surrogate as necessary to protect women’s autonomy. Anca Gheaus argues that surrogacy always wrongs children—whether or not it also harms them—by disrespecting them; gestational services are therefore impermissible. In her response to Gheaus, Straehle questions that surrogacy wrongs children; besides a genetic, she also defends aintentional model of parental rights, which indicates that having a child through surrogacy should count as a ground to assign parental rights. In her response, Gheaus objects that Straehle’s view fails to properly account for the interests of either surrogates or children. However, Gheaus accepts that women may gestate without the intention to have custody over the newborn, and is therefore open to some kind of post-surrogacy practice that, in the allocation of legal parenthood, would radically depart from any historical or currently proposed form of surrogacy.