Skip to main content

Surrogate Motherhood


Surrogate motherhood is a practice in which one woman (the surrogate mother) intentionally becomes pregnant and gives birth to an infant who will be adopted by another woman (the adoptive mother), as arranged by a legal contract prior to conception. The surrogate mother may be impregnated by artificial insemination with the adoptive mother's husband's semen or may have implanted in her uterus an embryo conceived in vitro (outside the body). The contract frees the surrogate mother of parental rights and responsibilities; it may guarantee financial support and payment of medical costs but does not involve a direct payment for the child. Relevant ethical issues include reproductive freedom and rights, informed consent of the surrogate mother, and the best interests of the child. Roman Catholicism and Islam object to the procedure. In practice, some problems have occurred when surrogate mothers have been reluctant to give up children, and some adoptive parents have refused to accept children.



American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Bioethics and Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care. "Policy Statement." American Academy of Pediatrics News 9, no. 7 (1992).


Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Surrogate Motherhood." Child Development. . 25 Jun. 2019 <>.

"Surrogate Motherhood." Child Development. . (June 25, 2019).

"Surrogate Motherhood." Child Development. . Retrieved June 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.