Public Statement from the Society for Ethics in Surrogacy and Egg Donation (SEEDS) on the Recent Remarks Condemning Surrogacy by Pope Francis

Society for Ethics in Surrogacy and Egg Donation (SEEDS)

Surrogacy remarks by Pope Francis Ethical Surrogacy

Recently, Pope Francis called upon the nations of the world to ban surrogacy as he considered it deplorable trafficking that violated the dignity of a woman and a child, and that motherhood should be a gift, not the basis for a commercial contract.  The Society for Ethics in Surrogacy and Egg Donation (SEEDS) strongly opposes the Pope’s perspective on surrogacy, and believes that surrogacy, when done correctly, can be the greatest gift that any woman can give to another, involving no coercion or trafficking, but instead being an expression of care, kindness, and giving that fertile women seek out as a means of compassionately assisting those unable to fulfill their dream of becoming a parent without their support.

SEEDS was created to establish, and has now established, ethical standards to govern surrogate parenting agencies to avoid the very issues about which the Pope is concerned.  We firmly believe that through the ethical practice of surrogacy there can be a means of family formation that is completely positive for everyone involved, including the parents, the surrogate, and the child. Surrogacy is essential for those wishing to have biological children who are themselves infertile couples, single parents, or members of the LGBTQIA+ community (who were recently provided with the Pope’s compassionate support of their marriages, but who, in many instances, cannot have genetic children without surrogacy).

Ethical Standards protect not only the surrogates, but also Intended Parents and children born through this collaborative process. This creates a positive journey with mutual benefit to all involved. SEEDS understands that ethical surrogacy standards are not practiced in all locations, and that the concerns raised by Pope Francis can arise when ethical standards are not followed. However, surrogacy can be a positive, empowering, and uplifting process when ethical standards are in place.

Our organization is dedicated to upholding the highest ethical standards in all facets of surrogacy and egg donation.  It is the core of our mission. We believe in conducting these practices with the utmost respect, dignity, and integrity for everyone involved. SEEDS recognizes and understands the complexities and emotional challenges that accompany all forms of infertility or subfertility, and we have developed our standards to provide secure processes that support surrogates and children as well as individuals and couples on this journey.

SEEDS welcomes Pope Francis or any of his emissaries to our upcoming conference in Denver in May of this year to come and learn about how this much needed path to parenthood can be done lovingly, thoughtfully, and compassionately to protect the interests and desires of all involved.  We believe that through education and engagement in discussions about the concerns various religious and national groups have about surrogacy, we can overcome the disdain and fear that we believe form the basis for the Pope’s remarks.  We are confident that we can turn this disdain and fear into acceptance of surrogacy, provided it is done within certain ethical guidelines and limitations.  Only by engaging in discussions about these sensitive topics with empathy, compassion, and deep respect for alternative perspectives can we overcome the prejudice that exists internationally and among religious groups about an essential family building technique that can be an entirely positive experience for everyone involved.

SEEDS stands firmly in support of those facing fertility challenges and the remarkable women who choose to help them.   We hereby commit to continue championing the ethical practice of surrogacy and egg donation as crucial elements of family-building. We invite those interested in learning more about our educational conferences and now-established standards to visit