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position paper BVC ecosoc

COMMITTEE- United Nations Economic and Social Council
AGENDA- Illegal Surrogacy and Commercialization of Human Reproduction
COUNTRY- Islamic Republic of Iran
Gestational surrogacy as a treatment for infertility is being practised in some well-known medical institutions in
Tehran and some other cities in Iran.
While the majority of Muslims in the world are Sunni, the majority of Iranians are Shiite. Most Sunni scholars do not
permit surrogate motherhood and consider surrogacy ‘haram’ or forbidden since it involves, introducing the sperm of
a man into the uterus of a woman to whom he is not married. Third party donation, therefore, is considered adultery
(with a small minority of Sunni scholars permitting surrogacy between two co-wives of the same husband). Sunni
scholars also oppose surrogacy on the grounds that it turns the womb into a commodity and commercializes the act
of giving birth which is sacred to marriage.
On the other hand, most Shiite scholars have issued jurisprudential decrees (fatwas) that allow surrogate motherhood
as a treatment for infertility, albeit only for legal couples. They regard this practice as transferring an embryo or fetus
from one womb to another, which is not forbidden in Shiite jurisprudence.
Nevertheless, there are some controversies concerning some issues such as kinship and inheritance. The main
ethical concern of Iran's experience with gestational surrogacy is the monetary relation between the intended couple
and the surrogate mother. While monetary remuneration is practised in Iran and allowed by religious authorities, it
seems to suffer from ethical problems.
Ayatollah Khamenai, the supreme Iranian leader, allowed surrogacy on the condition that the
resulting child must be recognized as the child of the donor father.
Iranian judicial authorities have recently recognized the importance of medical technologies. Accordingly, Iranian
legal system has recognized surrogacy and a surrogacy contract seems unavoidable for it to be legally valid, socially
acceptable and religiously legitimate. As a legal defense of including a typical surrogacy contract in contract law,it is
based on the four building blocks of a valid contract: the intention and consent of parties, their legal capacity, the
subject of the contract and its legitimacy.