Gestational surrogacy for a human immunodeficiency virus seropositive sperm donor: what are the ethics?

Karen E. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinics that provide assisted reproductive technology (ART) are guided by general guidelines set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and its Ethics Committee and are free to set their own policies within those guidelines. This article presents a case in which a university clinic was presented with a novel request. A same-sex male couple, both positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), asked to use one of the couple's sperm to establish a pregnancy in an unrelated gestational surrogate through in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and embryo transfer. The couple's argument in favor of such a plan was that no documented case of HIV seroconversion had so far occurred in recipients of gametes from HIV-positive donors. Since gestational surrogates routinely accept the risks inherent in pregnancy and childbearing, an informed surrogate should be allowed to accept the risks of such an arrangement. They further argued that if no clinic were willing to provide such services, data regarding seroconversion would never be obtained. The university ethics committee examined the fertility clinic's policies and found the clinic's refusal to provide such services to be completely consistent with its policy that allows providing services to HIV-discordant couples, same-sex couples, and gestational surrogates, but that always acts to protect the surrogate from exposure to infectious risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-140
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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