What are the rules of Surrogacy in Islam?
If a surrogate mother carries and delivers her sister’s child, who does the child belong to i.e who is the real mother? Also, will the surrogate mother have any kind of responsibility towards the child? And finally, will the female child be mahram for the husband of the surrogate mother?
Medically, there are two types of surrogate mother’s:
1. Traditional surrogate: she is a woman who is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. She then carries the baby and delivers it for the parents to raise. A traditional surrogate is the baby’s biological mother because it was her egg that was fertilized by the father’s sperm. So she has all the responsibilities of a mother and the law of inheritance also applies between them.
Who would be the biological father of the child? Ofcourse, the owner of the sperm.
Also, would the husband of the surrogate mother be mahram to the child?
If the surrogate mother marries after the insemination, then the child will be mahram to her husband because she becomes his Rabiba (the mother’s daughter from her previous marriage). In any case, the child will be Mahram to her children because they are born from the same mother.
2. Gestational surrogate mother which is done by IVF: In this technique, they harvest eggs from the mother, fertilize with sperm from the father and place the embryo into the uterus of a gestational surrogate to carry the baby until birth. This kind of surrogate mother has no genetic ties to the child because it wasn’t her egg although the child will be mahram to her and her children for the same reason mentioned above.
The laws of inheritance do not apply to surrogate mothers according to majority of our Maraje’.
3. There is still another kind of IVF, and that is if the egg of a woman is fertilized with the sperm of her husband and the embryo is placed in her own uterus, then the child is obviously theirs in all respects.
With the exception of Ayatollah Sistani who does not allow the above practice, the rest of the Maraj’e allow it, although they say forbidden acts such as looking at the private parts must be avoided as much as possible.