A new study done by the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, has concluded that children born to surrogate mothers have more emotional difficulties than those carried by their biological mothers.

The study found that children born through surrogacy are more at risk of having adjustment difficulties, such as antisocial behaviour, anxiety, and depression. This has numerous ethical implications, not least for the same-sex marriage and parenting debate.

Surrogacy is an essential aspect of male same-sex couples having children, and necessarily results in a child being taken away from its biological mother, with all the negative implications for the child that this entails.

Do we really want marriage to encourage this? If marriage were to be legally redefined to include same-sex couples, then marriage in law would appear to be actively encouraging surrogacy. That is, if any children were born into a whole group of marriages, then they would need to be born of surrogate mothers. This is not the case for almost all children born inside of a marriage as traditionally defined.

In addition to the problems surrogacy implies for children, surrogacy can also be harmful to the surrogate mothers themselves. There is potentially a link between an increase in surrogacy associated with same-sex marriage and the exploitation of women in developing countries, as described here at MercatorNet last year.

Blaise Joseph is a third-year commerce student at the University of New South Wales with a strong interest in social policy. Blaise is originally from Canberra, the centre of politics and the public...