Using a woman’s womb to implant the fertilized egg of another woman, known as surrogate motherhood, is a procedure that has serious legal and social complications. It dilutes and mixes blood lineages, causes the fetus to have a confused identity, and transfers the genetic traits of the surrogate mother to the fetus; hence, this procedure affects the child in the future and makes him like a branch from another tree.
In addition, it allows the sperm of a male to enter womb of a woman to whom he is not married, and removes the sanctity between them. It may also enable the surrogate mother to make demands on the original mother. Thus, it is prohibited and impermissible in Islam.
Regarding this issue, Shaikh `Abd-Allah Ibn `Abdul-Rahman Al-Jibren, stated the following:
This is something bid`ah (innovated) and haram, primarily because Almighty Allah has commanded us to guard our chastity, as He says:
(And those who guard their chastity – except with their wives or those ‘bondwomen’ in their possession, for then they are free from blame) (Al-Mu’minun 23: 5-6).
Undoubtedly, surrogate motherhood will lead to confusion of lineage. Hence, this confusion will
lead to disputes between the woman from whom the egg was taken and the woman whose womb has been hired, and it will not be known to whom the child belongs. Even if we say that the child belongs to one of them, the matter remains uncertain. Hence, we advise women to keep away from such things.
The late Dr. `Abdel-`Azeem Al-Mat`ani, professor at Al-Azhar University, also said the following:
The sharia forbids this innovation based on the following:
The womb is exclusively for a husband who is married to the woman according to a valid marriage contract, and no one else has any right to use it. If the woman, who rents out her womb, is not married to that husband, she is making her womb permissible to a man who is a stranger to her (i.e., not married to her). Even if this is not full-scale illegitimate sexual intercourse, it is still definitely haram because it is enabling a man who is a stranger to her to put his semen in her womb.
Also, elaborating on this case, prof. Jamal Abul-Surur, a Former Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Al–Azhar University, said:
The fetus is nourished and is influenced by the womb and the environment that surrounds it. Bad habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol, on the part of the surrogate mother may lead to deformity of the fetus. What would be the case if doctors discover some physical deformity in the fetus before birth and try to treat that by means of surgical intervention? Will the surrogate mother allow that? Will she put her life at risk for the sake of a child who does not belong to her?
Moreover, there are some women who become sick as a result of pregnancy, such as a sudden rise in blood sugar or blood pressure, as well as toxemia. Some of these ailments may take the life of the pregnant woman and others may require medical intervention that may, in turn, require sacrificing the fetus in order to save the life of the pregnant woman. How would the surrogate mother and the woman who produced the egg work this out? How are we to deal with the ethical, legal, social and psychological problems that result from that?
Therefore, we can only reach one conclusion; the woman who produces the egg is the one who can carry the pregnancy. The child should be attributed to the marriage bed, and she should conceive, nourish her fetus and give birth to it. There is no truth in the saying that hiring wombs is like hiring wet-nurses, for a wet-nurse breastfeeds a child whose lineage is known, and she can stop breastfeeding him whenever she wants or whenever the original mother wants, if she feels that there is any danger.
Moreover, in the relationship between a husband and wife there is no room for any third party, regardless of who he or she is. It is not permissible to hire a womb or to donate sperm or eggs. Innumerable problems have arisen in Western societies because of such things.
In Britain an original mother paid twenty thousand pounds to a surrogate mother in return for renting her womb for nine months. When that time elapsed, the surrogate mother demanded many times that amount from the original mother in exchange for giving up possession of the child. If this door is opened, it will bring innumerable legal and social problems.