Surrogacy is reportedly becoming a popular option for well-to-do, childless Armenian couples who desire children. But reconciling the practice with Armenia’s relatively conservative social mores is proving a challenge.
As in all South Caucasus countries, Armenian culture places a heavy emphasis on the need for women to marry and to bear children. In the past, couples who could not have children sometimes asked relatives to bear a child whom they would then adopt. But the practice, though generally accepted, meant that the babies did not carry the DNA of either adoptive parent.
Surrogacy, by contrast, lets that bloodline continue, supporters affirm. “I think this is a chance for people who have a big wish to have their own baby,” commented 48-year-old Yerevan homemaker Siranuysh Mamikonian.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan.