Not inconceivable anymore ... Saudi women hiring surrogates abroad

Updated 07 December 2013
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Not inconceivable anymore ... Saudi women hiring surrogates abroad

Saudi women who are unable to conceive are traveling abroad to enter into financial agreements with surrogate mothers to carry their child — a practice not permitted by the Islamic Jurisprudence Council.
The Saudi Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics said these surrogates, also known as “uterus zir,” rent their wombs to carry the fetus of childless couples.
Dr. Samir Abbas, a member of the society and an expert in gynecology, surgery and infertility, said a large number of Saudi families look to European and Asian countries for surrogate mothers if a woman in the family is unable to carry a child for health reasons.
He called on the Islamic Jurisprudence Council to review the decision it has taken on the issue. “Such a phenomenon should not be treated as taboo, since the mechanism of food being fed to the fetus through the umbilical cord is akin to the act of a woman breastfeeding another person’s child, which is permissible in Islam,” said Abbas.
Some families return disappointed since some surrogate mothers opt to keep the babies after birth, which is permissible in US law.
This has prompted many families to search for women with several children since they are more likely to honor the agreement.
Amira Kashgari, a columnist at Al-Watan newspaper and professor of linguistics at King Abdulaziz University, said such an issue has two sides.
“The positive side is that scientists have made alternatives possible,” she said. “The negative side is the potential psychological impact such a procedure can have. People looking to embark on this form of child-bearing should read up on other peoples’ experiences.”
Renowned Islamic scholar and economist Omar Abdullah Kamel said: “Renting” a womb involves many issues. “Adoption can also satisfy maternal feelings,” he said.
Dr. Azzam Abdulmajeed, a gynecologist, said: “The success rates of the process is very slim because the mother’s womb is genetically linked to the fetus. We need to conduct more studies on this issue since it is new and reading about it is not enough,” he said.
“Essentially, the fetus would be feeding from the surrogate mother, which means she should be tested. Knowing a surrogate’s medical history is essential before the procedure is conducted,” he said.
“This procedure is unavailable in the Kingdom and this might be the reason why these women go searching for other hospitals and medical institutes outside Saudi Arabia.”


King Salman receives Saudi education officials

King Salman receives officials of theMinistry of Education and Saudi universities at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 11 December 2018
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King Salman receives Saudi education officials

  • The king stressed the role of education in the development of a country

RIYADH: Top officials of the Ministry of Education and Kingdom’s universities on Monday called on King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. 

The king stressed the role of education in the development of a country. Saudi Arabia ranks as the largest market for education services in the region, and it also accounts for a growing number of students enrolled in the kindergarten to grade 12 education system in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. 

Strong government support over the past few years has led to the continuous expansion of the education sector by inviting private players to enter the space.

According to a study conducted by Research and Markets, the higher education industry of the Kingdom inclined at a single digit compound annual growth rate during the period 2012-2017. 

The establishment of new universities due to increased investments in the education sector was the key contributor to the augmented revenues generated by the market players.