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If an effective exploration of the ethics of the civil law's response to the practice of hired maternity is to occur, the abstract analysis of the personal ethics of hired maternity must at a certain point give way to a statement of the generic goals that ethics can be said to establish in the area for lawmaking as such. Clarity about the appropriate moral purposes of law mediates between more abstract moral principles and the concrete demands peculiar to making of laws on a concrete issue.

Here, the development of such a statement is an intermediate step towards the article's ultimate goal of evaluating the soundness of available legislative alternatives for responding to hired maternity. In its final section, the article then turns to such an ethical evaluation of four legislative alternatives now emerging in the United States as possible responses to hired maternity. These include: (1) prohibition; (2) decommercialization; (3) approval with governmental validation; and (4) approval with private ordering validation.



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