Payment of ransoms should not be legal. Kidnapping is a crime and you are encouraging it by paying ransoms. Sometime, this does not even work and the victim is still held hostage. The kidnapper may change their minds and demand more money. .Anyone who has a family member kidnapped should contact the police.
Yes, the payment of ransoms should be made illegal because it may deter kidnapping and theft, which are two situations that often require a ransom. If potential criminals can not get a ransom payment, they may view the potential victim as worthless, whereas now, even I am aware of the fact that I may look like "ransom-bait" to some would-be criminals while traveling abroad.
I do believe the payment of ransoms should be made illegal, but it should be illegal for those asking for the ransom, not those that are put in a position to pay them. By doing this the justice system can stack this charge on top of the many others that would be associated with such a demand.
It's a difficult call when someone kidnaps someone and asks for a ransom. By paying the ransom, you're really encouraging the behavior, and it may continue with other people. It's also never guaranteed that the hostage/kidnapping victim will actually be returned to you. However, in some cases it seems like this is the only hope to get someone back, and the person's life is very important. So it's a difficult call, but I don't think it should be illegal, as in some cases it may be necessary to pay a ransom.
No, the payment of ransoms should not be made illegal because anyone who says that they should has never had a family member held for ransom. In the middle of a hostage situation, a family member will do anything to help their loved one. They should not be stopped, just because other people want to impose public policy.