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JumpyTheFrog

"Surrogacy Storm in Thailand"

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I don't like that families in some countries are in such difficult financial situations.  However, making it illegal for them to earn some money is not fixing that problem.  Often when people from "rich countries" interfere in the "exploitation" of poor people, we force them to choose between even worse options.

 

Informed free choice is necessary, yes.  Poor people are not stupid, they can weigh options when given a free choice.

 

I agree. I would never hire a surrogate.  But if I were going to, I would much rather hire a woman from a very poor country who can do a heck of a site more for her life with the money than one from a developed country.  $10K (totally made up number) would be a lot to a low income person in a developed country, it would utterly life changing for a poor person in an undeveloped country.

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Really?  If you haven't heard it, then you haven't been listening to prolife people very much.  Of course it's treating them like product to kill them for being defective.

 

Well then that's because of their stance on abortion, not because of surrogacy.  And I guess if they consider their DS kids faulty products, then they also see their "normal" kids as performing-as-expected products?

 

The PP suggested that parents in a surrogacy situation consider all of their kids "products."  I take issue with the implication that parents of kids not born of their own womb view their kids as "products."

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Well then that's because of their stance on abortion, not because of surrogacy. And I guess if they consider their DS kids faulty products, then they also see their "normal" kids as performing-as-expeced products?

 

The PP suggested that parents in a surrogacy situation consider all of their kids "products." I take issue with the implication that parents of kids not born of their own womb view their kids as "products."

I don't think it was a generalised statement that all parents in that situation do but occasionally some do. Truthfully I know of some biological parents who see their kids almost as products too.

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I don't think it was a generalised statement that all parents in that situation do but occasionally some do. Truthfully I know of some biological parents who see their kids almost as products too.

 

This is putting words in other people's mouths.  "Occasionally some do" sounds like BS to me.  Unless you know someone who does this, I don't see how this statement can be made.  It's offensive and mean-spirited.  Also, remember that these children are going to read these comments at some point.

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I have little knowledge of surrogacy.  How would this clause be enforced if the surrogate changed her mind at some point after the contract was signed and she was already pregnant?  I suppose through financial damages, but is that a practical compensation if the surrogate does not have the money to pay?

I won't say anything about the news story itself since I didn't read it and, in my mind, it doesn't represent surrogacy as a whole anyway. It does sound like a terrible situation with a lot of shady, bad stuff going on.

I was a surrogate-twice. (Never made it on the news, btw, since mine was a happy, wonderful story, and not a head-turner). I wasn't exploited, no product was bought. Three beautiful lives were brought into this world to parents, who otherwise couldn't experience the gift of parenting a biological child.

In the US, surrogacy is regulated. I lived in CA at the time. All involved parties have to go through counseling (both individually and together), receive separate legal representation and have a written contract. My contracts were upwards of twenty pages, and they were fairly straight forward too since I was not being compensated. Selective reduction, abortion, birth defects, etc, etc is all covered in the contracts. The surrogate would need to agree to an abortion beforehand in the contracts before that issue ever came up (or disagree, as the case may be). Every possible scenario is talked through prior to moving forward. I, nor the bio parents agree with abortion, so that was clearly stated in the contracts. I could never be forced to do something I didn't want to do, nor would I keep the baby if the parents changed their minds--the contract also stated who would take custody of the baby if the parents couldn't/wouldn't.

I am a conservative Christian. I believe people are unique and special. I believe God is the giver of life, and I believe each life, no matter how it enters this world is a gift. I brought three gifts into this world for parents who desperately wanted children. I believe that pleases God. If only you could see the looks on those parents faces when they saw their babies for the first time. It is a beautiful thing that connects people together in ways that nothing else can.

Surrogacy, like anything, can be corrupted. It's not because surrogacy itself is corrupt, but because people are. But surrogacy can also be beautiful and wonderful and good. That's my two cents, anyway.

Link to my surrogacy story on you tube:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=tx-9ez4Xuto&ebc=ANyPxKo0nCovnFeakoHEKfhQgDrN2JHYvYApeY-vFWPHCCC5NNwXwOblaqipwGLZpO4ML_CmdkZNn4Ac44fwdSSXbUj83GNSAg

 

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This kind of judgment reminds me of when DH and I went to Mexico and took one of their tours to Chitzen Itza (sp?).  We were told by the tour guide not to buy trinkets from the local children who sell them because then the kids' are kept out of school and sell trinkets.  We were told to buy from their over-priced vendor instead.  I ignored them because families have a right to make those decisions for their kids, not tour operators, and because I preferred to support the kids' families directly, rather than some nameless and faceless tour company.  Same idea, although the Mexico story is certainly more trivial.

I don't like that families in some countries are in such difficult financial situations.  However, making it illegal for them to earn some money is not fixing that problem.  Often when people from "rich countries" interfere in the "exploitation" of poor people, we force them to choose between even worse options.

 

Informed free choice is necessary, yes.  Poor people are not stupid, they can weigh options when given a free choice.

 

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The fact that a child doesn't come from your womb is not the point as to whether he or she is treated as a product rather than a person.  There are good reasons there are restrictions around adoption, and rights for adopted children, they are susceptible to particular abuses of that system.  Much of the work of medical ethicists around surrogacy mirrors what has been done around adoption, as many of the issues are similar.

 

I don't really understand the desire to avoid thinking about the ethical problems around those practices in the name of kindness to the children that are involved.

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Certainly no issues with that.

 

In the case posted, I don't think anyone has protected the young gal at all by letting her go to a dad who's a registered sex offender... and one person's rights END when another is seriously affected.  Growing up with a dad like that could cause so many problems to her...

 

I'm not even pro abortion (in most circumstances) due to considering the unborn child alive and worth protecting.  I know many disagree with me, but that's a whole different issue that doesn't need to be rehashed.  We all know the views.

 

Surrogacy in general isn't child trafficking or selling humans, therefore, I'm surprised to see disagreement.

 

It's a major discussion among people who study and work in medical ethics.  And one of the questions, and it is a serious one, is whether or not it isn't precisely a form of human trafficking. 

 

This question of personal choice isn't as clear or uncomplicated as people seem to think.  In many countries, people are not allowed to pay for surrogacy.  Selling bodily organs is illegal in your country.

 

All western countries consider it illegal to sell oneself into indentured servitude.  But by your argument, it would seem that should be a personal choice, at least if its well-regulated.  If it's obvious, why isn't it more controversial?

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I have little knowledge of surrogacy. How would this clause be enforced if the surrogate changed her mind at some point after the contract was signed and she was already pregnant? I suppose through financial damages, but is that a practical compensation if the surrogate does not have the money to pay?

For a surrogate who is compensated, (I wasn't) the compensation is due in increments throughout the process (for instance, x amount when meds begin, x amount when conception occurs, etc). So if the surrogate agrees to carry the child and then decides she has changed her mind and wants an abortion, any compensation after that point would no longer be owed since she has breached her contract. It is certainly within her right to have an abortion based solely on laws in the US regarding abortion, but I assume the parents could sue. The same would happen for the opposite--if the parents wanted an abortion, and the surrogate would not consent, that is her right; but she would no longer be compensated going forward IF in the contract phase she had agreed to abortion/selective reduction in certain cases, because again, she is breaching the contract. That being said, it is written quite explicitly in the contract wrt abortion/selective reduction and the various potential problems that could occur and what each party intends to do about those problems if they occur.

 

All that being said, I don't know what the rules and regulations are in other countries, and I'm sure that corruption can and has occurred in certain cases abroad as well as in the US.

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But I think that it also has a very strong tendency to result in the child being treated as a product.  I think that is what seems to put people off with this case or similar ones - the child is a product that is being paid for, and so an imperfect product can be refused or returned.  Perhaps when the contract is signed the child isn't a person but an idea, but in the end a child is being handed over as the result of a contract and money changing hands.  And unlike adoption, we can't say that it is solving a problem (not having parents) for the person who is being handed over. (Even though we all know adoption can be done in an exploitative way which needs to be guarded against, I think most also agree that when used properly, it is an attempt to do what is in the best interests of the child.)

 

We already have some tension over this in our society when we talk about couples choosing abortion because of birth defects like downs syndrome, because on the one hand people tend to want to assert the parent's private right to make that decision, while at the same time maintaining that we value the disabled as people.  THis sort of situation seems to make that tension much more in evidence.

 

But one can say it is solving a problem for couples unable to carry and/or birth their own child.  Adoption always involves the separation of a biological child from a biological parent.  There are justifiable cases for this, such as abuse, neglect, or a parent's inability to provide for a child.  There are other cases, which frankly, are more like borderline human trafficking. All involve the severing of an important social bond.

 

The same goes for surrogacy, except it tends to preserve at least one parent's biological and social bond with the child.  What is severed from the process is the pregnancy/birth/chemical bonding that occurs between the mother and the child.

 

IMO, medical technology is going to be pushing the bounds to the point where both men and women can gestate, and eventually, have gestation done artificially.  But then, I expect that eventually human beings will artificially augment most stages of human development, and even the human body itself, with nanotechnology.

 

One can argue if such a future seems promising or horrifying, but the ethics involving surrogacy are only in their, ahem, infancy.  I imagine that in 50 years or so, even the term surrogacy, itself, may seem quaint.

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But one can say it is solving a problem for couples unable to carry and/or birth their own child.  Adoption always involves the separation of a biological child from a biological parent.  There are justifiable cases for this, such as abuse, neglect, or a parent's inability to provide for a child.  There are other cases, which frankly, are more like borderline human trafficking. All involve the severing of an important social bond.

 

The same goes for surrogacy, except it tends to preserve at least one parent's biological and social bond with the child.  What is severed from the process is the pregnancy/birth/chemical bonding that occurs between the mother and the child.

 

IMO, medical technology is going to be pushing the bounds to the point where both men and women can gestate, and eventually, have gestation done artificially.  But then, I expect that eventually human beings will artificially augment most stages of human development, and even the human body itself, with nanotechnology.

 

One can argue if such a future seems promising or horrifying, but the ethics involving surrogacy are only in their, ahem, infancy.  I imagine that in 50 years or so, even the term surrogacy, itself, may seem quaint.

 

Yes, it solves a problem for the couple.  But so would buying a child.  That is wrong because even if things turn out well for the child and it is loved - which very often is the case in such instances - we consider that to be a breach of the intrinsic rights of the child.  Even if you will really love the child and give it a good life, maybe a better life, you can't buy it.  And we know there have been many abusive situations where children were given up because the system made it impossible or difficult for mothers to keep them.  Even when those situations were legal, and people really thought it was for the child's best interests, and the child was loved, we almost universally consider that to be an offense against the child.

 

In surrogacy, what we say is that any payment is not really for the child, it is for renting the womb. (which we may or may not think should be legal as well.)  But is that true, or is it an equivocation?  If I send to a widget company to sell me a widget, we could say that in fact I am just contracting the factory to produce something. What is the substantial difference there from just buying a widget?

 

Perhaps it will seem quaint in 50 years.  Or maybe we will look at it as we do the eugenics experiments of the early 20th century.  Since we can't say, I'm not sure it makes a difference.

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It's a major discussion among people who study and work in medical ethics.  And one of the questions, and it is a serious one, is whether or not it isn't precisely a form of human trafficking. 

 

This question of personal choice isn't as clear or uncomplicated as people seem to think.  In many countries, people are not allowed to pay for surrogacy.  Selling bodily organs is illegal in your country.

 

All western countries consider it illegal to sell oneself into indentured servitude.  But by your argument, it would seem that should be a personal choice, at least if its well-regulated.  If it's obvious, why isn't it more controversial?

 

There are many people (worldwide) who feel the need to control what others do (privately) based upon their own thoughts.  This is nothing new and goes back to the beginning of time.

 

It doesn't mean all of us have to buy into their thoughts or follow their rules.

 

As humans, we live in society and need to respect that we all have certain rights to life, property, etc, so some laws are needed in order to enforce those rules and see to it that those with the most power don't abuse everyone else.  We also need traffic rules and similar to ensure safer roads.  But no one has the right to do more than that (type of stuff) IMO.  As such, I ignore rules that don't fit those categories nor would I enforce them on anyone else.

 

I don't feel any country ought to keep "average" people out. Who says someone can live somewhere and someone else can't? Therefore, I don't care if someone is a "legal" immigrant or not.  If someone wants to be my neighbor, let them come!

 

Who says alcohol can be legal and other drugs are not?  DUI laws make sense - one often ends up killing someone other than themselves.  Using drugs in your own space bothering no one?  Who cares?  Do what you want to your own body.  There's enough info about it and if someone doesn't care, that's their option.

 

People can buy into all sorts of these types of laws if they wish, just don't count me in on it.  I truly don't understand the mentality of passing those types of laws.  

 

Surrogacy fits in with that IMO.  If you want a baby and someone else is willing to carry it (paid or not), that's between them and no one else - except when the person wanting the baby is a registered sex offender (or otherwise is likely to abuse the child) and not an average parent wanting offspring.

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For a surrogate who is compensated, (I wasn't) the compensation is due in increments throughout the process (for instance, x amount when meds begin, x amount when conception occurs, etc). So if the surrogate agrees to carry the child and then decides she has changed her mind and wants an abortion, any compensation after that point would no longer be owed since she has breached her contract. It is certainly within her right to have an abortion based solely on laws in the US regarding abortion, but I assume the parents could sue. The same would happen for the opposite--if the parents wanted an abortion, and the surrogate would not consent, that is her right; but she would no longer be compensated going forward IF in the contract phase she had agreed to abortion/selective reduction in certain cases, because again, she is breaching the contract. That being said, it is written quite explicitly in the contract wrt abortion/selective reduction and the various potential problems that could occur and what each party intends to do about those problems if they occur.

 

All that being said, I don't know what the rules and regulations are in other countries, and I'm sure that corruption can and has occurred in certain cases abroad as well as in the US.

Thanks for the explanation!

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There are many people (worldwide) who feel the need to control what others do (privately) based upon their own thoughts.  This is nothing new and goes back to the beginning of time.

 

It doesn't mean all of us have to buy into their thoughts or follow their rules.

 

As humans, we live in society and need to respect that we all have certain rights to life, property, etc, so some laws are needed in order to enforce those rules and see to it that those with the most power don't abuse everyone else.  We also need traffic rules and similar to ensure safer roads.  But no one has the right to do more than that (type of stuff) IMO.  As such, I ignore rules that don't fit those categories nor would I enforce them on anyone else.

 

I don't feel any country ought to keep "average" people out. Who says someone can live somewhere and someone else can't? Therefore, I don't care if someone is a "legal" immigrant or not.  If someone wants to be my neighbor, let them come!

 

Who says alcohol can be legal and other drugs are not?  DUI laws make sense - one often ends up killing someone other than themselves.  Using drugs in your own space bothering no one?  Who cares?  Do what you want to your own body.  There's enough info about it and if someone doesn't care, that's their option.

 

People can buy into all sorts of these types of laws if they wish, just don't count me in on it.  I truly don't understand the mentality of passing those types of laws.  

 

Surrogacy fits in with that IMO.  If you want a baby and someone else is willing to carry it (paid or not), that's between them and no one else - except when the person wanting the baby is a registered sex offender (or otherwise is likely to abuse the child) and not an average parent wanting offspring.

 

That's not an unreasonable opinion, but it isn't, I would say, obvious.

 

Based on what you've said, for example, I don't see why you would disallow indentured servitude.

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In the case of.... the woman's body in many ways becomes the property of another person for the purpose of incubating a tiny person, who is the product of the transaction.

 

 

Indeed. A most quintessential definition of marriage, according to many patriarchal cultures throughout history. 

 

The woman was purchased through a transaction (bride price), and she became the property of her husband, so that she could produce his heir(s). 

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Based on what you've said, for example, I don't see why you would disallow indentured servitude.

 

We have people working as servants now.  ;)  It's not really any different except that people may quit when they wish - a reasonable allowance for all to have.

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Yes, it solves a problem for the couple.  But so would buying a child.  That is wrong because even if things turn out well for the child and it is loved - which very often is the case in such instances - we consider that to be a breach of the intrinsic rights of the child.  Even if you will really love the child and give it a good life, maybe a better life, you can't buy it.  And we know there have been many abusive situations where children were given up because the system made it impossible or difficult for mothers to keep them.  Even when those situations were legal, and people really thought it was for the child's best interests, and the child was loved, we almost universally consider that to be an offense against the child.

 

In surrogacy, what we say is that any payment is not really for the child, it is for renting the womb. (which we may or may not think should be legal as well.)  But is that true, or is it an equivocation?  If I send to a widget company to sell me a widget, we could say that in fact I am just contracting the factory to produce something. What is the substantial difference there from just buying a widget?

 

Perhaps it will seem quaint in 50 years.  Or maybe we will look at it as we do the eugenics experiments of the early 20th century.  Since we can't say, I'm not sure it makes a difference.

 

Yes, but you must establish that surrogacy, fundamentally, is about buying a child.  And that involves distinguishing how that is always and fundamentally different from adoption, which also involves a great deal of money being passed between hands over the placement of a child.  You are making inferences, but you have not given any proofs.

 

You speak of the intrinsic rights of a child: yet adoption violates these as well as surrogacy.  There are many adoption cases where the mother gives up her child, not because she doesn't love the child; not because she is psychologically incapable of parenting; not because of anything but a lack of resources to provide.  Basically, the child's biological and social ties to its mother are severed because of a lack of money. 

 

As I clearly stated in my previous post, both adoption and surrogacy involve severing natural bonds.  One involves the social ties, and the other chemical/biological bonds established through gestation and birth.  (Actually, the latter is true for adoption, as well.)

 

What you really seem to be implying, but have not said, is that surrogacy is inherently immoral, whereas adoption is not.  If you want to support adoption, but reject surrogacy on principle, you need to establish why you believe surrogacy is on a different moral plane than adoption.  From my vantage point, both are morally equivalent in many ways.

 

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Yes, but you must establish that surrogacy, fundamentally, is about buying a child.  And that involves distinguishing how that is always and fundamentally different from adoption, which also involves a great deal of money being passed between hands over the placement of a child.  You are making inferences, but you have not given any proofs.

 

You speak of the intrinsic rights of a child: yet adoption violates these as well as surrogacy.  There are many adoption cases where the mother gives up her child, not because she doesn't love the child; not because she is psychologically incapable of parenting; not because of anything but a lack of resources to provide.  Basically, the child's biological and social ties to its mother are severed because of a lack of money. 

 

As I clearly stated in my previous post, both adoption and surrogacy involve severing natural bonds.  One involves the social ties, and the other chemical/biological bonds established through gestation and birth.  (Actually, the latter is true for adoption, as well.)

 

What you really seem to be implying, but have not said, is that surrogacy is inherently immoral, whereas adoption is not.  If you want to support adoption, but reject surrogacy on principle, you need to establish why you believe surrogacy is on a different moral plane than adoption.  From my vantage point, both are morally equivalent in many ways.

 

 

Adoption can be buying a child.  This is why international adoption is now so heavily regulated, and often discouraged outright.  When slavery was legal in the past, some people did buy children.

 

Mothers giving up children mainly due to lack of resources is also considered to be a potentially serious problem with adoption.  The best way to combat this seems to be through various sorts of social security, and fighting poverty more generally.  It is also a reason for so much care with international adoption, and is also a reason why vulnerable communities are often so sensitive about adoption.

 

The reason closed adoptions are now much less common, and in some places not allowed at all, is because of concerns over rights of children.

 

So I am not sure why you see these things as suggesting that surrogacy is not a problem - adoption does have significant problems that have been associated with it.

 

But it's (almost) universally acknowledged that adoption can in many cases be in the best interests of the child, and often results like loss of relationship to a biological parent are unavoidable in any case.  So - we try and mitigate the problems while still serving the needs and interests of the child.

 

In surrogacy, the potential problems of adoption are still there, but they are not unavoidable or the attempt to make the best of a bad situation.  It's a created situation, in order to provide the parents with a child.  The womb has become a factory for hire for the purpose of creating a person, for the good of the person doing the hiring. ( If selling your labour to a capitalist can be alienating, I'm not sure why this wouldn't be.) The biological link of the mother who carries the child is irrelevant, legally - the parents can maintain contact if they wish but there is no protection of the child's rights.  In the case of donated genetic material the same is true - the child has been severed, with no legal recourse, from his genetic heritage, not to mention cultural heritage. 

 

Even when there is no cash exchange in surrogacy, and the rules are not being bent through  "gifts," a child is still being produced as a gift, to be given away. 

 

So - how do these things weigh against the right of the parents to have a child they can call their own, legally? 

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We have people working as servants now.   ;)  It's not really any different except that people may quit when they wish - a reasonable allowance for all to have.

 

Indentured servants were allowed to leave if they paid off what they owed. 

 

So, what is involved if a surrogate mother quits?  Can she keep the child as her own?  Or get rid of it, if she pays back the money?  Even if the DNA comes from the people paying? 

 

Can the child, once it is born, quit?  If he or she belongs to himself, what rights does he have with regard to parentage?  What say does he get in being traded for money, or even gifted?

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All this stuff about owning and slavery and indentured servants.  Pregnancy is 9 months.  Not a lifetime.  And for the most part, the surrogate can go on doing whatever she wants while pregnant.  And there is choice involved up-front.

 

One hopes a grown woman would give it some serious thought before getting pregnant with someone else's baby.  We're not talking about stupid, helpless people here.  These are intelligent adults making a decision based on both economics and ethics.

 

We hear about the cases where things didn't work out well.  We don't hear about all the other times.

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In surrogacy, what we say is that any payment is not really for the child, it is for renting the womb. (which we may or may not think should be legal as well.)  But is that true, or is it an equivocation?  If I send to a widget company to sell me a widget, we could say that in fact I am just contracting the factory to produce something. What is the substantial difference there from just buying a widget?

 

 

It sounds like you and I have different ideas of what a "child" is.  To me, a child is a unique person in his/her own right, not something that some adults design, demand, deliver, and dispose of.  This is true regardless of whose womb the child develops in.

 

It almost seems like you are trying to dehumanize children born via surrogacy.  Fortunately that is not possible in real life.

 

I'm not sure how the benefit of becoming a parent via surrogacy weighs against the cost of the broken bond at birth.  I don't deny there is a broken bond, but unlike with adoption, there remains a biological bond.  Also, adoption can involve more traumatic disruptions and other issues that are reduced or avoided with surrogacy.  True, surrogacy involves creating a new person who didn't need to exist in the first place, but the same can be said of children born the regular way, many of whom will deal with much worse troubles than leaving the surrogate mother at birth.  If it's unethical to reproduce under non-ideal circumstances, then we are all pretty much unethical as were our parents.  Is it ethical for the human race to exist at all?

 

I question whether it is our place to weigh the pros and cons of someone else's decisions on how to grow their family.  It seems to involve a lot of assumptions about people we don't even know.  (I'm not talking about the Australian guy in the OP link, but all families that choose to be involved in surrogacy.)  It seems that those who can create their families the usual way don't get to judge the way childless or infertile people weigh their options.  I know what it feels like to face childlessness and less-than-convenient, costly, controversial options.  I know what it feels like to see my choices attacked by strangers as unethical.  I also know that when it comes down to it, I'm just a parent like every other parent, doing my best by my kids.  (Not my widgets, not my products, my kids.)

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It strikes me that judgment about choices like surrogacy, adoption, AI, etc. arise out of privilege.  The privilege of having been able to reproduce in a non-controversial way.

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No one is doing those women favors by condoning what amounts to leasing their bodies under the guise that it's providing better employment than other jobs they might resort to.

 

So you are saying that a poor person who chooses surrogacy is not intelligent enough to know what their best option is or are you implying they are always forced or tricked.

 

I can certainly understand the need for contracts and legal safeguards but I'm not sure what you mean by this statement.

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I don't know if it's intelligence it's just that we are often talking about quite young women. I know I had a romanticised idea of pregnancy and childbirth before my own. Not everyone does but many people do. There needs to be adequate counselling about all the risks, the long term potential effects on the body. All the stuff that can go wrong. Whose taking care of her if she has long term consequences. Does she still her reimbursed for her care if she miscarried?

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So, what is involved if a surrogate mother quits?  Can she keep the child as her own?  Or get rid of it, if she pays back the money?  Even if the DNA comes from the people paying? 

 

Can the child, once it is born, quit?  If he or she belongs to himself, what rights does he have with regard to parentage?  What say does he get in being traded for money, or even gifted?

 

For the first bit, if it is not our egg, sperm, or body, why do we get a say in it?  Who gave us that superior right?  What makes our answers the correct ones?

 

Why do these questions always need the same answer?  The questions/answers belong to those involved and the answers may differ pending their thoughts on the issues.

 

And for the second bit... what part of your birth lottery did you get a say in?  What part of any of our birth lotteries did any of us get a say in?  Did we decide to get parents who were saints/jerks?  Did we decide our primary schooling or activities or original faith or clothing style?

 

Kids get folks who raise them.  Most of the time those are parents.  It doesn't matter a hoot if those parents conceived and carried their child or not.  I have two cousins and a nephew who were adopted.  They are as equal as relatives to me as my "blood related" humans.  Actual birth stuff matters only for medical pedigree.

 

As kids grow and experience the world they get to make decisions.  Before long they get to make all their own decisions.  That's simply the way the world works.  One's birth method has nothing to do with it.

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Just because many children are not born with a winning "birth lottery" is no reason to ignore the misuse of entire generations or demographics.

 

If anything, knowing the inequity of the situation gives a tremendous burden upon those who do happen to "win" in the birth lottery to make sure that those less fortunate are assisted and that more have the chance to "win".

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Many adopted children grew up to fight hard to change adoption or even to claim it shouldn't exist except for rare situations.

 

It would not surprise me that one day my grandchildren's generation will see the same backlash about surrogacy.

 

And just like with adoption, the parents/society saying, "But we did it bc we loved and wanted them!", will not be good enough.

 

Bc once a baby enters the picture, it is not about the parents. It's about the child.

 

Why do we get a say?

 

Bc we all have an interest in what we want our society to be.

Bc we are all interested in doing the right thing by the next generation.

Bc right and wrong does exist.

Bc we want our society to encourage the right and to discourage, or at least not support, the wrong.

This effort is very much the entire point of an ethics discussion.

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I don't know if it's intelligence it's just that we are often talking about quite young women. I know I had a romanticised idea of pregnancy and childbirth before my own. Not everyone does but many people do. There needs to be adequate counselling about all the risks, the long term potential effects on the body. All the stuff that can go wrong. Whose taking care of her if she has long term consequences. Does she still her reimbursed for her care if she miscarried?

I doubt that someone struggling to survive has the same assumptions as a pampered westerner. Please don't take offence at that it is just that western children are sheltered and cared for and have a much easier life than those young women living on the edge of survival. They have probably seen tougher circumstances. They know that it isn't easy to survive by one self with a child. They also are taking a risk. A big risk with a big pay off. It may not sound like a big payoff to someone living in first world nations but it is to them. They certainly are likely to be tricked though and misunderstand some things.

 

It does seem like rich people, by that I mean pretty much everyone in first world countries, should be spending more energy trying to give them other better opportunities or getting them some kind of counsel rather than just taking away what might be their best option.

 

It is sad and frustrating that they are stuck in these situations but we must be honest with ourselves about what it is really like in their shoes. If we take away one opportunity without providing another than we may very well be making their lives worse. We cannot assume there are better options and that we know what is best for them when we are ignorant of all that they face in life.

 

I for one am very ignorant about 7 billion people's lives. Therefore I tread lightly on sweeping policies but do my very best to help individuals.

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So you are saying that a poor person who chooses surrogacy is not intelligent enough to know what their best option is or are you implying they are always forced or tricked.

 

I can certainly understand the need for contracts and legal safeguards but I'm not sure what you mean by this statement.

I'm saying that any person whose "best" option is selling their body or body parts is a person who we cannot legitimately claim has any genuine options, best or otherwise.

 

And if we accept that is okay, or delude ourselves that it makes it some kind of good economics/Samaritan effort to perpetuate or exploit that situation - then humanity is going backwards as a society in achieving any so-called equality or justice.

 

And I think that is wrong.

 

And because in many ways I have won the birth lottery comparatively speaking, I have an obligation to speak out against this wrong and do what little I can to discourage it.

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Many adopted children grew up to fight hard to change adoption or even to claim it shouldn't exist except for rare situations.

 

It would not surprise me that one day my grandchildren's generation will see the same backlash about surrogacy.

 

And just like with adoption, the parents/society saying, "But we did it bc we loved and wanted them!", will not be good enough.

 

Bc once a baby enters the picture, it is not about the parents. It's about the child.

 

Why do we get a say?

 

Bc we all have an interest in what we want our society to be.

Bc we are all interested in doing the right thing by the next generation.

Bc right and wrong does exist.

Bc we want our society to encourage the right and to discourage, or at least not support, the wrong.

This effort is very much the entire point of an ethics discussion.

 

OK then I am sure you will agree that it is right for those of us with few or no kids to have a say in whether other people should be allowed to have many more kids.  And we who send our kids to B&M school should have a say in what you teach your kids for the 18 years that you have control over them.  We have all kids' best interests in mind, after all.

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And because in many ways I have won the birth lottery comparatively speaking, I have an obligation to speak out against this wrong and do what little I can to discourage it.

 

Wait, so because you have a lot of biological children, you have an obligation to make sure people who have difficulty having children are limited in their choices?

 

Is that because you think you must be a better person since obviously you were given fertility others were not?

 

Kuz if we were equals, we would be able to figure out what's right and wrong without you, wouldn't we?

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There is research to prove that kids brought up in larger families don't do as well on average.  Maybe there should be laws about this.

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I was not referring to birth lottery as in how many children I have.

 

Anyone who paid attention to the convo would be able to easily comprehend I was referring to being born in a first world country and a life where I have never had to think that selling my body/parts was my "best" option to better my life.

 

Therefore I can only presume you were being purposely obtuse in your interpretation.

 

As for the rest, look at you slipping face first down that slope on that other hill over there in the far distance from this topic. I can only conclude it's bc you accept the lack of ethics in surrogacy.

 

So far your best supportive argument is that:

 

Well it's not like those people could do better for themselves if we didn't so generously give them this option.

 

And

 

But if we don't allow surrogacy - we're just one step away from outlawing homeschooling and mandating birth control for everyone! Quick grab your tinfoil!

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All this stuff about owning and slavery and indentured servants.  Pregnancy is 9 months.  Not a lifetime.  And for the most part, the surrogate can go on doing whatever she wants while pregnant.  And there is choice involved up-front.

 

One hopes a grown woman would give it some serious thought before getting pregnant with someone else's baby.  We're not talking about stupid, helpless people here.  These are intelligent adults making a decision based on both economics and ethics.

 

We hear about the cases where things didn't work out well.  We don't hear about all the other times.

 

 

It sounds like you and I have different ideas of what a "child" is.  To me, a child is a unique person in his/her own right, not something that some adults design, demand, deliver, and dispose of.  This is true regardless of whose womb the child develops in.

 

It almost seems like you are trying to dehumanize children born via surrogacy.  Fortunately that is not possible in real life.

 

I'm not sure how the benefit of becoming a parent via surrogacy weighs against the cost of the broken bond at birth.  I don't deny there is a broken bond, but unlike with adoption, there remains a biological bond.  Also, adoption can involve more traumatic disruptions and other issues that are reduced or avoided with surrogacy.  True, surrogacy involves creating a new person who didn't need to exist in the first place, but the same can be said of children born the regular way, many of whom will deal with much worse troubles than leaving the surrogate mother at birth.  If it's unethical to reproduce under non-ideal circumstances, then we are all pretty much unethical as were our parents.  Is it ethical for the human race to exist at all?

 

I question whether it is our place to weigh the pros and cons of someone else's decisions on how to grow their family.  It seems to involve a lot of assumptions about people we don't even know.  (I'm not talking about the Australian guy in the OP link, but all families that choose to be involved in surrogacy.)  It seems that those who can create their families the usual way don't get to judge the way childless or infertile people weigh their options.  I know what it feels like to face childlessness and less-than-convenient, costly, controversial options.  I know what it feels like to see my choices attacked by strangers as unethical.  I also know that when it comes down to it, I'm just a parent like every other parent, doing my best by my kids.  (Not my widgets, not my products, my kids.)

 

The reason to mention things like slavery is to point out that we do believe, as a society, that there are limits to what we are allowed to decide, even about our own bodies.  The argument that its private so it should be allowed doesn't stand up to all of the other rules we have around practices that are comparable in some way.  We are not allowed to sell ourselves as indentured servants.  We are not allowed to sell our organs.  In some places prostitution is illegal for similar reasons.  IN many places paying a surrogate is illegal.  IN many places they will not pay for donating blood.

 

The point being, we very often think there are good reasons for these kinds of restrictions.  Some of them are practical, while others are more about how we understand human dignity, and others are about the potential for abuse or exploitation. 

 

I agree that we cannot actually take away people's humanity. But I would not agree that we cannot, though our actions or our cultural practices, objectify people.  Isn't that why we don't allow slavery?  Slaves are in fact human beings, and even when they are slaves, if we find ourselves in a culture like that, we should treat them as human beings.  But a system like that is going to have a very strong tendency to give rise to situations where human beings are treated as objects, and arguably is intrinsically objectifying.  Both good reasons to try and change those systems if we possibly can - they perpetuate an untruth about human nature, and one that will shape people's understanding of how they are meant to relate to others.

 

I would say that there is a parallel in surrogacy - we are taking a process that is deeply and profoundly about creating a human being, and commercializing it, even commodifying it.  It doesn't, of course, change children into commodities, but it can treat them as commodities, and it can shape the way people think about children.  It is not uncommon to hear people argue that they have, for example, the right to have a child.  What does that even mean, really?  Is it much different than talking about the right to have a wife?  I think there are a few different cultural forces at work now that are tending to push people into thinking that way (the greater ability to control pregnancy for example, while positive in many ways, can also give people a sense that it is mainly a decision they choose to care for a child, or not,)  and so it is something we need to be really careful about.

 

A lot of people would say it is unethical to purposefully become pregnant if we know we cannot give a child, one way or another, the necessities of life, its basic rights.  Which is one of the reasons we have adoption, as well as things like social services - the fact is that people make mistakes about this, and often children arrive without ever having been planned for.  Its a biological reality, and so its something that really ought to go beyond just the parents to the community.  UNfortunatly we sometimes fail at this, but as a species I think we hope to increasingly ensure that all children will have their human rights protected, and their physical and psychological needs fulfilled (which isn't quite the same as ideal, I think.)   Adoption, I would argue, is meant to work as a way to accomplish it, while surrogacy, especially for money, tends to compromise it.

 

I don't buy the "we don't get to decide for others" thing.  We decide all kinds of things for others, and while its possible for it to overstep, it isn't always the case.  There are many things that people might think were good for their family which we tell them are not, and enforce legally.  IN any case, it isn't like everyone who has struggled with fertility or is unable to have biological children in the regular way is pro-surrogacy.

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I'm saying that any person whose "best" option is selling their body or body parts is a person who we cannot legitimately claim has any genuine options, best or otherwise.

 

And if we accept that is okay, or delude ourselves that it makes it some kind of good economics/Samaritan effort to perpetuate or exploit that situation - then humanity is going backwards as a society in achieving any so-called equality or justice.

 

And I think that is wrong.

 

And because in many ways I have won the birth lottery comparatively speaking, I have an obligation to speak out against this wrong and do what little I can to discourage it.

I would love to see organizations and systems that would give them better options but I cannot single handedly do so. I try to support things I see as doing good.

 

You seem to argue though that it is your duty not just to give the better options but to take away options they have because those options aren't good enough for you. Whether they want them or not is irrelevant because obviously your opinion is more important regardless of the fact that they are the ones who have to live with the decision and suffer the consequences thereof while you sit in your comfy chair, with your full belly, feeling righteous.

 

I'm reminded of a quote by CS Lewis "“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

 

The context of the quote is different but I believe the sentiment applies.

 

I was blessed with children nor do I feel the need to be a surrogate for monies sake so why you think I would feel a need to justify myself is beyond me. I know I won the birth lottery, the marriage lottery, and the fertility lottery and I don't deserve any of them. I often ask, "Why me?". But I take that as I should help others by giving to them not judging them and piling rules on them from my easy chair.

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Sigh. I tried to multi quote, but there ended up being so many posts I wanted to reply to that I decided against it. It would make my post to long to get through. I wanted to ignore this thread for the most part, but some of the things being said....as a former surrogate, I feel like I have to reply.

 

First, surrogates are not paid to hand over a child. Surrogacy is not the selling of a product. How can you sell something that is not yours to begin with? The embryo itself belongs to the intended parents (those hiring the surrogate). Just as when you naturally conceive your child you are its' parent from conception, so the intended parents are the parents of the embryo from conception (conception just happened in a Petri dish and not in a natural way).

 

Second, surrogacy is not renting the womb. Compensation is not given for the use of the woman's womb, but for the service she is providing to the couple. Just like when you go to the doctor and they perform a surgery for you, the surrogate is doing what an infertile couple doing IVF to get pregnant would normally do. She is going to appointments, taking medication, and also giving birth. She is eating right and being careful to keep the baby safe and as healthy as possible. She is doing what the intended mom would so desperately love to do herself, but can't. Saying it is renting the womb is incredibly oversimplified and doesn't ring true.

 

Thirdly, all kinds of parents treat their children as products, not just parents who require a surrogate to have a biological child. Whether your child is a product really depends on your belief system, not on your method of having children. I refuse to further entertain that notion as it has no real basis, IMO.

 

Re: surrogacy solving a problem vs. adoption solving a problem. I say this as an adoptive mom and as a surrogate. I would not choose surrogacy. Even if I was infertile and couldn't carry my own. I would and did choose adoption. But surrogacy fills a hole for parents who desperately want a biological child. There is an incredible bond that exists biologically that just doesn't exist in the same way in adoption. It doesn't matter if you carried the child, biologically they came from you. And that is very meaningful to some people. So it does solve a problem for some.

 

And to say, "well, what problem does it solve for the child, since he or she doesn't yet exist?" Well, the children brought into the world via surrogacy are likely to be happy to have a chance to experience life. I know the moms I carried for cannot imagine life without their children. Just as any mom cannot imagine life without their children. Why does something have to solve a problem to be worthy of doing? Does having a baby naturally solve a problem for the child conceived?

 

Re: severed bonds. There is a tremendous amount of time and thinking that goes into actually getting to the stage where a surrogate is pregnant. As a surrogate, you go into it knowing you are carrying and caring for someone else's child. So the maternal bond is not present. The intended parents go into it knowing they are waiting to meet their child. The parental bond is there right away. One of my intended moms burst out in tears at the first ultrasound. When I had some spotting, she was crushed. When she heard the heartbeats and felt the kicks it was as if she herself was pregnant. She felt that close to her babies. The other mom I worked with would come over and compare home pregnancy tests with me to see if they were positive. She induced lactation and breastfed. Her son latched like a champ moments after birth, and together (with me pumping and her breastfeeding) we kept him nourished. It's a beautiful thing. A surrogate only adds more people to love the child and care for it. The babies weren't ripped from me, they were cared for for nine months and then they went to their rightful homes.

 

I adopted one of my children from foster care. She was taken at birth from her birth mom who was addicted to crack cocaine. Her birth mother grieved because she wasn't prepared for that. She is likely still grieving today, four years later. For the first two years, I didn't know whether I would get to keep this child who I fiercely loved and protected. Adoption is hard. It solves a problem for the child, but it is rife with problems itself. Adopted children struggle to attach. They can feel like their birth family didn't want them. Not so with surrogacy. Their birth family wanted them with all their hearts and would do ANY thing to bring them home. The surrogate gets to play a part in that. The surrogate is not giving up "her" child. The child isn't hers to begin with.

 

Re: abortion of an unhealthy fetus. I hate abortion. Doesn't matter if it's parents via IVF or via natural conception. Does it make intended parents inherently bad people if they choose it? Not if that is part of their worldview. They are doing what their worldview tells them to (just as we all do). There are many, many people who have nothing to do with surrogacy who are choosing abortion due to health of the fetus. I consider that an entirely different topic unrelated to surrogacy.

 

Re: surrogacy in other countries. That's not a road I would go down. I firmly believe surrogacy needs regulations to protect everyone involved. The case in the OP is yucky. A registered child sex offender should not be parent, IMO. But this thread has gone from, ew, yucky news story to surrogacy is bad/unethical/exploitation. And that's really not a fact. It's an opinion. Surrogates can be gullible/unintelligent/young/exploited, intended parents can be lied to/tricked/heartbroken/cheated and so can the rest of us. That's life. Yes it needs regulated, but in and of itself, no I don't think it's wrong across the board. That's my long two cents as someone whose actually been a part of this world. Carry on.

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I think altruistic surrogacy, when the surrogate is in a somewhat comparable position of power with the intended parents, is a whole lot different from international commercial surrogacy as it stands today! Come on.

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I would love to see organizations and systems that would give them better options but I cannot single handedly do so. I try to support things I see as doing good.

 

You seem to argue though that it is your duty not just to give the better options but to take away options they have because those options aren't good enough for you. Whether they want them or not is irrelevant because obviously your opinion is more important regardless of the fact that they are the ones who have to live with the decision and suffer the consequences thereof while you sit in your comfy chair, with your full belly, feeling righteous.

Of course I'm for giving them what I view as healthy humanity and society respecting options to living and bettering themselves.

 

And yes, I am also for not giving them things that are not that.

 

Just like I am both for educating children and not for allowing them to work in sweat shops under the guise of doing "those" unlucky people a favor.

 

And I do so without feeling the slightest bit of guilt about it.

 

If that makes me a well-intentioned tyrant, then I'm okay with it. I don't think it does though.

 

I often ask, "Why me?". But I take that as I should help others by giving to them not judging them and piling rules on them from my easy chair.

Again, giving good and removing the not good is not an either or scenario most of the time. That's usually a false paradigm.

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There is research to prove that kids brought up in larger families don't do as well on average. Maybe there should be laws about this.

Wow. This is really nasty.

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I think altruistic surrogacy, when the surrogate is in a somewhat comparable position of power with the intended parents, is a whole lot different from international commercial surrogacy as it stands today! Come on.

No kidding.

 

When someone of the same ethnicity, income, and zipcode is being the surrogate, I *might* see it as altruistic, though I'd likely still have qualms about surrogacy for the same reasons as I do with IVF.

 

But how often the surrogate is none of those things seems to negate claims of altruism and rather leaves little doubt of the abundant exploitation that occurs.

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Wow. This is really nasty.

Not when read in context. It was said in counterpoint to the supposition that some people feel it is their moral duty to deny the option of surrogacy, based upon the fact that sometimes this results in suboptimal results for the children conceived.

 

(Who, I'm assuming, should apparently prefer not having been born to being conceived via surrogacy, due to the infringement of their intrinsic rights to only be born in into an approved family structure, and via the approved methods of coitus.)

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Sigh. I tried to multi quote, but there ended up being so many posts I wanted to reply to that I decided against it. It would make my post to long to get through. I wanted to ignore this thread for the most part, but some of the things being said....as a former surrogate, I feel like I have to reply.

 

First, surrogates are not paid to hand over a child. Surrogacy is not the selling of a product. How can you sell something that is not yours to begin with? The embryo itself belongs to the intended parents (those hiring the surrogate). Just as when you naturally conceive your child you are its' parent from conception, so the intended parents are the parents of the embryo from conception (conception just happened in a Petri dish and not in a natural way).

 

Second, surrogacy is not renting the womb. Compensation is not given for the use of the woman's womb, but for the service she is providing to the couple. Just like when you go to the doctor and they perform a surgery for you, the surrogate is doing what an infertile couple doing IVF to get pregnant would normally do. She is going to appointments, taking medication, and also giving birth. She is eating right and being careful to keep the baby safe and as healthy as possible. She is doing what the intended mom would so desperately love to do herself, but can't. Saying it is renting the womb is incredibly oversimplified and doesn't ring true.

 

Thirdly, all kinds of parents treat their children as products, not just parents who require a surrogate to have a biological child. Whether your child is a product really depends on your belief system, not on your method of having children. I refuse to further entertain that notion as it has no real basis, IMO.

 

Re: surrogacy solving a problem vs. adoption solving a problem. I say this as an adoptive mom and as a surrogate. I would not choose surrogacy. Even if I was infertile and couldn't carry my own. I would and did choose adoption. But surrogacy fills a hole for parents who desperately want a biological child. There is an incredible bond that exists biologically that just doesn't exist in the same way in adoption. It doesn't matter if you carried the child, biologically they came from you. And that is very meaningful to some people. So it does solve a problem for some.

 

And to say, "well, what problem does it solve for the child, since he or she doesn't yet exist?" Well, the children brought into the world via surrogacy are likely to be happy to have a chance to experience life. I know the moms I carried for cannot imagine life without their children. Just as any mom cannot imagine life without their children. Why does something have to solve a problem to be worthy of doing? Does having a baby naturally solve a problem for the child conceived?

 

Re: severed bonds. There is a tremendous amount of time and thinking that goes into actually getting to the stage where a surrogate is pregnant. As a surrogate, you go into it knowing you are carrying and caring for someone else's child. So the maternal bond is not present. The intended parents go into it knowing they are waiting to meet their child. The parental bond is there right away. One of my intended moms burst out in tears at the first ultrasound. When I had some spotting, she was crushed. When she heard the heartbeats and felt the kicks it was as if she herself was pregnant. She felt that close to her babies. The other mom I worked with would come over and compare home pregnancy tests with me to see if they were positive. She induced lactation and breastfed. Her son latched like a champ moments after birth, and together (with me pumping and her breastfeeding) we kept him nourished. It's a beautiful thing. A surrogate only adds more people to love the child and care for it. The babies weren't ripped from me, they were cared for for nine months and then they went to their rightful homes.

 

I adopted one of my children from foster care. She was taken at birth from her birth mom who was addicted to crack cocaine. Her birth mother grieved because she wasn't prepared for that. She is likely still grieving today, four years later. For the first two years, I didn't know whether I would get to keep this child who I fiercely loved and protected. Adoption is hard. It solves a problem for the child, but it is rife with problems itself. Adopted children struggle to attach. They can feel like their birth family didn't want them. Not so with surrogacy. Their birth family wanted them with all their hearts and would do ANY thing to bring them home. The surrogate gets to play a part in that. The surrogate is not giving up "her" child. The child isn't hers to begin with.

 

Re: abortion of an unhealthy fetus. I hate abortion. Doesn't matter if it's parents via IVF or via natural conception. Does it make intended parents inherently bad people if they choose it? Not if that is part of their worldview. They are doing what their worldview tells them to (just as we all do). There are many, many people who have nothing to do with surrogacy who are choosing abortion due to health of the fetus. I consider that an entirely different topic unrelated to surrogacy.

 

Re: surrogacy in other countries. That's not a road I would go down. I firmly believe surrogacy needs regulations to protect everyone involved. The case in the OP is yucky. A registered child sex offender should not be parent, IMO. But this thread has gone from, ew, yucky news story to surrogacy is bad/unethical/exploitation. And that's really not a fact. It's an opinion. Surrogates can be gullible/unintelligent/young/exploited, intended parents can be lied to/tricked/heartbroken/cheated and so can the rest of us. That's life. Yes it needs regulated, but in and of itself, no I don't think it's wrong across the board. That's my long two cents as someone whose actually been a part of this world. Carry on.

I don't have a problem at all with what you did. I think it's an amazing gift of love.

 

It's the international scenario where people are paid that really upsets me. Obviously the Thai government sees it as a bad thing because after this case they far more heavily regulated it.

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Not when read in context. It was said in counterpoint to the supposition that some people feel it is their moral duty to deny the option of surrogacy, based upon the fact that sometimes this results in suboptimal results for the children conceived.

 

(Who, I'm assuming, should apparently prefer not having been born to being conceived via surrogacy, due to the infringement of their intrinsic rights to only be born in into an approved family structure, and via the approved methods of coitus.)

Adopted children are usually still glad to be alive, but they can still voice that the situation they were born into should be avoided so that other children don't have to be adopted.

 

Children without a father/mother in their lives are usually still glad to be alive, but they often still voice deep emotion over not having their parent in their lives and are want society to encourage things that don't lead to that outcome.

 

Children who are abused are often still happy to be alive. One hopes at some point anyways. And yet they too speak out about how they wish they had not been born into that environment.

 

Children born into poverty are still glad to be alive even though they likely advocate for better conditions for future children.

 

Acknowledging there are situations that we know have historically and psychologically and sociologically been better for children to be born into is not at all saying that children born not in those circumstances would be better off dead.

 

At one time adoption was viewed very differently bc we did not know what we know now. That doesn't mean those adoptive parents didn't or don't love their children. (Though we know historically it was often used as legalized human trafficking, though in many cases it could be argued the adoptive parents didn't comprehend that at the time.)

 

I strongly suspect that surrogacy will have the same reckoning.

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At one time adoption was viewed very differently bc we did not know what we know now. That doesn't mean those adoptive parents didn't or don't love their children. (Though we know historically it was often used as legalized human trafficking, though in many cases it could be argued the adoptive parents didn't comprehend that at the time.)

 

I strongly suspect that surrogacy will have the same reckoning.

 

I'm just following this thread without much to contribute, but what do you mean by the bolded?  That we once viewed adoption as a good thing and now we know better?  All of the adoptions I have ever seen have taken children from a bad situation to a better one, so I'm confused if new research is saying otherwise.

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I'm just following this thread without much to contribute, but what do you mean by the bolded? That we once viewed adoption as a good thing and now we know better? All of the adoptions I have ever seen have taken children from a bad situation to a better one, so I'm confused if new research is saying otherwise.

Oh my. That's a huge thread unto itself.

 

I'm not being difficult. It really is a huge ethical debate right now.

 

And yes, part of that debate is bringing into question whether adoption is a good thing.

 

But really. I think that question would need another thread.

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http://www.radiolab.org/story/birthstory/

 

I just listened to this podcast from radiolab last week. The reporters really want to find out the surrogate's side or the story, and they manage to find a few women to talk to at the end.

 

I'm a huge radiolab fan, and I immediately thought of this episode when I saw the thread title. Everyone should listen to this episode because everyone should be listening to radiolab.

 

Why would surrogacy be deemed immoral? Because it is yucky? That doesn't seem like a legally important distinction to me. We allow people to make a living with nearly any other part of their bodies--voice, hands, brain, legs. Why not womb? (I assume we are talking cases in which the surrogate is not a biological parent.)

 

 

 

 

I also am not buying into the whole "poor women are exploited by surrogacy" argument in the absence of evidence other than that the surrogate is less rich than the bio parents.

The radiolab episode really puts the issues into perspective so much better than I could. Essentially, women in third world countries are being moved across borders to be surrogates for about $3000. And, they get much less if a live birth doesn't occur. $3000 is enough money to make a difference in their lives, but pregnancy is inherently risky. So, you are offering someone $3000 to risk their life to carry your child. It may help both of you (you get a baby, they get money), but the underlying question of "is this moral" remains.

 

I think it borders on human trafficking.

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Again, giving good and removing the not good is not an either or scenario most of the time. That's usually a false paradigm.

 

Yes, but you are not talking about getting rid of "bad" stuff whatever that is. It is very subjective whatever the case. You are talking about taking away an opportunity perhaps an only opportunity to feed ones children or get basic necessities. It is more akin to taking the food out of the mouths of those in poverty, which in my opinion, is downright evil. You give in place of that a vision of something that doesn't exist.  Provide that something else and they will flee the lesser paying jobs. Don't take away the only job they have. 

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Not when read in context. It was said in counterpoint to the supposition that some people feel it is their moral duty to deny the option of surrogacy, based upon the fact that sometimes this results in suboptimal results for the children conceived.

 

(Who, I'm assuming, should apparently prefer not having been born to being conceived via surrogacy, due to the infringement of their intrinsic rights to only be born in into an approved family structure, and via the approved methods of coitus.)

 

No one has argued either of these things.  Straw men aren't helpful to the discussion.

 

 

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Yes, but you are not talking about getting rid of "bad" stuff whatever that is. It is very subjective whatever the case. You are talking about taking away an opportunity perhaps an only opportunity to feed ones children or get basic necessities. It is more akin to taking the food out of the mouths of those in poverty, which in my opinion, is downright evil. You give in place of that a vision of something that doesn't exist. Provide that something else and they will flee the lesser paying jobs. Don't take away the only job they have.

Except that various stories from these women that pop up from time to time show it can be bad stuff. That it often doesn't work out how they expect.

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People driving in the U.S.  are killed and paralyzed and lose entire families from driving cars but we recognize the benefits also. I'm afraid we only hear the bad because that seems to be what draws readers attention. Because we don't realize the benefits we are blind to them. 

 

  I'm all for setting up organizations that would help these women make decisions and help with legal issues that they can choose to use but to jump to the "something must be done" attitude without knowing the extent of who has benefited is presumptuous.  I doubt that anyone here knows the extent of the benefits or harms that come from these circumstances. A local group who is more involved might have possible helps for their neighborhood but cultural traditions, laws, and other things will be different for different locals so even then I think the regulation and such should be limited to areas where the knowledge of  the area is in depth.  

 

It was mentioned by a previous poster that this goes along with child labor, etc but there is not always a means to providing school all day and if a family is malnourished and really needs extra funds who am I to command that they don't do what is in their best interest?  Do children get hurt? Is it sad? Do I wish they could have a childhood more like my childrens'? Of course, yes to all these but I won't have the audacity to tell others what they must give up to avoid any risk of any bad thing happening when I'm not in their shoes. 

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