Surrogacy = Human Trafficking?

ChelseaEgg Harvesting, IVF, Reproductive Technology, Sperm Donation, SurrogacyLeave a Comment

inda-surrogacy2.jpgChristopher White from the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network has a great article in Forbe’s. In it he makes the case that surrogate parenthood for money is a form of human trafficking.

He also recently co-authored a piece for the National Review with Jennifer Lahl on Why Gestational Surrogacy is Wrong.

They’re both thoughtful pieces for a society that desperately needs to think.

We need to take our blinders off. To look past the feel-good narratives and think logically about what is really going on here and where it is taking us.

I don’t deny that many people who chose to use these technologies do so after much heartfelt deliberation and that they love and care for the children they create. But that doesn’t change the reality of the situation.

Quoting Jessica Kern, a woman conceived and born via anonymous egg donation and surrogacy:

“As much as I do believe that surrogacy can come from a compassionate place… as a product of surrogacy, it’s hard not to be aware of the fact that there is a price tag. There is an awareness that, you know, in essence, you were bought by the family that you grew up with. You are a product at the end of the day.”

What makes all of this even worse is that, when these children finally start seeking out their biological heritage and questioning the way they were conceived, many of them are told to “get over it”. They wouldn’t be alive without this technology, so they should really be thankful for it.

“If that were true, then anyone who is the product of a rape would have to endorse rape,” said Barry Stevens, one of 500-1,000 half-siblings fathered by a fertility clinic owner in the U.K. “It’s quite possible to be grateful for your life and question aspects of your conception.”

Some will argue that IVF and surrogacy are just like adoption, where money also changes hands. But, Alana Newman, donor conceived, explains why that is far from the case. Adoption is all about what’s in the best interest of the child, whereas third party reproduction is about serving the best interests of adults.

And that’s really the problem here. Most of the consideration within surrogacy is towards the adults and what they want and what they’re looking for, not what’s in the best interest of the children. It’s time we give these people a fair hearing.

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