“Commercial Surrogacy” by Kaeley Triller Harms

Abdomen of a pregnant woman, Author Canwest News Service, Source https://article.wn.com/view/2009/03/19/Vitamin_B12_deficiency_linked_to_birth_defects/, (PD)

The state of Washington legalized commercial surrogacy in 2018, despite opposition by children’s rights advocates [1].  A list of the states which allow surrogacy in one form or another can be found at https://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/us-surrogacy-law-map/.bi .

“Last year I sat in stunned silence at a WA State Senate hearing concerning the matter of commercial surrogacy.  The proposed bill contained 55 pages of legislative text full of demands and bloviations about alleged parental rights.  Its goal was to legalize commercial surrogacy without limit through the entire state.

I listened as concerned citizens pointed out the many dangerous loopholes in the bill and requested amendments that would safeguard both the women and children from potential abuse, but every request was categorically shot down as unnecessary.

There were no limits whatsoever to prevent abuse:

  • No required background checks for prospective parents (Convicted pedophiles could commission children.)
  • No limit to the number of children any given person could order. (One millionaire from Japan has fathered at least 13 children via surrogacy.  His expressed goal is to father at least 1000 over time)
  • No limit to the amount of compensation any given surrogate can receive (Hello, money-hungry human traffickers)
  • No requirements for surrogates to be WA State residents (Again, traffickers?)
  • No language preventing mentally disabled women from being exploited for commercial gain

In all 55 pages of text, there was but one single solitary reference to the needs of the child.  The rest was emotionally manipulative language revealing a deep seated sense of entitlement and a devil-may-care attitude toward the myriad ethical implications on the people most greatly affected by surrogacy- the women and children.”

“Make no mistake:  This is the legalized buying and selling of humans.  The European Parliament in Brussels concluded that ‘surrogacy undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity.’  Even impoverished nations like India have recently banned commercial surrogacy (a $3.3 billion dollar annual revenue source) outright.  If a poor country is willing to sacrifice $3.3 billion a year to protect women from the exploitation of commercial surrogacy, what’s our excuse?

One of the things that appeals to me most about first wave feminism is the dogged commitment to empowering women to be seen and treated as more than sex objects or breeders.  Now, in the name of compassion, we are going 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  In the last month alone, I’ve seen countless headlines referring to surrogate mothers as ‘carriers,’ ‘a greenhouse for my seed,’ and ‘incubators.’  I literally saw one gay man write, ‘What do I need women for – until I want to have kids?’

Commercial surrogacy is dehumanizing enough in theory and even more so in practice; Anyone else notice that the people hiring surrogates are the rich and privileged or that the women they’re hiring are usually poor and desperate for money?  And don’t even get me started on the appallingly shallow requirements for the egg donors:  supermodel looks, high IQs, low BMIs, no history of mental health issues.  Third party reproductive efforts are increasingly normalizing a build-a-baby culture that encourages people to commission designer babies in much the same way they would commission designer handbags – through a catalog of handpicked traits and superficial standards aimed at achieving a superior product.  Gee, why does this feel a bit reminiscent of Mengele?

And while the egg donors and surrogates are promised generous compensation for their efforts, no one ever seems to warn them of the often exorbitant costs of their labors that can sometimes include permanent sterility and even death.  They don’t talk about the countless groups of donor-conceived adults who are speaking out in defense of the rights that were stripped from them as children.

There will be people reading this who feel tremendous rage at the things I’m saying, people who are amazing parents and grandparents of children conceived through surrogacy, people whose own painful experiences with infertility have led them to consider surrogacy as an option, good, kind, loving people whose lives have been transformed by the unspeakable joy of children they would not otherwise know and love.  I’m sorry for any pain this causes any of you to experience.  Your children, grandchildren, and loved ones are priceless, valuable, and important.  Their lives matter, and I’m guessing that most of you are excellent influences on their lives.  This post is not personal; it’s an objective assessment of the dangers, pitfalls, and ethical dilemmas inherent in the surrogacy process.

It’s a brutal but important truth:  No one is entitled to other peoples’ bodies. Parenthood is a privilege, not a right.  Babies should never be for sale. Women’s bodies should never be for rent.” (Emphasis added.)

[1]   World, “Washington state OKs commercial surrogacy” by Kiley Crossland, 3/9/18, https://world.wng.org/content/washington_state_oks_commercial_surrogacy.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

27 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Community, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Sexual Abuse

27 responses to ““Commercial Surrogacy” by Kaeley Triller Harms

  1. Thank you for this. You brought some issues out into the light that I was unaware of. I know someone who is considering surrogacy, to avoid having a child with the same severe disability that her brother was born with. I will share this article with her.

  2. Ideas have consequences. The idea that we are in charge might eventually lead God to leave us in charge. The greatest danger for an individual (and a country) lies in that God will give us what we have been asking for, namely that He would leave us to our earthly wisdom and wickedness. “Oh God, in your wrath, remember mercy.”

    • We have surely provoked Him enough.

    • Allan Halton

      “The greatest danger for an individual (and a country) lies in that God will give us what we have been asking for, namely that He would leave us to our earthly wisdom and wickedness.”
      That is a very frightening prospect.

      • One of the most frightening Scriptures to me is Mark 5:16-17. After seeing a demon possessed man made whole, a bunch of people ask Jesus to leave. He does. But, in His mercy, He tells the healed man (who desires nothing more to leave with Him) to stay behind and witness.

        The Lord will not stay uninvited nor force Himself upon anyone. But, in His mercy He asks those who have experienced His loving kindness to speak of Him. “Lord, make your Church willing to share Christ!”

      • Well said, Heidi. The church must take a stand against such measures. And individual Christians must step forward, if unwanted children are to have a home.

  3. Commercial parent; could there ever be a child who would select such?

  4. Another timely and informative post Anna. I’ll forgo my usual long-winded responses by simply saying this: what does it say about the human race that we have such little regard for our children that we not only abort them, but now we sell them like chattel?

  5. Anna, with all that is going on in the world today regarding the scope of health, I think it’s safe to say the powers to be have become gods. Look where it’s put us- on the same stage with death. The real God help us. Thank you for all your posts- it gives us hope. Blessings, my friend.

    • Thank you for sharing your concerns, Lance, and for thinking so highly of me. I, too, feel the darkness rising. But we have eternal hope in Christ. I cling to that. Blessings, my friend.

  6. I am appalled…and over here in New Zealand we are extending the right to abortion…

  7. Thank you Anna for such an informative post. I agree with you 100% that with so many children in need of adoption, why would anyone want to bring another child into this world? It’s a personal opinion and I realise that people want to have their own baby, but do we really belong to anyone?

  8. Great post Anna,
    There are so many children around the world in need of adoption..
    Too many want newborns and unfortunately more choose to abort instead of placing them for adoption. I do not know why international adoption from several country’s was stopped.. But as you said in your post, it is more of the build a baby factor. Gods gift misused..

  9. you have actually analysed it so well… In India I have read some reports in this respect (since India has been the biggest place where sarrogate mothers were easily available at comparatively cheaper rates… and then came cases where the parents refused to take the kid or they refused to take care of the sarrogate mother on the half way or some reports have also come that those parents who took the kids tried to use them as domestic help or tortured them if they did not follow their instructions… it is really an issue of great concern.

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