Skip to comments.The link between rented wombs and gay marriage
Posted on 08/02/2012 1:50:00 PM PDT by Morgana
August 2, 2012 (Mercatornet.com) - A TV show called The New Normal will have its premiere on NBC in the US soon. Its about a gay couple and the single mother they engage to have their baby.
Shes just like an easy-bake oven except with no legal rights to the cupcake, the surrogate-mother broker tells Bryan and David. This is a hard-nosed description of the womans role in gay marriage and child-rearing, but it sums it up accurately.
In heterosexual relationships, the birth rate rises when couples are married. One would expect similar dynamics to apply to same-sex couples. For lesbian couples, this is not a huge problem; all they need is a sperm donor. But male couples need surrogate mothers.
Where will these women come from?
Unless the law of supply and demand is repealed, the answer is: where wombs are cheapest. At the moment, this is India, where surrogate motherhood has become a $2.3 billion industry, with the enthusiastic encouragement of some state governments. A recent investigation by the London Sunday Telegraph found there were only 100 surrogacies in Britain last year, but 1000 in India for British clients. The proportion in Australia and elsewhere is likely to be the same.
There are no official statistics, but it appears gay couples account for a substantial chunk of the overseas market. So will the legalisation of same-sex marriage lead to even more surrogate mothers in India? BioEdge, the bioethics newsletter I edit, emailed IVF clinics in India and the US asking whether they were preparing for a rising demand for surrogate mothers.
The answer was a resounding yes. Our survey is far from scientific, let alone comprehensive, but it suggests that poor women in developing or economically depressed countries will be recruited to service gay couples.
The main reason patients travel from abroad to India is for excellent personal care, expertise and a lot of savings on the treatment costs, says Dr Samundi Sankari, of Srushti Fertility Research Centre in Chennai. The costs that they pay here is almost one-fifth the costs they pay for surrogacy in US and Europe. She gets a lot of inquiries from gay couples in the US and Israel. Is he preparing for an increase in demand? Definitely, yes.
Dr Samit Sekhar, of the Kiran Infertility Centre, in Hyderabad, also forecast an increase. He said a sizeable number of the centres clients were gay. We have seen an increase in the number of gay couples and single men approaching our clinic as soon as legitimacy to their public union is granted in their respective states or country.
There was one dissenting voice. A spokeswoman for Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, of Surrogacy Centre India, Megan Sainsbury, rebuked BioEdge for its inquiry. We are not preparing for an expansion of services for gay couples. Why would you ask this? However, most of the contented parents featured on Sachdev Gours blog last month are gay.
Indian IVF clinics say surrogate mothers are adequately compensated. But it can be a dangerous job, and the contracts they sign are weighted heavily in favour of the commissioning parents. A surrogate mother in Ahmedabad collapsed and died in May, shortly before she was due. The client took the baby and her family was given only $18,000.
The award-winning British/Indian novelist and journalist Kishwar Desai deals with the surrogacy industry in her latest novel, Origins of Love. She told The Guardian: There are hospitals where women are kept for the whole nine months while they carry someone elses child. There are good stories, where the surrogate is well looked after, but I would like to make people aware of the sheer exploitation of it, the fact that these women are extremely poor. They are carrying someones child for two or three thousand pounds [$3000 to $4500]. They may do this three or four times. They may be forced to have a caesarean.
A leading US infertility doctor, Jeffrey Steinberg, who runs the Fertility Institutes in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, told BioEdge he got a surge of inquiries whenever a jurisdiction legalised gay marriage. At the moment he uses only carefully screened American surrogates, but he is thinking of outsourcing their jobs to Mexico.
Supporters of same-sex marriage must recognise they face a serious moral dilemma. Cheap wombs might bring gay men the happiness of being the father of a child of their own. But the cost of that happiness is often borne by poor and uneducated women.
Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He also edits the bioethics newsletter BioEdge and is a columnist for Australasian Science. This article was originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald and is reprinted with permission.
I have always thought that this would be one of the unintended consequences of same sex marriage.
The fact that homosexual couples must always and everywhere turn to reproductive technology and straight people to bring new life into the world is a heavy indictment against them, and a strong argument against same sex marriage.
This slippery slope cannot be allowed to come into being.
I read some liberal journalist who tried to argue that ‘NO, gay marriage will not lead to more renting wombs and turning to sperm donors. Most of us don’t have kids.’ Nit wit, you don’t have kids because up til now you didn’t have same sex marriage or access to this Frankenstein, dehumanizing technology.
No, NO, 3x no to all of this.
This is a new extension to the sex trafficking.
I don’t know who this lawyer is stated this; but the mother does have rights.
The “new normal” America applauded when the pervert pedophile Michael Jackson rented or purchased sperm, eggs and wombs to commercially breed a pair of caucasian babies, which were then handed over to him as “his children.”
I keep looking up for the big asteroid. It’s not nice to fool mother nature, or spit in God’s eye.
Just when you think the devaluation of mothers couldn’t get more ... searching for an adjective ... objectifying, there’s this.
But on the plus side, homosexual men don’t expect a woman to be an “E-Z Bake Oven” and a sex object at the same time.
“The mother does have rights.” Yet aren’t there all ready harvested eggs for sale which could be mixed with the sperm of the purchaser and placed into a non-biological mother to develop? A non-bio mother would certainly not have rights over a bio-father, and a woman who sold the rights to her eggs would probably never know they were used. Makes the world a scary place for children of such unions to find a opposite sex spouse to have children with.
It certainly disproves the “progress” paradigm of human morality.
I wasn’t buying that paradigm, anyway. After all, King Solomon told us long ago that there is nothing new under the sun.
Renting a womb for a "needy" couple sounds so noble to them, but in reality it's slavery. Moreover, a child born of a "surrogate" mother in not like a cake baked in an oven. That woman who bears the child is genetically related to the child she bears. She is not just a surrogate; in the biological sense, she is the child's mother. Even if the ova comes from a donor, that child actually has 3 genetic parents: a male "father" who gave the sperm and his chromatids, a female "father" who gave the ova and her half of the chromosome set, and the actual biological mother--the one who carries and bears the child--as she gave her mitochondrial DNA that is found in the baby as well. (Check studies on cloning animals...the clones are genetic identicals of the original, except for the mtDNA which always comes from the "carrier").
Besides, the pregnancy is more than just treating the womb like a Chia Pet: woman's body completely changes hormonally to support another life, what she eats nourishes the child, her body loses iron and calcium and other necessary vitamins and minerals which she has to replenish. If she's a vegan, she'll have to take numerous vitamins or eat animal-based fats & proteins for the child to thrive.
On the other hand, when young women donate their eggs to help a sterile couple or aid "Scientific research," they are risking their own fertility in that obtaining eggs from the ovaries is not an easy medical procedure. Some women may experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or OHS, which leads to internal bleeding, kidney failure or even death. Also a few of these young women have to take fertility medication which may lead to cancer.
The ads I read (In the Village Voice, no less)said they paid medical fees and $4000 up front. They were deceptive and catered to bleeding hearts like myself at the time; they claimed that a sad, needy family would be be so thankful for such generosity. To a poor kid working 20 hours a week for minimum wage (it was $5.00/hour back then) and taking 18 credits of classes, this sounded like such a wonderful option. Of course NO mention was made of the consequences. Just a few doctors visits, and that was it.
Thanks to Providence, (can you believe it?) I won about $1000 on a lottery scratcher, and besides my lupus would have made me a poor candidate. I only admit this because I was a book-smart kid, but street-wise and world-wise I knew nothing.
Conservatives have to be careful and voice their concerns about this by not berating the unGodliness of this (which is true), but the health risks young women face.
So many uniformed, misguided POOR girls are being conned into selling their bodies for what they believe to be a noble cause. Surrogacy, egg donation, all this should be illegal as it treats human life as a commodity and is slavery.But some IVF/surrogacy supporter will sure be on their way to tell me how evil and unsympathetic I am to childless couples. One word to all those: adoption.
And by adoption, I mean adoption to normal poeple. Normal should not have to be defined at this site. :)
However, spelling properly is also effective in communication.
As a student of history, I long ago came to the conclusion that people are always the same. Of course, plenty of saints and doctors had come to that conclusion ahead of me, but I was impressed with myself anyway. It’s like getting the SAT Question of the Day right when it’s math!
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