Skip to comments.Rise in Number seeking 'wombs for hire' abroad---poor foreign surrogate mothers [having] babies
Posted on 12/29/2012 9:04:33 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o
Wealthy British couples who cannot have children are increasingly seeking "wombs for hire" from women overseas, according to figures obtained by The Independent.
The number of couples formally registering children born to foreign surrogates has nearly trebled in five years, raising concerns that poor women in developing countries are being exploited by rich Westerners.
"Parental orders" granted following surrogacy to transfer the child from the surrogate mother to the commissioning parents have risen from 47 in 2007 to 133 in 2011.
While the figures are still relatively small, experts say they understate the true scale of the trade which is driven by agencies operating in countries such as India, drawn by a lack of red tape and the absence of regulation.
There are parallels with the trade in inter-country adoption 20 years ago, when hundreds of children from impoverished families in eastern Europe and the developing world were "sold" to wealthy foreigners, with few checks on their suitability, they claim.
Commercial surrogacy is permitted in the US and in many other countries including India, where it was legalised in 2002.
But it is banned in Britain and only expenses may be paid making it difficult for UK couples where neither partner is able to bear children to find women prepared to volunteer for the role.
In 2010 the law was changed to allow gay and lesbian couples and unmarried heterosexual couples to use surrogates for the first time, boosting demand further.
Events such as the Alternative Families Show, which acts as a showcase for surrogacy agencies overseas, regularly draw large crowds. The impact can be seen in the increasing numbers of wealthy British couples who are going abroad where there are fewer restrictions and a surrogate womb can be rented from £10,000 to £20,000. Some do so after trying and failing to have a baby by in-vitro fertilisation, directed by doctors who have been treating them.
"We have clinicians in this country who have links with overseas clinics. That was stopped with international adoption years ago. I don't think the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has been strong enough on this," said Marilyn Crawshaw, senior lecturer in the University of York's department of social policy, who published the figures on parental orders in the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.
"There is concern about child trafficking. The World Health Organisation held a meeting on this. One report described a surrogacy ring in Thailand in 2011 in which 13 Vietnamese women, seven of them pregnant, had been trafficked for the purpose of acting as surrogates. Other reports have highlighted concerns about the exploitation of Indian surrogates."
Ms Crawshaw said evidence suggested that the number of children born in India to commissioning parents from the UK was "well in excess" of the cases known to official sources, making monitoring very difficult.
"US social workers have warned that the decline in inter-country adoption may be leading to its replacement by global surrogacy as the preferred route for those wanting to build their family with a 'healthy' infant but with no less concerns among professionals as to associated ethical dilemmas and human rights concerns," she said.
Natalie Gamble, a lawyer specialising in surrogacy cases, added: "We have got this phenomenon where people can go overseas and do deals with commercial agencies and then come back and ask for a parental order.
"The law of our land says you cannot buy and sell babies. But the judges end up granting the parental order, with just a rap on the knuckles for the parents, on the grounds that the welfare of the child is paramount.
"When people went overseas to adopt, safeguards were put in place to stop the buying and selling of children. Are we going to have the same problems again with overseas surrogacy?"
Case study: 'It was awkward when the mother had to hand over our twins'
We both found it very hard to keep it together. It was a very emotional time. We could never have imagined it a couple of years ago."
Stephen Hill and his partner Johnathon Busher first held their twin girls in their arms less than 12 hours after their birth in a Delhi hospital last April.
The gay couple, from the West Midlands, had been together for 18 years when they decided they wanted a family.
In 2011, they travelled to India and agreed a contract with a clinic in Delhi where Mr Hill's sperm was used to fertilise an egg from a donor they had selected, and the resulting embryo was implanted in a surrogate mother.
When the twins were born there was an "awkward moment" before the surrogate mother agreed to hand them over, as her husband had been telling medical staff the infants were his own.
"She was reminded that it was a deal and she was fine. She was a little bit too attached and she needed to be reminded," Mr Busher said. "We produced the contract and we were able to take them out of the hospital. We were so happy our feet didn't touch the ground."
Surrogacy laws: Britain and India
UK not permitted
Payment to surrogates
UK expenses only
India $5,000 to $7,000
Story ends with a weeping mother --- the surrogates are, after all, the mothers --- being chided for getting "a little too attached" and the gay men walking off with twin baby girls.
How can the cheerful, intentional ripping apart of human bonds be described as anything but inhuman? How can this commerce in buying and selling human persons be described as anything but "trafficking"?
Imagine the life of that poor woman whose body was prostituted by her husband to produce 2 baby girls to gratify the wishes of 2 homosexual men who “showed her the contract” and then pranced out of the hospital
I saw a movie some years ago called “The Handmaid’s Tale”... reminds me somewhat of this very situation. Plot is in the future, women are either sterile or fertile. The sterile women are the “upper class”. The fertile women are used solely as “breeders” for the sterile women. Some of the breeder women go mad, commit suicide or simply shut down. Powerful movie that uses a futuristic twist on surrogate mothers.
"I KNOW BUT ONE CODE OF MORALITY FOR MEN WHETHER ACTING SINGLY OR COLLECTIVELY"
That movie had a young Natasha Richardson.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” book is closer to a Christian Taliban in charge, partially in response to a civil war and a virus that left most women fertile. Upper class men whose wives were sterile could be assigned a fertile hand-maiden to bear their children. And sterility was always the woman’s fault, never the man’s.
The similarities to Saudi Arabia struck me, with women veiled but party houses full of whores available to the upper class and visiting dignitaries.
It sounds like a pretty great deal for the women of India. There are long waiting lists for Indian woman who want to be in the surrogacy program. I saw this on Oprah’s show in 2007. The women must stay in a facility the entire pregnancy and be monitored. Then they set up an account in just the woman’s name. They protect the money to make sure their low life husbands dont squander it. If she wants a house, they hold the money until that time. The Indian woman bought a really nice house and was living much better than before.
From the article, it sounds like the husband knew the embryos were not his / his wife’s, but the wife did not. She thought she carried her own children, while her husband rented her out. After giving birth to twin girls, she’s told they are not hers, now give them up.
Facilitating the abomination of nature is never a “great deal”.
It’s sort of like playing the role of a frog in the plague upon the Pharaohs of (New)Egypt.
There are all kinds of ways to make money which are, nevetheless, inhuman. Porn "actresses" permit themselves to be degraded, violated, and filmed for money; there was a case a couple of years ago in Germany about a guy who "voluntarily" agreed to be killed and cannibalized by another guy: yes, there was a contract and money had been handed over.
Some things have a value which goes beyond money: that would include the sanctity of life; the marital bond, which implicitly involves having sexual relations and offspring only with one's wedded spouse; and the maternal bond, which naturally, intimately, fiercely links a woman to the child she carried and to whom she gave birth.
These bonds are natural forms of attachment, significantly related to human flourishing, which, in wise and civilized societies, are involate in custom and supported by law.
In societies which are in the process of de-civilizing and de-humanizing: not so much.
And to make it all, if possible, worse: handing two baby girls over to a couple of sexually deviant males who will guarantee that these little girls will never know their genetic mother, their gestational mother, a familial mother --- any mother of any sort, ever.
And we--- we're supposed to accept that babies have no human rights. Whose humanity has been tested and found wanting here: theirs? Or ours?
That is self-evidently true.
"...and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. "
--Thomas Jefferson, 1786
Probably not for proper discussion but the one part of the movie was really disturbing. When the man would “impregnate” the fertile vessel (veiled the entire time) with the wife. Almost like they were pretending the child would be 100% genetically theirs. The movie also illustrated how the infertile women became hostile and cold. I remember when one woman was having a difficult labor, the soon to be Mom would say “hurry up”. It truly was a disturbing movie on so many levels. IMHO.
The distaste and mere tolerance for breeders is probably true today. The commoditization of children is also true, though “The Handmaid’s Tale” never showed pets treated like children, something prolific in “Children of Men”.
Part of the problem today is a birth dearth among the productive, while society as a whole suffers. In “Children of Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”, the horror was that most people who wanted kids couldn’t have them, and the totalitarian societies that evolved. Today, we have a voluntary reduction in the birth rate, both from lifestyle choices and high taxes for the taxpayers, partially offset by the higher birth rates among immigrants and welfare families. It’s detrimental to society, but not as dramatic as a total cessation or pandemic with religious / zealot response.