Why You Want A Surrogacy Contract (Even If There’s No Chance You Can Enforce It)

Two recent stories about surrogacy can be tied together here to offer an important lesson:  People who contemplate surrogacy should, at a minimum, work out a detailed agreement that describes what it is they think they’ve agreed to.   (Of course, people really ought to do a great deal more than that.  In particular, they ought to have serious counselling and engage in extensive reflection about whether surrogacy is really for them.  This, as I’ve said before, is really the key to having surrogacy work for you.)  But at the same time, you should keep in mind that what you write in the terms may not be enforcable.

First we have this story of what might be surrogacy gone awry.   Except, of course, that it may not be surrogacy at all.    What we know for sure is that Cindy Close gave birth to twins in Texas.  She is not genetically related to the babies.  This tells us for certain that the egg came from another (anonymous) woman and that Cindy became pregnant via IVF.

It is here that things diverge.   Marvin McMurrey is the man who provided the sperm used to fertilize the eggs.   He says that Close is a surrogate–a gestational surrogate at that.   In other words, he says she agreed to undergo IVF and carry the babies to term without any intention of being their parent.   His theory is that she isn’t a legal parent and, since he is, he gets sole custody.

Close tells a different story.  She says that she intended to coparent with McMurrey.   She argues that as she gave birth to the children she is a legal parent and hence, this is a custody case.  (She does not dispute McMurrey’s assertion that he is a legal parent.)

Critically, it seems to me that the parties agree that there is no written agreement.  And so there’s a question of law here about whether she can be deemed a surrogate in the absence of an agreement.  There’s also a question of fact about whether there ever was any agreement.

It’s interesting to try to work through those questions and I will endeavor to follow the case and see how the court resolves them.  But for the moment I’ll take a different tack and draw a different lesson here.  Surely we can conclude that if you are planning to do surrogacy you should have a written agreement.   This may not resolve all the questions–surrogacy is often legally questionable–but at the very least it removes questions about whether there was an agreement and what the agreement was.

But one does well to recall that even where surrogacy agreements are permissible and have legal effect (which is to say that surrogacy is recognized), not all the terms in a surrogacy agreement may be enforceable.   This brings me to a second set of news stories–about Mitt Romney’s son’s use of a surrogate.    (I’m afraid that this story is somewhat inflammatory.)  Here there was a written contract.

The thing is, the contract provided that the decision to abort was to be left to the intended parents.   I don’t think there’s any chance this could be enforceable.  What I mean is that there is no way that the Romneys could have forced the pregnant woman to have an abortion had she objected.   And if she wanted to have an abortion, I don’t believe the contractual provision could prevent her from doing so.  Simply put, the choice remains hers.

You might come up with a subsidiary question–could the Romneys request that she have an abortion and, if she does not, consider the contract invalidated and the child to be hers and not theirs?   I rather doubt it, though I probably ought to think more about it.

This might be an instance of a clause that has no business being in a surrogacy contract.  It’s odd to me that the quoted lawyer says that the provision was an oversight–accidentally left in the contract.  This suggests it is a standard part of some gestational surrogacy contracts.

Now I really do think it is useful to have an agreement and even to include items that might not be enforceable if it helps the parties be clear on what their intentions are.   But there’s a line I’d draw–some provisions are so clearly unenforceable that including them is deceptive.   It might deceive the IPs or it might deceive the surrogate, but either one of those is bad.   This clause would be (from my perspective anyway) across that line.

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196 responses to “Why You Want A Surrogacy Contract (Even If There’s No Chance You Can Enforce It)

  1. If there is no real difference between “clearly unenforceable” and “unenforceable” then what purpose could the agreement serve? I suppose you’re right that it would make things clear, however, if surrogacy has been accepted then it seems that things are likely to be clear. I mean, who would agree to be a surrogate if things weren’t clear? If one changes their mind I don’t think a document will serve to help much regardless of everyone’s initial intentions.

    Just my humble opinion.

    I enjoyed your post… Very thought provoking!

    • I regret having used the word “clealy.” I think that’s just bad writing on my part.

      You are right about people changing their minds. But a written agreement is seen as evidence of what your intention was at the time the agreement was signed and you can structure the law to make that point in time critical. Indeed, we do this a lot in contract law generally–subequent changes of mind don’t necessarily get you out of written agreements.

  2. Everyone understands that the abortion clause is unenforceable. The clause is less about abortion and more about how the financial agreement changes. The Surrogate doesn’t sign over her rights to make decisions on having an abortion, she will always have that right with Roe v. Wade.

    It’s a breach of contract issue that covers the financial damages incurred by the Intended Parents.

    If the Surrogate has an abortion without the Intended Parents approval the contracts says that she is responsible to financial reimburse the Intended Parents for their damages of all the costs involved with creating their child.

    If the Intended Parents need to abort for health reasons and the Surrogate doesn’t follow through with their requests the Surrogate can be financially responsible to the Intended Parents for the additional costs of caring for their child.

    Nobody goes into Surrogacy wanting to abort. These are hard fought for babies and abortion is rare.

    There are Surrogates and Intended Parents that agree to not terminate for any reason and this clause is removed from their contracts.

    • This makes a certain amount of sense to me but it leads me to wonder why the contract doesn’t actually say what it means. A person (perhaps more likely to be the surrogate) actually reading the contract might not know enough of the background law to know that the surrogate retains autonomy on this point no matter what the contract says. Is there anything particularly useful about having the lanugage phrased in terms of who gets to decide about abortion when that’s not actually what it turns out to mean?

      I also wonder about how the second of the two scenarios might play out. Suppose the IPs want to abort (for a health reason they consider serious?) but the surrogate disagrees. I assume that if the general law of the jurisdiction provided that the IPs were the legal parents of the child, they still would be even though they had sought to have the surrogate abort? And of course, as a general matter it is the IPs who will have money and not the surrogate. Would she end up forfeiting her fee, basically?

      I’m sure you’re right that abortion is rare. I tend to think, though, that this tells us something about the power relations between IP and surrogate and I pay attention to those, too.

    • But if the surrogate is donating her time and not being compensated then how are the intended parents going to be out any money?

      In the end or in reality its like a guy being mad if the girl he gets pregnant has or wont have an abortion. How is it any different at all than a guy getting a girl pregnant. We would not take such agreements seriously under the exact same circumstances why should we because they think they agreed to something. Would a court really order her to pay up according to the terms of a contract where she promised not to abort or if she promised to abort? I similarly question whether a court should enforce a surrogacy contract either if she wanted to keep her baby. If a woman or man changed their minds and wanted their eggs or sperm or embryo back before anyone was gestating I can’t see where a court would force them to reproduce against their will. People should have the right to change their minds about whether to reproduce or not or whether to use their bodies to help someone else reproduce.

      • I will address this based on California law since we are talking about a California contract. The Surrogate and the Intended Parent have the right to not reproduce before Conception. All they need to do is so no and the embryo transfer will not happen.

        Once the Surrogate is pregnant she has all of the power and the contract is designed to level the relationship. In California, the courts have determined that once the Gestational Surrogacy contract is signed by both parties and the Surrogate becomes pregnant that the Intended Parents are legally the parents and neither party is allowed to change their mind.

        The Surrogate and Intended Parent are required to have their own legal counsel and psychological counselling to verify that they understand the process and their rights before the transfer can happen.

        The contract has a whole description of Roe vs. Wade and how the Surrogate has the legal right to abort and that this contract doesn’t take away any rights. She agrees to termination only for specific reasons that the Surrogate and Intended Parents agree upon before signing the contract.

        There are Surrogates that refuse to abort for any reason and that is in the contract when the Intended Parents agree. If one side wants the abortion clause and the other side doesn’t than that is the end of any agreement and they will not move forward together.

        The contract states that the Surrogate is becoming pregnant because she desires the Intended Parents to become parents and that she is not becoming pregnant to become a parent. The Surrogate is not having her baby, but having their baby.

        If the Surrogate aborts without the Intended Parents approval it is a breach of contract and the penalty is to lose any compensation that was agreed upon and payback the Intended Parents for all of the medical costs associated with becoming pregnant. The cost of IVF, travel, Egg Donors, Lawyers, Sperm donors, medications, and other medical costs could easily start at $30,000 and can easily go to $200,000 if multiple attempts are required.

        If the Intended Parents ask her to abort the pregnancy and she doesn’t she could lose any compensation due and be responsible for the medical costs of the pregnancy and the medical bills of the newborn baby. If the baby has severe medical issues the NICU/PICU charges $5,000 per day and the bill could easily be a million dollars.

        The contract is normally around 50 pages long. You can’t take one line out of the contract and make any assumption on what the Surrogate knows or doesn’t know about the process. Especially, when she has her own legal representative making sure she understand everything before signing the agreement.

        All this being said, no judge in California has ever made a judgment on this situation so nobody knows how the court would rule.

        • Wow, thank you. You are talking about women who are not biologically related to the children they are carrying of course, because then her pregnancy is with the permission of the mother whose egg was fertilized but if it’s her own fertilized egg it’s her fetus her body and of course will be her child no matter what she intends its not exactly something that can be contracted out. Also the intended parents really are the intended expectant parents and really, intended is not the right word so long as they did not buy the eggs from someone else or the sperm. Of course it will be their baby. I don’t think it’s child selling so long as the people hiring the surrogate will be the biological parents upon the child’s birth then they are just paying for the surrogate’s help. Thank you for the information you’re very knowledgeable.

          • One thing to consider is that this is not a contract like buying a car, house, or renting an apartment with a bunch of fine print that nobody reads.

            These are negotiated contracts that go back and forth between the Surrogate and Intended Parents with each sides lawyer making changes based on their clients desires.

            The contract phase often takes 2-4 weeks before BOTH sides agree to all of the terms.

            Many of the things that you take for granted in a normal pregnancy or get to make decisions on later in the pregnancy have to be agreed upon before pregnancy.

            What happens if the baby isn’t healthy is only one concern.

            For example, other concerns include how often to communicate during the pregnancy, who is allowed in the room during Dr. visits. Who’s allowed in the room at birth. If it’s a C-section and only one person is allowed in the room for the birth is it the Surrogate’s husband or one of the Intended Parents? Will the Surrogate provide breast Milk for the baby. Will an amnio be performed if Dr. recommended? Can the Surrogate use any over the counter medications or only Dr. prescribed medications.

            There are many things in Surrogacy contracts that are not enforceable. A common one might be that the Surrogate will eat more fruit, only have one caffeinated beverage per day, and will not eat sushi.

            There isn’t any food police following the Surrogate around to verify they are following the agreed upon diet, but it does show that before the pregnancy started she intends to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

            If my wife carried for me we wouldn’t face many of these issues or would get to address them during the pregnancy and talk about them as needed and reach an agreement on how we were going to handle the issue. By using a Surrogate we needed to think about them BEFORE the pregnancy and work with a Surrogate that agreed with us on the issues that are important to us.

            Many Surrogates will have different views on how to handle the pregnancy than the Intended Parents do. That is all part of the matching and contract phase that everyone goes through.

            Just like dating many Intended Parents and Surrogates talk to multiple other couples before finding the right match for them.

            • That does make me wonder how a judge would interpret the contract if the IPs, surrogate, various doctors disagreed if the reason the surrogate wished to abort/not abort was in line with what the contract said or not and therefore who would be financially responsible. But I’ve never seen a case like that in the news.

              • I am relieved that the contract is about financial responsibility and not about the actual right to abort or not. However I still find it unreasonable. It is reasonable to assume that if the surrogate continues the pregnancy against the IP’s wishes, she should not receive a fee. However, it is still their child once it is born and thus it makes no sense that she should be financially responsible for the baby’s care. The surrogate did not cause the baby’s problems, that was a result of genetics- medical negligence- or just plain old bad luck.

            • I appreciate your taking the time to provide all this information.

              I noticed there is some brand new legislation in CA: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1217_bill_20120923_chaptered.pdf
              It requires that each side have its own lawyer. Is that new? It seems like the provision is important to ensure that each party understands the contract. I did wonder about how the surrogate pays for an attorney, though.

              • The new legislation requires that the Surrogate and Intended Parents have their own lawyers.

                In the late 80′s you had a couple in California bring a relative from Mexico to live with them and be their TS. She didn’t speak or read English and when the baby was born she fought for parental rights based on the fact that the contract was in English and she didn’t understand that she was giving up her parental rights. She won joint custody from the courts.

                After this case, it has been common practice for the Surrogate to have her own lawyer to verify that she understands the contract, but it hasn’t been required until now.

                The Surrogate picks her own attorney and the Intended Parents are required to pay the Surrogates Attorney.

                • Right but then the attorney is really working for her customers and not for her. If you want to know who is in control follow the money. The only way the attorney would really be working for her is if her customers gave her the money and she hired the lawyer herself, one that did not know the customers at all.

                  • I agree that the lawyer must be independent of the IPs and any surrogacy center involved. I don’t think this is controversial–which is not to say that everyone does it.

                  • The Intended Parents don’t have access or pay the Surrogates Attorney directly, but the money is paid through a trust or Surrogacy Agency.

                    Surprisingly, in California many Surrogacy Agencies are run by the wife and the legal team is run by the husband, or vice versa, and the State of California doesn’t consider this a conflict of interest.

        • It’s also true that CA requires a written contract, right? So I imagine in a case like the one in TX where there is (apparently) no written contract the woman would not be found to be a surrogate?

          • In Texas, a contract is not required, but if you don’t get a contract validated by the court before transfer it is not enforceable.

            Other problems with this case in Texas is that for a contract to be valid the Intended Parents must be married and show a medical need to use a gestational surrogate.

            This would exclude a single man or gay couple from using a Surrogate under Texas State law. Even though this is the Texas State law some judges have awarded parental rights to gay couples in Texas.

            California does require a written contract and parental rights will not be awarded without them.

      • I was assuming that the surrogate would be receiving compensation and so the IPs might ask for the portion paid to be returned. But if there wasn’t money paid in the first pace it’s hard to see where there could be money owed by the surrogate.

        The main question in surrogacy (it seems to me) is who gets to change their mind and perhaps when. The law varies on this. If the law provides that a woman who gives birth is a legal parent then a surrogate can change her mind, just as any pregnant woman planning to place a child for adoption can change her mind in some period after the child is born. (Often this is only a short period.)

        But if the law provides that the IPs are legal parents then I think the surrogate has to hand over the child when it is born. She can continue to control her own body–which is why she could elect to abort. But she couldn’t decide she’d actually like to be the legal mother. This is the generally structure of law you see in places where there is a commercial surrogacy industry.

        So once again, it comes down to who is a legal parent and why.

        • This is the reason I think for the pre-birth order they have in California where the intended parents will be named as parents on the birth certificate. But the intention behind that law is not for just anyone to get their name on the certificate but for the biological parents to get their names on the certificate. I think this is one area that that lawyer really violated with the child selling case, that and having the women be receiving welfare.

          The pre-birth parentage thing is suppose to protect biological mothers from having their babies kidnapped by unrelated gestational surrogates

          • Calvert that’s the case! The biological mother won.

            • Other cases in California followed allowing anyone regardless regardless of any biological connection to become parents. This has been the case law and we just passed judicial laws to back this up.

              Anyone can become a parent in California.

              • I want to solicit your informed opinion about something. Medically inaccurate birth records are a big problem for the people I help reuniting separated families; their health records reflect biologically inaccurate parentage resulting in them not being recognized as legal members of their biological families. In reunion they find that they don’t qualify to help their siblings immigrate or don’t qualify to take time off to attend their parent’s funeral or don’t qualify to take time off work to attend to a sick relative or claim that sick relative as a dependent relative on their tax returns. They also find that they are not allowed access to their relatives vital records the way everyone else is. They cannot prove they are entitled by showing the parents names on their birth records. Anyone who has a medically inaccurate birth record is treated unfairly. The people named as parents on their birth records are of no medical significance to them at all. Adopted people have revised certificates that are useless to them for medical purposes. The revised certificates are also useless to the government for medical purposes, which is why the CDC does not bother to collect those or add that information to the nation’s birth statistics. Adding the adoptive parents information would undermine the accuracy of medical research in the field of hereditary disease and birth defects etc beyond the margin of error allowed for a percentage of attributed paternity unrelated to sperm donation. Sperm egg and embryo donation and gestational surrogacy are all concealed, the original birth record is medically inaccurate. Different from adoption where the original certificate is likely accurate and the revised one that is not is never used by the CDC.

                You can see there are public health implications to misreported parentage on birth records why do you think it is so important to the customers of surrogates that the birth record be biologically inaccurate? Why can’t they let the person who is born have a medically accurate birth record and then record their personal interest in the person in a second document after the fact giving them exactly the same level of authority absent the medical record falsification? It seems very self serving and not in the best interests of anyone but the adults at the time.

                • One of the reasons being named on the birth certificate is so important to the Intended Parents is that in many places throughout the world Surrogacy is illegal. Without being named legally on the birth certificate their children can lose citizenship, be forced to leave the country, the parents face fines of up to $300,000, and 10 years in jail.

                  In my personal situation it was important for us to be listed on the birth certificate because we are the biological parents and not being named on the birth certificate would lead to confusion in the future.

                  Just because we had to go through Surrogacy to become parents we should not have to talk about it every time our daughter enrolls in school or signs up to play sports.

                  California just changed the Surrogacy laws so that even though the birth records are sealed Social Workers do have access to the records and this might be done to help address some of the issues you bring up.

                  • Your personal situation calls for you to be named on the record for certain. Your child is your child no matter who gives birth and not because you paid for someone to give birth and not because you have a contract with anyone else for their egg – your child is your child because your child is your offspring. There is no contracting or intention to be proven or refuted. Your offspring are your responsibility. If someone stole or misappropriated your eggs and some other woman wound up pregnant as happened in the UC Irvine scandal that impacted hundreds of parents – the way the law is they have no right to know what happened to their children or who is raising them. Legally their children were treated as if they were the children of the women who gave birth. I think the law is horribly unfair to people who wind up not the offspring of the people raising them without everything documented properly and without accurate records to access. They live life under a false identity assigned to them either on purpose or by accident but still there needs to be a way to set the record straight and to prevent it from happening to begin with.

            • I’d say it’s slightly more precise to say that the genetically related mother won. In fact, the court found that both women had a basis to claim motherhood. I actually think it was intention rather than genetics that tipped the scale, but that is just from memory.

          • I am not sure this is right. I think the intended parents can get a pre-birth order whether they are the genetic parents or not.

        • It would come down to contract law, breach of contract, and the failure to perform the contract.

          When an Intended Parent is looking to match with a Surrogate they will look over many profiles. As part of the profile are the questions on if the Surrogate will abort, and if yes, under what circumstances.

          The Surrogate has to explain her position on abortion to the Surrogacy Agency, the psychologist will ask her about it, the Intended Parents, and finally her lawyer will verify that she understands what she is committing to do.

          The Intended Parents will then look to match with a Surrogate that has already made up her mind that she is willing to abort if needed.

          The Intended Parents and the Surrogate then go into contract and have their lawyers make a contract that reflects BOTH of their wishes and the consequences of not fulfilling the agreement.

          Because this Surrogate agrees to abort if needed the parents make the financial investment in her and the IVF process. If she goes against the contract and aborts without the Intended Parents approval they can easily be out $50,000 in direct expenses in her pregnancy.

          These are the direct financial damages due to the Surrogate not performing to the agreed contract.

          In California, we do Pre-Birth Orders where the courts declare the Intended Parents the Parents and the Surrogate not the parents before birth. Legally, there is no date this can be done and they can file as soon as there is a positive pregnancy result though it normally happens around the 20th week of the pregnancy.

          With this court order the hospital is required to treat the Intended Parents as the parents and give them all of the medical information associated with the baby.

          This is different from many other States that do Post-Birth Orders that can’t be filed or approved until after the birth of the baby.

    • Just went to your website. Good looking family. Your e-books are going to be a labor of love something offered for free?

  3. I don’t believe surrogacy contracts should be enforceable no matter what they say. A woman who gives birth should be considered a mother unless there is another woman who can be identified as the genetic mother.
    If we allow otherwise, we run the risk of people commissioning the creation of children and then dissappearing into thin air, and the children will be left with no parent at all. (One can sit in ones home at one’s computer and commission a child!) (Didn’t you post Julie that IP’s are much more likely to change their minds than the surrogate herself? Did we analyze whether that differed when they had a genetic connection or no? )

    Tag Romney’s contract is most disturbing even if it is unenforceable because it’s less likely that the surrogate has a lawyer of her own to tell her what her rights are. She may think that she is legally bound.

    Also, I do not share your optimism that no state will ever consider this enforceable. The fact that some educated people think this clause is OK is worrying.

    • This might be one of those things that seems like splitting hairs, but it can come down do how the law structures the recognition of parenthood. If the genetic parents are the legal parents and are also IPs then when the child is born it is recognized as the legal child of the intended parents. It might look like that’s enforcing the contract, but it’s really just the definitions taking effect.

      But thinking about it this way would leave you with a couple of cases to work out–what about it the IPs are not the genetic parents because they use third-party gametes? Then who will the law recognize? You’ve got a range of possiblities–the IPs, the genetic parents or the woman who gives birth. And of course, there’s a subcategory–where the woman who gives birth is a genetic parent but was acting as a surrogate. What then?

      I think (and perhaps this is worth elevating to the level of a post) that the assignment of legal parentage is crucial–and this happens by operation of law. However the law assigns legal parentage, I’m not sure a contract per se can reassign it. That gets too close to selling a child, I think.

      • In California, the legal parents in Surrogacy are the Intended Parents.

        Genetics are not required and anyone can become the parents.

        Male/Male
        Female/Female
        Male/Female
        Male only
        Female only

        In California, we call them all parents.

        Many other States that allow Surrogacy limit it to married couples and/or require at least one parent to have a genetic link.

        • Aha–someone who actually knows. Thanks.

        • how frightening! in California anyone can just go cook up a child they have no connection to! buy some anonymous sperm here, an anonymous egg there, pay to have it all implanted into a total stranger to carry, and sit home and wait for your special delivery!? Julie, you are so certain that genetics is irrelevant to parenthood. how can you see an arrangement like this as being at all relevant to parenthood? I shudder.
          No, there must be a law that in absence of a known genetic parent, the pregnant woman is a default parent, and any other arrangement must follow standard adoption procedures. And I wouldn’t put the unrelated commissioning person at the head of the list either for the adoption. I’d find their contract rather creepy.

          • Right? The idea that someone would be so desperate to have a child that they would contract with other individuals privately to not only obtain their offspring but have them produce some offspring just special for someone else to raise is so incredibly dehumanizing like breeding dogs for sale. In fact now that I’ve spent a few years digging into this topic I recoil at the thought of even keeping pets. I look at the cat I have from before when I did not understand and these poor fish swimming in this tank and I feel like crap about it – I’m just riding out their poor born in captivity little lives thinking it sucks that I ever thought I could buy and own somethings life. People that go about adopting existing children with no involvement in the parent’s plan to relinquish can go to sleep knowing they are not guilty of having objectified the child they adopted.

            It does not matter how nice you are to a person if you came by your position in their life by contracting for them like an object. It really makes no difference if money is involved. Its different to plan to have a child with someone and create that child yourself because there is no objectification and nothing is taken from the person created. They know all their is to know, their kinship is legally recognized its all fine.

            • Let me see if I have this right:

              Since my wife doesn’t have a uterus and can’t carry a child I am a bad person for having someone else carry our baby? Even though the Surrogate and her family think that helping to create our family was the best thing they have ever done.

              And I am also bad for financially supporting the woman that is pregnant with my biological child while she is pregnant so that my baby can be in a safe environment? Wouldn’t and future father do this for their child?

              But, I am a good person, if a 16 year old girl gets pregnant and can’t afford the child at her current age, so I adopt the child from her.

              Never mind when she is 22 and has graduated college and gets a good paying job and is in a financial situation where she could afford her child she can’t have her 6 year old back and regrets the decision to give the baby up for the rest of her life.

              • I think she’s actually referring to cases where neither person in a couple is capable or producing eggs or sperm, so they get a separate egg donor, a separate sperm donor, and then a separate gestational surrogate?

                • I disapprove of surrogacy but I think there is a world of difference between people using a surrogate to carry there own offspring, than the California law that you quoted that conveys parenthood to the commissioners even without any genetic connection whatsoever. The California law is what makes me shudder.
                  The reason I disapprove of surrogacy in general is mostly because I view it as a slippery slope to all kinds of unsavory arrangements.
                  Sorry if that was unclear.

              • No you are not wrong to support the woman pregnant with your biological child its a noble thing to do although it should not be a prerequisite to being named father of your own child. And if that child is your partners biological child you should not even need a contract in order for her to be named mother. It should simply go without saying that a woman must be named as the mother of her own offspring regardless of any intention one way or the other. For instance if someone gives birth to her bio child entirely unbeknownst to her in another country even because her eggs were misappropriated, she ought to get a call saying someone is trying to claim her child at a remote hospital in India or whatever. Eggs should be tracked like that and the bio mothers should have to give their children up for adoption – forget the contract. Same goes for sperm. Of course its not bad for you to be named father of your own kid. What would be bad is to reproduce with someone you never met and then pretend that woman was not your child’s mother. That would be unfair to your kid. But since its not the situation you describe your fine. As long as your not preventing any bio parent from assuming obligations for their kid then nobody has taken anything from the kid.

          • Surrogacy and adoption are not the same thing. In Surrogacy, the Gestational Carrier becomes pregnant for Intended Parents. Before Conception takes place the parents are determined and the Surrogate has no desire to become the parent.

            This is different from adoption where somebody becomes pregnant and then makes the decision to give up the child to adoption.

            Many States do agree with your thoughts on needing at least one parent to have a genetic link. California isn’t one of them.

            • Everyone likes to compare the various types of family separation to adoption and the comparisons invariably fail because adoption is a reaction to family separation, not the reason for it.

              Adoption as a protocol contains procedures that attempt to vet exploitative behavior by a person’s biological parents and by their potential adoptive parents. It seems though that the law is getting closer and closer to embracing the buying and selling of human beings – treating people as parents if they have their contractual ducks in order.

          • I’m actually not far from your view on this, though I wouldn’t put it quite this way. I think the woman who gives birth should be the legal mother. She is of course free to let the IPs adopt the child. (I think this is rather the way it works in the UK.) But it gives her a good deal more power in the relationship. It’s true that it means there’s some uncertainty for the IPs. There’s always uncertainty and it’s clear that it would mean that they had a substantial interest in treating the surrogate with respect.

            • It was a black and white answer regarding Surrogacy/Adoption when there really are a lot of shades of grey to consider.

              Your view on the Surrogate needing to sign off after the birth makes it sound like she is a victim of the Intended Parents instead of someone coming to the situation as a well informed adult.

              In our case, it was our biologically child that she was babysitting for us for 9 months. Would you give parental rights to any other day care provider? And the option to not give you your baby back?

              The Surrogacy contract is full of the Intended Parents fears. Not their demand for control.

              Once you have a positive pregnancy test the Surrogate has all of the power. She is carrying YOUR child. If she asks for the moon, you will lasso it for her, and hope that is enough to make her happy.

              In places, where the parental rights don’t happen until after birth (UK, Canada) you often see stories where the relationship has fallen apart.

              In places, where there is certainty of parental rights (Israel, Texas, Illinois, and California) you see very few legal issues or relationship problems.

              The security of knowing that contract law will be enforced at the State level actually leads to more productive, relaxed, and balanced relationships between the Surrogate and Intended Parents.

          • The scenario you relate here is possible, but hardly typical. I don’t know this but I would guess that in the vast majority of surrogacy arrangments the genetic material from at least one intended parent is used. This should be some comfort to you. Beyond that, surrogacy is complicated and expensive and most of the people involved actually do screen people. I’m not saying that your worst-case scenario won’t occur–just that it won’t be at all common.

            This raises an important and somewhat general question–when we make laws, how much do we weigh the worst case scenarios? I think almost any set of rules for parenthood will, on occasion, yield bad results. Nothing will be perfect. So it’s all about balance–having more good than harm.

            In addition, I think that while you and I would agree that surrogacy can be problematic, but we worry about different things and so would take different corrective measures. I worry mostly about the potential for exploitation of the surrogate and so there’s a set of things I’d like to see in place to protect her. I imagine you would find it less problematic if the genetic material used was that of the IPs?

            • I worry about the commodification of the child and total chaos of kin, which is think is less so if one of them has a biological connection. I worry about exploitation of the surrogate also. 2 separate things. that is why I oppose surrogacy even when it all works out well- slippery slope.

  4. Wait a minute how can you say that it is her body and she has control over whether she chooses to abort or not, but not over whether to raise the resulting child? And why on this green earth would a private contract for custody of a child be validated at all when everything it hinges on is whimsey its all in their minds wheter they feel like raising the child or not. I find the issue of forcing anyone to do anything offensive but far worse to take a child from its parents because of a contract

    • As long as she is pregnant it is her body and she has the right to control it. But once the child is born the question will be who are the legal parents of the child? You can structure the law (and some states do structure the law) so that the legal parents are the genetic parents. So if the IPs are the genetic parents then once the child is born, they are recognized as the legal parents of the child and the surrogate is not recognized as a legal parent. If she is not a legal parent she has no right to custody of the child.

      I understand this may seems like splitting hairs or counting angels on the head of a pin or something, but it is all about assigning legal parentage. It’s not that the woman who gives birth is recognized as the legal mother but then is found to have previously signed away those rights. She was never the legal mother–not even during the pregnancy.

      FWIW, I don’t think it makes much sense to talk about “legal parents” for a child not yet born. I would prefer to talk about who will be the legal parents once the child is born.

      • It almost sounds like we agree there but I’m confused. An unborn child does not exist as a person so nobody is a parent….agreed. Person, born. Who are the person’s parents?
        You said it’s not that the woman who gives birth is (considered) the mother but is found to have previously signed away her rights, your saying she was never the legal mother at all. But is that not BECAUSE she signed the paper agreeing to let other people be the mother? Had she given birth and that paper never been signed then, it would be her that is treated as the childs mother for the record right?
        I think its absolutely best not to talk about who the parents are before the child is born. People become biological parents upon the birth of a person who is their biological offspring. People become adoptive parents upon the adoption of a person who is someone else’s biological offspring. People become foster parents upon fostering a person who is someone else’s biological offspring. I would imagine that people can become legal parents of a person that is someone else’s biological offspring upon some legally binding post birth event in that person’s life.

        • In California, the Pre-Birth Order is a court order declaring that the Intended Parents have all the rights and responsibility of being the parents. This is usually completed at the start of the third trimester.

          The court order also requires Vital Records how to place their name on the Birth Certificate as the parents upon birth.

        • I just know that this sounds like I’m doing some sort of slight of hand, but I really do think there are two ways of thinking about this. (I’m just not expressing myself clearly enough, I’m afraid.) Let me try again.

          Way 1. Woman who is pregnant and who gives birth will be legal mother of said child. But she can agree to give up her parental rights and she can do this in advance by signing the agreement.

          Way 2. While in general a woman who is pregnant and gives birth will be the legal mother of said child, this is not the case where she becomes pregnant for the express purpose of being a surrogate for someone else. In that case–if you do all the right process–the IPs become the parents of the child at the moment the child is born.

          In way 1 the pregnant woman (the surrogate) has something but gives it up. In way 2 she never acquires it and so it is not given up. This really does matter. If you think of surrogacy as Way 1, then you ought to be able to do the same thing with regard to an adoption–but we know you cannot. The key thing about Way 2 is that the intention not to be a parent (and to have these other people be the parents) exists before conception–that distinguishes it from adoption.

          (To be clear, I don’t particularly like Way 2–because of its emphasis on intention over performance.)

          • I have an in between position: mother is an identified, genetic, female parent. If she is unidentifiable or if she has signed her rights away, the gestational carrier is next on the list.

            • Is it really fair to her offspring for her to just sign her rights away in a private contract? The child is a person not an object to be contracted for. Adoption does address that by involving a supposedly disinterested third party to investigate the ‘agreement’ for signs of unseemly things like manufacture for sale.

              • In Gestational Surrogacy there is usually a 3-6 month period between the time a woman chooses to be a Surrogate and Conception.

                Before conception the normal steps include approval from Husband if Married and extended Family, Surrogacy Agency, her OBGYN, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Psychologist, Intended Parents, and Lawyers.

                A Gestational Carrier has no interest in becoming a parent through the process. She is young, healthy, and fertile. If she wanted to become a mother she could just do it without jumping through months of hoops.

                The process of becoming a Surrogate is long, hard, and well thought out.
                With lots of checks and balances along the way.

                • Again though, a gestational carrier who is carrying a fetus that when born will be the bio child of the woman who hired the gestational carrier is doing the expectant mother a favor. A gestational carrier who is carrying the fetus of a woman who, when she becomes a biological mother wants nothing to do with her own offspring, is helping to create some kind of a quasi orphan whose mother is not dead but rather abandoned him/her in a contractual agreement where she gave away an egg, and agreed to reproduce and agreed not to raise her biological child. That is a mean thing to do to the person who she gives birth to no matter how nice the lady is that wants to raise that person, it was a mean thing to help them into a situation where she knew their rights would be compromised.

                  • I think where I disagree is that an Egg Donor doesn’t agree to reproduce or become a mother. There is no act of creation on her part in anyway shape or form.

                    It’s the Intended Parents actions that create the child.

                  • Responding to below…but what about the fact that she signed an agreement to give up parental rights to any children born of her donated egg. She also agreed to reproduce, she did agree to allow her egg to be fertilized and did also have to agree to allow her fetus to be implanted in some other woman’s womb.

                    A woman who does not wish to reproduce and have offspring might donate an egg for research purposes but not for reproductive purposes. I think your wrong – she very much intends to reproduce and create offspring. What she does not intend to do is raise her offspring. So she intends to create children that she will not raise. Its all very clear in egg donor agreements. It has to be or nobody would hire them for their reproductive services if they wanted to keep their babies.

                    You show me an egg donor agreement that says the donor does not agree to reproduce and does not agree to give up her parental rights to any children born of her donated egg. She has rights to give up or there would be no more point in having her sign an agreement about the disposition of her offspring than would be with any old random joe off the street. Nobody is asking me to sign agreements that I waive my parental rights to children they claim to be parents of – that’s because I am not agreeing to abandon any of my offspring.

                  • Wait. Are you saying that egg donors don’t reproduce that they don’t create their own offspring?

                    One of the few universally true things that can be said about any human being is that they were the result of human reproduction by a couple of humans. Human reproduction is by definition the cellular reproduction of the two parent individuals to create a third individual that, when born will be their child.
                    The egg donor is the only female whose cells are reproduced therefore she is the only female responsible for the existence of the child. She may not intend to raise or even gestate the child but she most definately shares responsibility for creating her own offspring.
                    The people who reproduced are the only 2 constants in these arrangements. The exact specific born individual would not be the same person if either of their two parents were different people. The gestating female could be any random female willing to carry the pregnancy and the resulting person would still be the same person impacted by a different gestational environment. The wife of the father could be any random woman, he does not even need a wife here intentions are ancillary. The surrogate is necessary to develop the child but she was not even herself necessary because the child could simply have been gestated by its mother the egg donor. Its all novelty contrived to suit the adults. Influencing others to reproduce is not the same as reproducing your self. Gestating another woman’s pregnancy is not reproduction its gestation. The fetus builds itself.
                    The carrier provides food and a place for the fetus created by the other woman and the man who fertilized her egg. That is a fact I can’t see how you can argue from any other position.

                  • surrogacy, your statement that “its the IP’s action” that produces the child is scientifically incorrect, unless they are both genetically related to the offspring. If not, they did absolutely NOTHING to create a child- just paid a lot of money. If only one of the partners of the couple is genetically related- the non-related member did absolutely nothing to create the child. Truly that is a bitter pill to swallow.

                    My feeling is that couples should resign themselves to not having biological children together, and if they can not do so they should divorce.

              • Hey Marilyn–we agree on this, I think. the signing away rights makes me anxious.

          • Get with me on this we are not far from seeing eye to eye.

            The reality in which we live involves only born individuals with various and sundry rights liberties obligations etc, etc.

            Minors are vulnerable members of society because they are so dependent upon the adults who care for them or who would like to care for them.

            A child cannot be trafficked bought sold what have you into being someone’s biological child. This puts biological parents in a position of great power over their children if the biological parent views his or her children as objects to be sold. There is a market for children and, if your able to create them for others to purchase there is money to be made in that field for enterprising individuals. There is money to be made in producing offspring for others to raise and other people cannot raise them until they are born and neither are you in a position to give a child up until they are born. You have to become a biological parent to be in a position to give a biological parent to someone else to raise. So whether a biological parent plans it out in advance of their offspring’s conception or after conception but prior to birth or after their birth 10 minutes or 12 years – they in all their privileged biological powerfulness have exploited their position which is one of responsibility and obligation. Their biological children are not their own property to be giving or selling away they are their obligation to be raising. From the born individuals point of view the only way to see it is that their biological parent chose not to take care of them and did it in such a way that is clearly objectifying considering that there will exist a written agreement that they are the object of.

            From the perspective of the now born individual whose biological parent

            • Alas, I cannot get with you on this because you use biology as the defining factor in who is a parent and I don’t. Surrogacy is not hard for you if the genetic material of the IPs is used, right? But it remains potentially problematic for me because I’m more worried about the surrogate. Your rule for who the “real” parents of a child born to a surrogate is clear–it’s the genetically related people, right? Mine is not. Indeed, this is a real challenge–if you do not use genetics, then what do you use?

          • Why would some people not deserve the benefit of a disinterested third party investigation as to the reason why their bio parent opted not to take care of them? Surely the intention not to raise their biological child is not something that the law allows people the luxury of. Look at paternity suits. From where I sit it looks like its dandy and legal to do whatever you want with your bio kids so long as you have a buyer lined up to take care of them and the government never has to cut a welfare check. It looks more and more motivated by the desire to keep children off the public dole than it does out of a real desire to protect the dignity and human rights of our most vulnerable members of society.

            • Why doesn’t the law just say that? All the seemingly inconsistent conflicting laws and haphazard decisions on parentage start to make perfect sense if you swap the term “best interest of the child” with “best interest of the tax payer”. Then sure, sometimes its perfectly OK to name the first guy in line as father biology be damned and other times a man cannot go so deeply into hiding that he escapes the long arm of the law and parental obligation for his offspring – they will DNA test his uncle to prove that he’s the father of a kid on welfare – but throw a dna test out the window if the kid is well supported by the mother and her conspiring husband. That’s why they don’t like single women to use sperm donors its not some moral high ground its fiscal conservatism.

  5. Many of you here have great opinions and understandable moral objections to the donor/donor aspect of Surrogacy. Most likely, the law is on your side in your State.

    However, in California our laws are different since 1998 and the Buzzanca v. Buzzanca case. Which leaned on the Calvert v. Johnson case in 1993.

    The court ruled that despite the fact that neither Intended Parent in the Surrogacy agreement were genetically related to the baby they are the legal parents because “without their intention to initiate and consent to the fertilization of an embryo and transfer to a gestational carrier the child would not have been born.”

    The court likened the Surrogacy contract to “procreating conduct,” the same as the act of sexual intercourse.

    The court found that this promotes certainty and stability in families and “correlates significantly” with the child’s best interests.

    The State of California believes that we have a constitutionally protected right to procreate and form a family of our own. Even if we have to use novel medical procedures to exercise that right.

    • Now wait I know you did not make that absurd legal decision so excuse me for giving you the brunt of my reaction but you do realize that the intended parents are not themselves procreating no matter what that jack ass judge says its just not true they have not reproduced themselves. In the real physical concrete world what they did was orchestrate a situation where other people were willing to reproduce for money and also were willing not to raise their offspring. We should not have the right to reproduce other people that would be to suggest we own other people’s bodies and free will. Whose bodies were reproduced whose cells reproduced which human beings reproduced themselves? The fact that a some crackpot judge made such a decision leads me to believe one thing – that he had to name someone or the state would be financially responsible for the kid. I will look that case up. I have been blown away by case decisions I learned about here before. You are super informed so its nice to talk to you but whatever laws allowed the judge to arrive at that decision are the ones I want to change. That there is the reason I first started reading this blog and others. To figure out what laws are causing the problem for my friends and the people I help. I want to stop that kind of human rights violation from continuing. Think of the person who is the object of that kind of fallacious lie. Not only were they created for sale but are then forced to live with the people who bought them and then made to pretend to be their child. Then force fed a load of tell early and often crap so that they are so numb and use to the twisted reality that they hold it all inside until they are 13 or16 or 30 and then they go looking for their family anyone who is really related to them not for love sake for their own identity they were robbed its twisted. Not all search I have to preface that but they were all robbed of half their relatives that there is no arguing.

    • What is novel or medical about raising a child that is not your own offspring? Nothing. All the belly swapping and intending in the world won’t change the fact that in the end the kid has two bio parents who either did or did not raise them. If not and they were not adopted, their non bio parent came by their position of authority unethically, if adopted they still might have come by that position unethically but they have a way better chance of not being the object of secret resentment than the non bio intender contractor.

  6. The original judge in the case was the crackpot. He determined that since neither parent was genetically related to the child AND the Gestational Surrogate wasn’t genetically related to the child than the child HAD NO PARENTS!!!!!!

    The California State Supreme Court ruled against that judge and said of course every child has parents.

    The Intended parents thoughts, created action, which created the baby.

    Without the Intended Parents wanting, desiring, planning, and putting all of their efforts into creating the child, the child wouldn’t exist.

    So naturally, they are the parents.

    • I am disgusted by BOTH those judges, but sad to say this is only the logical result of a whole progression of legislations and decisions separating biology from parenthood! First it started with sperm donors. Sperm donors was only a minor deviation from biology, because throughout history their have been children born not knowing who their fathers were. Then we graduated to the splicing of motherhood into pregnancy and genetics. . Then we graduated to ignoring all the above while declaring unrelated persons as parents simply because they had been a partner to the pregnant woman a the time of the birth. Now we have children with NO identified mother. The second judge doesn’t impress me any more because s/he picked the absolutely WORST criteria for parenthood- people whose only connection is that they shelled out a lot of dough. I see no difference between that and baby selling. No genes. No pregnancy. No caregiving. No following a standardized adoption procedure. No relationship with another known parent of the child. Absolutely nothing. And the feminist in me is just as put off by the idea that the judge didn’t see the pregnancy as worth anything, no it was the “planning” and so forth that created the child??? (I suppose that those of us who were born out by routine, unplanned sex don’t have parents?).
      Disgusting, but predictable.
      No. No. the law must change. Every identified genetic parent must be considered the default parent except in cases of abandonment. If no genetic parent is available or identified, the pregnant woman is the default parent.

      • California just passed a State law that agrees with the Judgment. We have the right to reproduce and a right to privacy on how we reproduce.

        It wan’t controversial and didn’t even get one NO vote. Your going to have a hard time changing the law.

        08/29/12 – Assembly Floor: 79-0 (PASS)
        08/28/12 – Senate Floor: 37-0 (PASS)
        07/03/12 – Sen Judiciary: 4-0 (PASS)
        05/19/11 – Assembly Floor: 76-0 (PASS)
        05/03/11 – Asm Judiciary: 9-0 (PASS)

        http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/Bills/AB_1217/20112012/

        • Well I’ll spread the world in the hope that this insanity never gets to my state, New York. State. as Marilyn said; this law has nothing to do with the right to reproduce as the commissioner did not reproduce; they paid other people to reproduce.
          But as I said, this is after a long, long process of legal fictions and euphemisms divorcing biology from the actual state of affairs, so naturally these judges don’t know what reproduction means anymore.

        • “We have the right to reproduce and a right to privacy on how we reproduce.”
          Sure we have the right to reproduce…ourselves.
          We don’t have the right to reproduce other people.
          Infertile or sterile individuals who want to raise a donor’s offspring are the one’s reproducing; they have the right to reproduce but they are not exercising it because they can’t, they are sterile or are infertile. Donors and those who opt to reproduce with them are the ones who are exercising the reproductive rights described in your comment. I agree that how a person comes to have offspring of their own is a private matter. This aspect of the law I support.
          One problem I see with the law up until now (and I have not read your links yet) is that medical privacy has nothing at all to do with holding people accountable for their own offspring. If you want to reproduce with a person you don’t know that is your business, but once your offspring are born the law should hold both of you to the exact same standard of care as any other couple who have offspring because how you came to have offspring is of no consequence to anyone. Nobody else gets to conceal their identity from their offspring or from the government when they have offspring. Why do we allow this special class of individual some kind of exemption from responsibility? They may not be planning to raise their offspring but there are ways that people go about doing that that are recorded in court after a disinterested third party investigation as to why they won’t be raising their own offspring. Why on earth would we allow some individuals to privately contract away their parental responsibilities when other people have to go to court? Is it fair that some minors have the benefit of a court approved adoption with all its investigative bells and whistles while others that are donor offspring are being denied that protection? Adoption is quite broken get me wrong but they do a better job of limiting commodification than do people behind closed doors. An entire family’s ability to make informed health decisions their ability to avoid reproducing with immediate relatives is compromised by this perceived right to reproductive privacy. Reproductive privacy does not extend beyond the point of reproduction then your dealing with biological parents abandoning their children and others aiding them in that which should be a crime for all rather than just some.

        • This means in your case I don’t think you should have to adopt your own child unless you reproduced with an egg donor – the gestational carrier issue is neither here nor their to me personally. If you reproduced with an egg donor its my position that she has no right to conceal her identity from your child or from the government – you certainly don’t have any such right. Don’t go there about not intending to become a parent because if you reproduced and had not intended to become a parent the State would hunt you down and tag you like a buffalo on the run. You’d get tested and your wages would get garnished because you have an obligation to your offspring regardless of your original intentions in the matter and so do women. There are steps you would take to relinquish your parental obligations AFTER you had first been made to accept responsibility like the rest of us regular Joe’s who don’t have special exemption from parental responsibility by being labeled a donor.

          By exempting them from parental responsibility we create an underclass of people who have fewer rights than the general population. That is unfair that I’m pretty sure is unconstitutional and as far as I can tell nobody will do anything about it because it will destroy a multi billion dollar growth industry.,

        • I am wondering what would possess people to do such a thing. Clearly they have money, and that they don’t feel the need to have a biological relationship with the child. So why wouldn’t they travel to another country and adopt instead of cooking up a baby? The only reason I can think of is that they want to avoid pre-adoption screenings. Is that something we should be encouraging?

          • The reasoning I’ve seen is because they want to raise a child from birth or because they want information that might not be available with an adoption (medical info on bio parents, prenatal care, knowing the child wasn’t exposed to anything dangerous in utero, etc).

          • It’s all about legal rights, security, timing, and who the courts see as the parent.

            In adoption, the adoptive parent is always in second place legally and the birth mother can change her mind at any time.

            In Surrogacy, even with donor/donor the Intended Parents are in first place legally and at least in California is guaranteed that the court will back them against any and all challengers.

            A Gestational Surrogate in California, has never won custody or visitation rights from the courts.

            It can take a very long time to be approved for adoption without any guarantees at the end for the Intended Parent.

            In Surrogacy, when you have a healthy young egg donor and a healthy Surrogate the odds are very high on becoming pregnant on the first attempt and even if it takes two attempts you can usually have your baby in your arms within 18 months.

            Plus, there is the Security in knowing that this baby was Intended and created for your family from the very beginning. She wasn’t stolen from her mother in China or ripped away from a crying teenager that couldn’t afford to keep her.

            Why would you encourage anyone to go to another country and adopt? Taking someone from their country, family, people, language, and heritage sounds like the most disruptive thing you can do to a human being.

            • I know 2 people who adopted children from orphanages in a foreign country, one was a single female social worker (not hi income at all) who spent all her life savings on it. the other was a gay male couple. I think any life is a better than growing up in an orphanage. I believe these people did something very good.

              • and yes, I think growing up not having a single biological relative in the world would be downright disruptive to one’s identity development, in some ways more than in adoption.

                • That was poor communication on my part. I answered your question on why people choose Surrogacy over adoption and ended with a challenge statement and of course you only focused on the challenge. Of course, there are many instances where adoption have helped take children out of very tough situations and enhanced their lives.

                  My point was that people choose Surrogacy over adoption because: It’s all about legal rights, security, timing, and who the courts see as the parent.

                  Rebecca added some very valid reasons as well (see above).

                  • why do you think a child created by anonymous donors has less of a culture; language, etc. and than an adoptee? –
                    Sounds like you’re on the judges side who ruled that the kid had no parents, hence no background….
                    brave new world

                  • i wonder if a California surrogate wanted to keep the baby and traveled to give birth in New York, what would the court say.

            • You demonstrate compassion and understanding. You grant that people who were adopted were deserving of have been raised by their biological parents and that it is tragic when that does not occur and that having a hand in taking people away from their bio families rather than aiding those families in staying together is not something to feel good about.

              Many people are raised singlehandedly by their biological fathers and turn out excellently. Those people deserved both their parents care and support their parents owed it to them but they did not receive it for whatever reason. Life is not always fair we don’t always get what we deserve or are entitled to but it is important to note that they did deserve it and that not receiving it was a failure on the part of their parent or was a tragedy due to a parent’s death or physical incapacity. So when a biological parent chooses not to take care of their offspring that is CHOOSES not to, we look at the reasons for that choice to determine whether or not the reason exploited the bio parent’s position of authority over the disposition of his or her offspring. That is to say did they sell their child and parental rights or trade them in exchange for something? Or did they choose not to raise their child because they were mired in addiction and mental illness? It is very important that the person raising the child did not influence the absent bio parents choice in any way.

          • A couple of additonal thoughts beyond what has already been posted.

            It’s also worth noting that international adoption has become much more difficult in the past few years. There have been a lot of concerns (some of which have been raised in other places on the blog) about corruption and fraud and whether kids being adopted are actually orphans. In response, standards have really been tightened and the end result has been many many fewer international adoptions. http://adoption.state.gov/about_us/statistics.php

            Also, international adoption presents specific challenges. If you adopt a child from a different country/culture you may feel that you have a whole extra set of challenges–how to help the child develop a cultural identity consistent with her/his home country as well as fit in here, say. Not everyone wants to take on these tasks.

            • “There have been a lot of concerns (some of which have been raised in other places on the blog) about corruption and fraud and whether kids being adopted are actually orphans. In response, standards have really been tightened and the end result has been many many fewer international adoptions.”

              Gee that’s a shame that they can’t take people from their bio families in corrupt ways any more. Lets find other corrupt ways to destroy other people’s families so we can build our family from the crumbled rubble of the families we destroyed.

              That’s Rad!

      • And in cases of abandonment the genetic parent had a responsibility that does not go away just because they abandoned.

  7. is this practise in the child’s best interests? is this practise for the benefit of the child in question?

    • Hello. No its absolutely not in the PERSON’S best interests. Forget even what is in their best interests think about what is fair and equitable treatment think about what is treatment as a human not an object. No it is not in anyone’s interests but the people who believe they were destined to be the parents. There seems to be no way of putting the jack back in the box. Pop goes the weasel.

    • This is always an interesting question. I know this sounds harsh, but it isn’t one we typically ask. Why? Perhaps because there is no child at the time you would need to ask it–before conception. This means you are left with this odd and vaguely metaphysical question–would it be better for this child to be conceived and born and raised in this circumstance or not conceived and born? I don’t think anyone can answer that.

      Instead you might ask “is this okay for the children who will be conceived/born?” What I mean to change here is that I want to put the question generally rather than focus on a specific child. If you ask generally then I think we can try to answer.

      So do children born via surrogacy generally fair well? I think the answer to that is yes. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that they do better (on the whole) than children born to teenagers who didn’t want go get pregnant. What this suggests to me is that if one is genuinely worried about the well-being of children there are other things that ought to be higher on the list than surrogacy.

      • You Professor are framing the question wrong. This is not a matter of whether a person will or will not do well in life. I actually don’t think that is something that can be measured. Let us instead examine whether or not the born individual had a right to have been physically and financially supported by his or her biological parents. Other minors clearly have that protected right. Not so the offspring of a donor. The decision to reproduce with a donor means that you don’t want your child to be in control of whether or not they date and reproduce with immediate relatives – your decision prevents them from being able to avoid incestuous relationships. You take away the born individuals ability to make sound healthy decisions for themselves which will continue for generations if they also have offspring.The born individual is in a compromised position because of the laws as they are now. Also that decision puts you in a position of trying to sequester them from their biological kin hide them keep them all to yourself. It shows zero concern for giving them what they deserve what they could have. There is no reason not to cooperate with the other bio parent but selfishness.

        • Birth Certificates only show the legal parents name. Maybe you prefer what Australia is proposing. I personally feel that this would be placing a scarlet letter on the children.

          http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2012/10/02/364701_news.html

          “In Australia, you’re only allowed to have legal parents on a birth certificate, and you’re only allowed to have two,” she said.

          “If you’ve got a traditional family with husband, wife, and the biological kids of that married couple, there’s no issue.

          “But in Australia at the moment, there are many, many, many families that don’t fit that traditional role. The problem is birth certificates still assume that parents are a married, heterosexual couple.”

          Updating birth certificates with both biological and legal parentage information would also assist people navigate the minefields of statehood and inheritance, Dr Hardy said. The researchers have outlined options for reform, including providing information about biological heritage, and including the parents involved in the child’s conception and the legal parents at the time of birth.

          Victoria is the only state that notes whether a person is “donor conceived” on birth certificates. While this may help trace the parentage of a child, Dr Hardy admitted it could cause a political and social dilemma for children conceived through donors.

  8. Kisarita,

    There isn’t a reply button available to you last question so I will answer it here for you. Your question is: What would happen if a California Surrogate wanted to keep the baby and traveled to New York to deliver?

    We know that New York will uphold a Califorina Surrogacy contract because it has already happened.

    In 2010, New York upheld a California “pre-birth order and judgment of paternity” (D.P. v. T.R., F-04079-10), based on federal and state law and the full faith and credit clause. The NY Magistrate held that the parentage decision of a California court was entitled to recognition in NY.

    In that case, two gay men from New York used an egg donor and a surrogate (gestational surrogacy) in California, and got a pre-birth order from California that named both the biological father and his partner as the parents of the yet unborn child.

    • but didn’t the birth take place in California in that case?

      • Yes, the birth in this case took place in California.

        California has consistently ruled that once the Surrogacy contract is in place that the Intended Parents are the parents regardless of either party trying to change their mind.

        The parental rights paperwork is started very early in the pregnancy at the start of the second trimester. This is turned into the court and just like in any other custody and parental rights dispute every involved has a Standard Restraining Order placed on them that says they are not allowed to leave the State of California with the baby until the parental rights have been determined.

        In your scenario, California would consider this kidnapping and place a warrant our for the Surrogates arrest. If she asked for additional money to return to California that would be considered ransom.

        In the Surrogacy contract the Surrogate has agreed that California will be the legal jurisdiction for all disputes relating to the Surrogacy.

        New York, has said in the prior case, that they will use the contract to determine parental rights and can use the contract to show the intent of parentage without having to determine if the contract is enforceable.

        It sounds like you believe the Intended Parents slipped a Rufi into the Surrogates drink and forced her to become pregnant and she needs to be protected from them because they tricked her and are manipulating and exploiting her.

        I believe that Surrogates are mature, stable, self-aware women that have made a decision that surrogacy is an experience they would like to participate in.

        They voluntarily joined the team to help create a family.

        • “It sounds like you believe the Intended Parents slipped a Rufi into the Surrogates drink and forced her to become pregnant and she needs to be protected from them because they tricked her and are manipulating and exploiting her. ”

          According to New York law, whether or not deception took place is irrelevant- surrogacy is illegal and birth mothers are recognized as mothers unless they give up their rights. This being said, I understand that new york would consider itself obligated by contracts that were completed legally in other states. however, this is not self evident, and in my opinion it could have turned on where the birth took place.

          I believe the whole idea of a pre birth order is unique to California but Marilyn would have to check on that for me.

          There is definitely a connection between the 2 things- it seem s in California a child is but a property to be assigned via contract law.

          • the reason I wonder whether a case could turn on where the birth took place, Is that a court may find it difficult to conceive of a woman just giving birth (whom in new york is considered a mother) as a kidnapping the kid from total, unrelated strangers.
            Actually most people whose minds were not brainwashed by years of legal fictions would feel the same.

            • Except with California State laws they are not unrelated strangers. They are legally the parents and will have the Pre-Birth Order from the courts in their hands and we now that the State of New York will uphold this California court order.

              There are two important provisions in the California Surrogacy law:

              1) An assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers
              executed in accordance with this section is presumptively valid and
              shall not be rescinded or revoked without a court order.

              2) Upon petition of any party to a properly executed assisted
              reproduction agreement for gestational carriers, the court shall
              issue a judgment or order establishing a parent-child relationship,
              whether pursuant to Section 7630.

              The Intended Parents could get the court Judgment completed based on the Surrogacy contract that was agreed upon before the start of medications.

              • You don’t see that your talking about buying and selling the right to control a human being’s life do you – you don’t see that what your talking about is so incredibly demeaning and degrading these people are born in captivity. They are bred to serve strangers as if they were their children they are forced to hear the truth and live out this charade this lie while everywhere around them they see other people made to be accountable for their offspring yet they belong to a segregated class of people who don’t count they are not human they are half spring whole spring sold by their parents bought by people who are so wound up in what wonderful parents they would have been had they been able to have children that they don’t realize that paying other people for their offspring will never make them parents it makes them monsters and no amount of love outpouring from them in 50 years of tireless care giving more dedicated than anyone ever gave to a blood child will wipe away the deeply violent rape of these people’s identities forcing them to assume these contrived roles that underscore the reality that they were not wanted for who they really are they had to be assigned an identity that suits the people who purchased them. Can you imagine what its like to be just the same flesh and blood as anyone else and be told that the rules of identifying you are different because you were one of the chosen purchased people – you were so wanted your biological parents manufactured you for sale? Contracts. Listen to you talk of contracts. Contracts for what? What are you contracting for? A person the right to control a person to own and name and command the life of a person. Even people who can create other people don’t own those other people they are responsible for taking care of them. That responsibility can’t be sold. That is why there is no point in human development so early that you can change the individuals truly responsible for that life.

                The parents who contract away their parental rights can redeem themselves by opening their family up and making room for their family members if they want to be included. They can apologetic.

                The rest of the Drs Frankenstein I have no idea if there is hope for. They don’t belong raising children with such disregard for people its abusive

                • Isn’t this a troll post? Even if the writer had a point, it is delivered in an offensive, vilifying manner. The name-calling is really inappropriate.

                  • Agreed. It doesn’t promote reasoned conversation.

                  • what is a troll post

                  • I don’t suppose I have an authoritative definition, but I think of it as one that doesn’t enhance the possiblity of reasoned conversation and is more like the rhetorical equivilant of throwing stones at people. I’d put name-calling and over-heated rhetoric in the category as well as personalizing attacks so they focus on the person one is responding to rather than the ideas.

                    From my perspective there’s often not a clear moment to draw a line as it often takes two to tango (as they say), but there are times when I check in on comments and I think that maybe things are getting a bit out of line. This is one of them. If everyone here could take a deep breath and back off a step or two it would help.

                  • The writer has a point there are people who are born into what would essentially be captivity their biological parents traded them out of their families and agreed to abandon their parental obligations for offspring born of their genetic donations, their offspring are litterally born to serve as the children of people they are not related to. At best they are born into a situation where a biologial parent wants to deny them access to their own biologial family born to be raised by someone who wants to keep them all to themselves and not share them with the other half of their family. Who did I specifically call a name? When I said these actions don’t make people parents it makes them monsters? They are buying people’s offspring and parental rights from them they are not buying eggs or sperm I just posted content from multiple egg donor agreements and the egg donor’s children are the object of the agreement her relinquishment of parental rights is clearly the object of the agreement, her ongoing absense from her offspring’s life is clearly the object of the agreement – the egg itself receives little air time. What is there to be said about someone who would want to sequester an individual from half or even all their biologial relatives? What is there to be said about a bio parent who creates offspring they have no intention of raising? What is there to be said about bio parents who won’t stand up and identify themselves in court as being the source of their offspring’s life and at least go through an adoptive process that might prevent their offspring from landing in the hands of people who are not equipt to care for their offspring or who might view their offspring as an object rather than a human being? It is monsterous. I don’t think eggs or sperm are people. I look at the people who were born of these agreements and I see people who have been treated unfairly. I see people who were born to play a role because who they really are is not what the people who raised them really wanted – those people wanted a child that was theirs related to only them but they got a child that was related to someone else so they alter those people’s identities so they can serve the people who paid to obtain them. It is exactly as horrible as it sounds. The fact that the people doing the buying and selling are pleasant about it does not change the fact that they believe they can purchase their way into a parental roll. Its not real. Its is all acted out and it may be as real as the children will ever know. It’s like putting an American Eagle in a zoo and saying he’s safe and happy there where he can be looked after. So I’m definately upset when people talk about contracts for control of human beings and recorded their identities as if intention not to raise one’s offspring made them any less responsible for their existence.

                    If what I am saying sounds offensive its because what I am describing is truly a horror show and Frankenstein is an apt literary reference since he was trying to build himself a person from other peoples parts. And his creation was not the monster but he was for thinking he really was creating something he could control. I’m sorry If I offended. It was the contract to control human beings that set me off. I’ll try to not get so worked up over gigantic human rights abuses.

                  • For me the key point is that you work from the assumption that the biological link defines everything that follows. Thus, the child born to parents who are not genetically related to her/him is born to serve and so on. I just don’t share that assumption and the more extreme you make your language–as you have here–the more absurd it seems. (I’m sure this is not the effect you mean it to have–just saying.)

                  • I just read the wikipedia definition of troll and I am not tricking anyone that really is my opinion and I am not saying these things to get people to feel badly about themselves I’m trying to get them to feel badly about what happens to people other than themselves when they do what they do.

                    I’m not sneaky or hiding under a bridge i use my own name and everything.

                • The tone of this post strikes me as a little excessive. I understand there is deep disagreement here, but one can disagree respectfully. Please try to tone it down? I don’t really want to be a gatekeeper, but if that is what it takes to keep things civil, I will.

                  I think you have to realize, Marilyn, that many of us do not make connections that you do–that to me selling an egg is nothing like selling a child. I understand we disagree but I don’t think that makes either of us bad people.

                  • Julie I am frustrated that I never get a direct answer from anyone here on the proART side of things. I’m frustrated at the side stepping. I know that people on the pro side have a difficult time responding to my questions because I am not a religious extremest or conservative or homophobic or anti-abortion/pro-life. I don’t believe that eggs or sperm are human beings. Eggs and sperm are human being’s cells. I believe that people need to retain responsibility for and authority over their own bodies and bodily actions up to and including bodily actions such as reproduction. I believe that the laws should be written to obligate people to be accountable for the results of their own actions. There must be a legal principal that says people cannot sell or give away their responsibilities to other people. Julie I did not go to school, help me here. Just conceptually, a rich guy can’t pay someone to do his jail time for him for instance. The law does not want someone willing to take the wrap for the crime to take responsibility for the crime, they want the person that did the crime to take responsibility for the crime. A person can have agents that handle things for them but ultimately they are acting under the direction of the person whose responsibility it is (for whatever reason) to do the thing.

                    I have no problem with laws that allow people to reproduce with whomever they wish using what ever methods they wish to use. Reproductive rights operate like other rights – they are limited to being exercised by the individual. I have the right to cast my own vote for instance but I should not have the right to cast a vote for you. Imagine there are lots of people who’d be willing to sell their right to vote permanently or possibly election by election. Just send your ballot to my house and I’ll vote for you. Think of all the poor democrats that would be willing to sell their right to vote to some wealthy conservative republican special interest group. Those poor democrats who sold their right to vote would still really be responsible for the votes cast on their behalf, they can’t really wash their hands of it.

                    With all these discussions of contracts for control over an egg donor’s reproductive behavior or a gestational carrier’s reproductive behavior or control over an egg donor’s offspring there is no arguing that the person who is still truly responsible for her own actions is the woman whose body is either gestating or reproducing.

                    I see egg donors with offspring no differently than I see any woman with offspring. Why should I? Why should any of us concern ourselves with intention when what matters is action, reaction result?

                • All that I can really say, is that calling someone’s children “not human” and their parents “monsters” will not win many friends or influence people.

                  • How many donor offspring friends have you won through your writing or obtained through bargaining sessions and contract negotiations? The number of friends that I have who are objects of contracts like the ones you describe is staggering – jaw dropping really. They have not paid to have me in their life and I have not paid to have them in mine but they are really loyal. I invite a few to stop by here if you want them to check your writing on the topic of contracting for parental control and possession of minors – exert a little influence see if you win some new friends?

          • Honestly you’d need a horrifically messy case to happen to get a court decision on this, and I wouldn’t wish that mess on anyone. As we’ve seen with many of the Utah cases, there are states that will ignore a prior custody or parentage decision from the state where the birth parents resided in order to push through an adoption, so it’s hard to know what would happen if the surrogate in a California arrangement carrying a child not biologically related to anyone who is involved and wants custody moved to and gave birth to the child in another state. And as I said, I wouldn’t wish the horrible situation that would be required to produce such a court decision on anyone.

            • However I agree with surrogacy, that New York has a strong record of respecting contracts that are legal in other states. So perhaps this surrogate might be taking a chance on New York- better luck in another state.

          • I will check. It seems to me when the Erickson case broke I did some reading about the law and read I thought that it was pretty clearly called out to be for people to get named parents when someone carried their genetic child but if the man was related and the woman not she’d be required to do a step parent adoption. Its part of what I thought I read she was in trouble for but I could be wrong. Sounds like I am remembering wishfully.

            • The Erickson case had nothing to do with genetics.

              The problem was that for a Surrogacy contract to be valid the Intended Parents and Surrogate MUST have a contract BEFORE the start of medications. If there is not a contract in place than an adoption must happen and it is no longer a Surrogacy.

              This distinction means that different laws apply.

              After the Surrogate was pregnant she would falsify documents and tell adoptive parents that they could assume a failed Surrogacy contract that never existed under the pretense that the Intended Parents were backing out of the agreement.

              This is why the new Surrogacy laws in California will not allow anyone to back out of the agreement without a court order.

              She then filed documents with the court that showed that the new Intended Parents actually were the Intended Parents before conception so that the court would approve it as a Surrogacy arrangement and not an adoption.

  9. With the case in Texas, I think that it appears the “father” was skirting the legalities of surrogacy in Texas which require the parties to be married, in a heterosexual marriage. It seems that this way, he doesn’t have to deal with that loop of the law. In addition, I am curious that if this was in fact a “surrogacy” situation that the clinic did not have that agreement in their records. For all cases I have been a part of that are surrogate cases, the clinic requires a copy of that agreement prior to any treatment occurring. If this was not a “surrogate” arrangement, they would have no reason to require that sign off. Seems a little shady….should she have had their agreement in writing, definitely…but is he skirting the law….hmm…

  10. This comment is in reply to Marilyn’s about being frustrated at not getting answers. (Because we’ve gone something like five layers deep in comments I cannot post it directly in reply and while I could change that setting, it’s already sort of confusing to have so many levels.

    Marilyn–I think you are more likely to get answers if you make your own comments more temperate and to the point. It’s offputting to use inflammatory language. I’m afraid it conveys a sense that you are really interested in rational discussion but just in scoring points. I’m certainly less inclined to keep reading (and to write back) under those circumstances. The same is true of the labelling–if you label people or practices as monsters or monsterous, I’m less inclined to respond. It doesn’t look to me like you are really interested in an answer. And I cannot engage in the discussion on the terms you set out.

    To be clear, I think it is perfectly possible to indicate total disagreement but to do so in a reasonable tone.

    • OK so the answers?

    • I asked some new questions there and my tone was cordial. Why are we still talking about my tone and not answering questions?

      • I confess that I am now lost in the comments. You could try your questions again here–I’m just no longer sure which comments respond to what. But I will assume it is the one that says you are frustrated? (If it is an earlier one, I’ll be off the mark.)

        I agree, of course, that eggs and sperm are human cells. I don’t think anyone should be able to take these from you without your consent. But I also think you should be able to give them up–as a true donor or even for money (though we typically characterize the money as being for time/effort, etc.) I think it is wise to consider when you give them up that they will be used for ART. But I think people can do that–they can decide for themselves that this is okay.

        If someone else uses the cells I wouldn’t say that the donor has reproduced. It’s true of course, that the gametes obtained from the donor are being used for reproduction, but (in my view) the reproduction is not the donor’s action. I think this might be where we essentially disagree. You think that the donor is reproducing and the rest of what you say follows from that. I do not think the donor is reproducing and so the rest doesn’t follow for me.

        It’s a curious word–”reproducing.” I don’t think I use it much–I don’t ask people if they’ve reproduced, I ask them if they have kids. I would say that the donor is part of the ART process. I’m not sure who I would actually say has reproduced, but that’s sort of what I mean–it’s not the way I use the language.

        • OK good you recognize that the gametes are the donor’s cells.

          Now on the topic of human reproduction
          scientifically speaking human beings are evidence of their parent’s cellular reproduction.

          Can you agree that it is the donor whose cells reproduce and not the individual who might happen to buy those cells? That person’s cells don’t reproduce.

          Assisted reproduction
          means assisting in the cellular reproduction of a human being – helping those gamete cells reproduce make a zygote.

          So the cells belong to the bodies they came from right? And the cell reproduces. That is the whole biological gig in a nutshell

          So Julie donor assisted reproduction means they assist the donor in reproducing her cells.

          Here is a very specific question. Let’s not talk about how you’d phrase it or how you like to think of it. I’m trying to base my opinion on something that is as true in your universe as it is in mine. You are far more educated than me and I know that you must have had a basic biology class at some point in your life. I have to assume that human reproductive biology is something you cannot say is different in your opinion.

          Do egg donor offspring get their maternal genetics (50% of their cellular biology) from the egg donors?

          Would it be a true statement for me to say that the egg donors cell reproduced in order for the egg donor to have offspring?

          Or are you suggesting that since she sold that cell I should no longer refer to it as being the egg donor’s cell?

          Would you then think it was a true statement to say that the egg donor’s offspring get 50% of their genetic material from the infertile female who bought the egg? Because she owned at the time it was reproduced right? So it is her that is related to the donor offspring? Cause she owned the egg? Or is it a scientific fact that responsibility for the reproductive act cannot be assumed by someone else on your behalf? It has to be one way or the other or the argument falls apart.

          I really want you to respond to this so we can agree about biology – not the legalities that follow from it just what is fact=real. for starters.

          • Marilynn, the issue I have with your position based on “cells” is that the blood and amniotic fluid that is CRITICAL to the survival and development of the donated gametes are also “cells.” The egg and/or sperm would never have made it, but for the oxygen and nutrients provided by the cells lining the uterus of the gestational surrogate or the mother who needed a donor egg to give birth to her own child.

            You may say, “But Sue, the gametes carry the genetic legacy of the donor. Who cares about the amniotic fluid and the uterus?” Almost everyone, actually. There are countless scientific studies that show pre-natal conditions in the uterus, in the pregnant woman’s body overall (drugs, alcohol, disease), and in her everyday environment (pollution) significantly affect the outcome of the child born later. A genetic predisposition to be intelligent, athletic, diabetic, autistic or what-have-you, is merely that: a predisposition. Environment plays a role in whether that materializes in the human being. There is simply no denying that environment plays a role; only the EXTENT of the role of nature vs. nurture is still in debate.

            I could say the same about the predisposition to identify one’s self as a victim of one’s parents — whether they adopted you, asked a surrogate to carry you, needed a donor gamete to bring you in to this world, or had you the old-fashioned way. Depressed, obsessed and self-pity-ridden kids are a product of their genetics AND their environment. Now, if they are actually being treated as slaves by their parents, then that is a criminal matter already addressed by other laws in this country. Child slavery has no place in a reasonable discourse like this. Bringing it into the discussion is like crying Nazi. (Yes, Nazis exist. But the term is overused. Real Nazis are few and far between AND we already have laws against their illegal acts.) For that reason, I thought your references to slaves and monsters was trolling. Sure, the worst case scenarios sometimes happen. But we don’t use those to justify stopping all the good that comes out of an activity. We penalize the bad outcomes instead. If child slavery is your concern, don’t worry — it’s been illegal in California for quite some time now. Our new surrogacy laws will not change that.

            There are other things which are equally critical to the development of a human being from a cell in a petrie dish, such as the intention to reproduce, the love and care given to the helpless infant…but those things are not reducible down to the bottom line of “cells,” so I suppose you would leave them out. Breast milk from a mother who required the help of an egg donor is also comprised of cells that nourish the baby after birth and contribute to its development. Supposedly breast milk negates some genetic predispositions to disease. But breastfeeding is hotly debated issue, so we can leave it out of this discussion too if you wish. Personally, I wouldn’t omit any of these because I happen to agree with California law: the intention to bring a child into this world is what defines parenthood in the ART setting. In a non-ART setting, different rules apply. But in this special circumstance, intention to parent is what brings a child into existence. There are no “oops babies” in ART.

            On a tangent: Whenever someone tells me they think parents via surrogacy are just trying to get around adoption laws, I have to laugh. They have no idea about the background checks, physical examinations (if you are using your own gametes), psychological evaluations (often more rigorous than the local bureaucracy’s screening methods, but faster — and if you have any doubt that adoptive parent screenings are fallible, Google “Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son”), the waiting, the uncertainty, the lawyers, and extraordinary expense involved in surrogacy. Surrogacy is not a way to get around anything. People choose it for their own reasons, the same way some people choose to have children the old fashioned way rather than adopt. Have you ever asked a new parent (via the old-fashioned way), “Why didn’t you just adopt? Is it because you couldn’t pass the screening?” I hope not.

            I think what it comes down to is this: there is good and bad in everything — parenting via adoption, via donated gametes and via surrogacy are no exception. That said, there is SO MUCH good that has come out of closed adoption, surrogacy and gamete donation. I am not blinded by that; I’ve read the horror stories, too. But it seems to me that you have taken anecdotal cases of unhappy children who came out of such families and overgeneralized, such that you now vilify all such families. But that’s just the bathwater, Marilynn. Don’t throw the baby out with it.

            • I eat fish. Am I a fish?

              • Sue, why do you think that ART people should have a different law than naturally conceived people? Are they a different species? Why should the manner of our conception define who we are?

                • It boils down to why do some people not have to be accountable to or for the offspring they create while the rest of society is held to a hard line. Why do some get to get out of their parental obligations in a private off line contract with no oversight by a disinterested party while other’s have to go through court and explain themselves or be guilty of the crime of abandonment. Why is any of that tolerated it reeks of inequity and results in differential and unfair treatment to way more than just the donor’s offspring. Try being the sibling of a donor with 150 anonymous kids, your full nieces and nephews, full cousins to your own children and you with no right to find out who those kids are. Donors render their entire family absolutely helpless to prevent themselves from dating and reproducing with members of their own family. When people are accountable for their own young what follows is that their young know about one another and other family members know about them and they can all avoid having sex with one another – especially important in very large families living in the same state or tri state area.

              • (one could say that the cells of my body ultimately include protein derived from a fish)

                • this being said, I differ from Marilyn in that I do believe that being a gestational carrier is a legitimate basis for parenthood. This has nothing to do with the influence on pregnancy on DNA. If I am exposed to radiation my DNA will also be affected. that does not make the radiation my parent. If you use the effect on DNA argument for surrogacy. you are basically accepting genetic primacy and NOTHING beats the gametes in that area.
                  The reason I accept being a gestational carrier as a legitimate basis for parenthood is that I believe at the time of the birth, the infants primary relationship is with the woman who birthed him. They have been part of one body for nine months. The pregnant woman’s body doesn’t know the difference between genetics or not. It will secrete oxytocin and produce milk all designed to nurture this child. The infant knows this woman’s smell and voice.
                  Thus, at the time of the birth, I feel the surrogate is in a unique parental position.
                  However I accept DNA as more important because the importance of pregnancy fades with time and the importance of both DNA grows.

                  • All excellent points and impossible to argue because your statements are based on stuff that are facts for everyone, not just you.
                    I think the UC Irvine fertility scandal sealed it for me though, all those people’s embryo’s eggs and sperm sold to other patients and the law would not allow them to find out who had their children. Just awful they were treated no different than had they given consent – which might prove Julie’s point that their consent is not needed….I can play both sides of the fence here if I have to just to be my own sparring partner. Anyway legitimate donors do sign the agreements and therefore nobody can say they are not giving up a kid fer pete sake. Anyway good points Ki

            • Sue you have misunderstood me. Of course I think gestating and delivering a baby matters to the health of the born individual. Of course I understand that the prenatal environment has an impact on fetal development just as environment outside the womb impacts development of the born individual. I am all squared away on that. I don’t think pregnancy is for wimps. I have been pregnant 13 times. I have 1 living child, 1. I had a son die in my arms the day he was born. I’m well aware of what can happen to a fetus if the woman’s body is not working properly. As a matter of fact I am exactly the kind of woman that would go out and hire a gestational carrier because I get pregnant thinking about sex but cannot keep a baby in me to save my life. I almost lost Ruby at 7 or 8 months too I forget which but I was on bed rest and I had shots in my stomach 3 times a day I have 1 living kid. I get it.
              But as an aside the woman carrying the child – her blood does not mix with the fetus at all its totally separate. A gestational carrier gestates. A person’s biological parents reproduce as in their cells reproduced and for a woman that can occur in the body of another woman who is carrying her pregnancy. Whatever on all that. The real issue is that people are paying people to reproduce so that they can take their children and raise them as if they were their own. I don’t think people are treating donor offspring like slaves toiling away. I think that they view people as objects to be purhchased and contracted for because – now I am going with a fact here….because people are the objects of the agreements they enter into with gamete donors and their brokers. The donor’s offspring is the object of the contract, not just the gamete and in fact the consent to relinquish parental rights is the deal breaker. If a donor is not willing to do that then the deal is off. So I absolutely feel that it is wrong to buy people out of their families even if your really nice to them after you do it.

              • I don’t think that anyone is arguing with you about the DNA and how biology works. The debate is what can a person legally do with his/her DNA.

                If he/she can have a live birth and allow another person to adopt the child and give them the legal responsibility to the child as the parent the minute they are born, why wouldn’t he/she be able to give away this same legal responsibility to someone before a child exists?

                As the Intended Parent why then wouldn’t my name then go on the birth certificate as the parent, since birth certificates don’t reflect who gave birth to the child, but reflect who is legally responsible for the child.

                • Ah see now someone has an argument with some teeth to it. Why would someone not be able to give up their parental roll prior to the existence of their offspring’s birth? Good point and I think that is in fact exactly what donors are doing, no doubt in my mind at all. Logistically its just a promise to be kept at a later date if and when their offspring are born. There does have to be offspring for the promise to go into effect so I think what they are doing is agreeing to terms which will be performed at a later date. That is not exactly a fledgling legal concept I know we deal with it in my business and I read contracts for design and construction all day where our fee is inclusive of services to be performed 6 months post occupancy for example, well after our last check was cut.

                  I know that the law is not suppose to enforce contract terms where parents agree to give up their children before they are conceived or born yet clearly its being done in surrogacy. I am only assuming that the reason why the laws in my state which would not enforce the terms of a contract to relinquish a child because your not suppose to have private contracts for parental rights. There is an opportunity for graft and corruption there and the state expects to approve it when a parent is not going to be responsible for their own young. As a practical matter I can’t see where the state would waste its time talking about custody of non existent person. There has to be a good reason for not taking care of your own offspring though which is where I think adoption tries to protect people from being exploited by their bio parents people are not suppose to be transfered out of their parents care in return for valuable consideration – look what that says about how both parties view the object of their contract as something they think they have total control over rathe than as a person who is entitled to recognition as a member of their own family.

                  The reason you want the bio parents on the birth record is because then the medical record functions for medical purposes and it is a true vital statistic. You know the federal government mandates that states collect very specific information on the each person born and they ask extensive questions about the mother and father named on the certificate. That information is collected by the CDC and is used as the basis for medical research on heritable diseases and birth defects that your tax dollars pay for. Its a health record first and legal identification 2nd. Birth certificates with adopted parents names are not collected by the CDC because they are not real birth certificates,, they are useless for medical purposes they are a false and innacurate health record. There was always a margin of error assumed in misattributed paternity from cheating but the donor thing has original records so mired in falsehood and inaccuracy as to undermine the credibility of any research being based on them. We are screwed at this point there is no way to recover we might as well just stop trying to keep track of birth stats.

                • The difference is that adoption is supposed to be a solution to a problem- for a child whose family can not raise them. Adopters must be arduously screened. I am not saying that it always works out that way, I am talking about the concept.
                  Intended parents (I refer to non genetically related) are not legally required to undergo screening before obtaining parental status, plus instead of being an answer to a problem, its like engineering a problem of a child without a family so that they can then step in.
                  Whats more, in most locations an adoption can not be finalized before the birth. The situation in California is unusual.
                  Why do I agree with that? Because before birth, a fetus is not a person with rights according to the constitution and after birth, it is a person with rights. As a person, it can not be subject to contractual agreements made regarding a non-person.

                  • Since you bring up California as being unusual, I’d like to add a fun fact to the discussion about Texas Surrogacy Laws.

                    In Texas, you can get the Pre-Birth order approving the Intended Parents as the legal parents of the baby competed and finalized BEFORE conception takes place. There is no need to wait until the Surrogate is pregnant.

                  • yes yes that was well said.

                • Now we are having fun – I’m responding to one of your newer comments below that addresses what information CDC ultimately receives for a child born of surrogacy. If I read you right your saying that CDC gets the birth record with info on the woman who delivers the child and then, just as with adoption an ammended record is issued with the intended mother’s name on the birth record and the original is sealed.
                  That is great news for the CDC and for American’s who rely on them to manage the spread of disease in the country; its good when the information recorded on who is reproducing is accurate, No? It’s also good news for people whose mothers were traditional surrogates; it means that there is an original record of their identity to fight for the way an adopted person with a medically accurate sealed original record can fight for theirs. There is a tremendous amount of dignity in having ones identity correctly recorded and acknowledged – its insulting that it is sealed but that is another equal rights battle entirely.

                  The problem is that many surrogates deliver babies they are not related to. Sometimes the biological mother is the woman who hired the surrogate, other times the biological mother is a woman who contracted to produce offspring to be raised by the people who hired the surrogate so the information recorded on those birth records is false and useless as a medical record or vital statistic. The people who can’t or have not reproduced are recorded as having done so and the people who really are healthy and reproducing are not being recorded. You can see where this starts to be a big problem. The people whose identities really need to be recorded for the health of the person named on the certificate and the overall health of the community are the people reproducing. If it is important to accurately record the identity of a man who reproduces to create just a handful of children why would we not record the identity of a man who is reproducing to create 75 to 100 offspring? If it is important to accurately record the identity of a woman who reproduces to create just one child why would we not need to record the identity of women who are producing 8 to 20 offspring? So the fact that the people really reproducing are concealing their identities is a major threat to public health.
                  If I were the sibling of a donor and my kids ability to make informed reproductive decisions was compromised because they don’t know who their first cousins are I’d be mad as hell and fighting to find out how many children he had and what their names are. Not recording him as the father of each of his children puts his entire family at risk, not just his children but every other member of his family is negatively impacted by his decision (or her decision).
                  If not recording the identities of people reproducing was not dangerous enough – we are adding to the problem by recording infertile and sterile individuals as having reproduced when they did not. Hows that for messed up. It looks like all the sick people are healthy and all the healthy people are looking like they’re not reproducing at all.

                  • Your making the debate of public rights to know vs. individual rights to privacy. Gestational Surrogacy is a very low number of the total births in the US with maybe 1,400 births last year.

                    The number of births in the USA in 2011 was 3,999,386 according to the CDC website. This means that the Surrogacy related births would be less than .0003% of the total births.

                    This low of a percentage contribution to the entire numbers would be considered statistically irrelevant.

                    That’s why I believe that the individuals right to privacy is more important in this case.

                  • replying to surrogacies statement that that gestational surrogacy numbers are so low as to not impact public health. A gestational surrogate is from a medical standpoint, simply a woman who is not related to the child she delivers. Contractual arrangements don’t matter to a person’s health and understanding of heritable diseases. So really we are talking about all the women in the US who give birth to other women’s offspring. Way way way more than just some paltry 1000 and change. Take a look at the number of births to women in the 50+ since 1990. You’d think we’d found the fountain of youth. Everyone’s healthy and reproducing like rabbits. So listen let’s say it was just 1000 old women giving birth a year and it only impacted the health records of 1000 people. Are you saying that those 1000 people don’t deserve to have accurate health records?

                    Tell me why is it Necessary for those 1000 individuals to have birth records that are medically useless to them and to the CDC? Is there a reason they cannot please have accurate birth records?

                    Tell me why can’t they simply record the truth so that the record is useful for medical purposes? Any reason for falsifying the record? Does the constitutional right to privacy also include the right to lie when providing requested information to the state and federal government? The right to lie about someone else’s medical information. Hmm. I think that extends beyond their right to privacy its almost like they are trying to control or own other people’s reality. They may not think those individuals need to know the truth what is the harm really? The harm is that it is an affront to to the premise of freedom to control the flow of information to prevent people from knowing the truth. Do they need to know who their family is ? Sure if they want to avoid fking them.

            • Wait a minute when did I bring up unhappiness. I have been reading this blog for a long time now I think I know to avoid arguments that get shot down I don’t talk about psychological damage or primal wounds or any of that. I don’t talk about God or natural law and I don’t use anecdotal pain to make a point because those get shot down with one of those “not everyone feels the same way and everyone has their own opinion” bullets and I don’t like getting shot at with that ammunition. That said, what I am talking about is the fact that donor offspring are not treated fairly under the law and that is not a point you have tried to argue. As far as I can tell your position is that they don’t need those rights anyway and they should not be unhappy because they were so wanted that someone went out of their way to buy them out of their biological families. Sometimes they even buy the pregnancy experience to make it more lifelike for themselves. Their only concern is what great parents they would have been and how unfair it is that people who would be bad parents are able to reproduce so easily.

              The main reason for the investigative process in adoption is to determine if the bio parent is exploiting their position by selling their child aand their parental rights.

    • Marilyn,

      I believe that everyone has the right to pro-create, not-recreate, or help others and co-create.

      The Catholic religion is against Surrogacy, but not Jews. Israel was the first country to legalize Surrogacy. Who gets to make the final decision for each individual person. We have laws that the majority agree to, but many disagree to on moral or religious grounds. Other examples are easy to find like abortion, pre-martial sex, or drinking.

      Who gets to make the final decision for each individual person. These are very personal decisions that each individual person struggles to answer.

      You think that a non-biological child is born into slavery and I think that the same child is born into a loving family.

      You have non-biological friends that are in turmoil and I have non-biological friends that are happily loved and secure in their relationships.

      While you might not approve of answers, I do think that I have given you very direct answers regarding my views.

      • You are confusing Marilyn and me- I’m the one against surrogacy and sees it as a potential basis for parental status.
        Marilyn is against gamete donation. actually we both are.

  11. Marilyn our conversations keep needing to jump locations.

    The CDC isn’t concerned with accurate DNA information. If they were then every newborn baby would have a DNA test and the Fathers would be required to match the child genetically to go on the birth records.

    It has always been the case were anyone can be named as the father without any need for the information to be biologically accurate or proven.

    The women’s husband is automatically assumed to be the father of the child with no proof required and is listed as the parent.

    It is determined that listing the husband on the birth certificate is “in the best interest of the child” regardless of biology.

    Single women are simply asked what is the fathers name. Since any man can be named on a birth certificate as the father without genetic testing required, why can’t any woman be named without needing to prove they are genetically related to the child?

    I would guess that there are more inaccurate birth certificates naming the wrong fathers in the US every year than children born through Surrogacy.

    • @Surrogacy, I think you hit the nail on the head. It seems the objections voiced here (to the right to put the Intended Parents’ names on the birth certificate of a genetically-unrelated child) boil down to cuckolding. That explains the vehemence of the arguments; it’s such a touchy subject for men, leading to much anguish, insecurity and misogyny (not to mention the lucrative business of on-line DNA testing kits!).

      It’s an age-old problem, only instead of the cuckolded father’s POV, it is the child’s POV being advanced here. Imagine the husband’s outrage, only multiplied by 100 due to emo teenager hormones and such. As we all know, some people never outgrow the emo teenager stage and engage in self-pity their whole lives. I personally know a few still-angry adults who were not told they were adopted. But that isn’t about names on birth certificates at all. It’s about honesty between parent and child. That’s a personal matter, not a legal one. If a parent (by any means: adoption, surrogacy, gamete donation, heaven forbid gang-raped by strangers, or just having an affair with the milkman…) chooses to withhold the truth from her family, then that is her choice and she will deal with the consequences. Maybe someday technology will lead us to the point where it is impossible or impractical to hide the existence of a biodad and/or biomom (I do some work with foster youth — those are the terms we use for the gamete donors who most kids truly WISH they weren’t related to). But until that time comes, this is just part of the human condition.

      Denying parents via adoption and gamete donation the right to put their names on the birth certificate (depriving them of all the advantages you brought up earlier), will not solve the problem. Above, you enumerated several good reasons why the TRUE parents’ (meaning the ones who wanted, loved and raised the child, whether or not they contributed an egg or sperm) names should go on the birth certificate. I am 100% with you on that. California’s surrogacy laws do not encourage lying. Putting your name on your child’s birth certificate is NOT a declaration of genetic parentage. It has never been. It is about declaring responsibility for the child, which I applaud wholeheartedly.

      I feel bad because there seem to be so many comments being directed at you (some bordering on ad hominem — good thing you are not too sensitive). This is not meant to be one of those. I appreciate your posts, even though I think they are a waste of time in this crowd. They appear unwilling to consider the majority point of view in our state and cannot be dissuaded otherwise. Can’t win ‘em all, right?

    • ST your absolutely right, surrogacy is not at all the only contributor to falsified birth records, not by a long shot. There was always a significant margin of error (I forget how CDC phrases it) figured in to their stats but nobody was figuring on men fathering 150+ kids a piece nor do I think they are fully prepared for what adding false maternity information would do. They follow ART outomes but its not recocnciled against the birth data yet in a meaningful way and well you can see what its going to do to research on heritable diseases and even down to things like race and education and income bracket each new inaccuracy adds up. Also don’t forget we are talking about real people who have birth records that are deliberately medically inaccurate.
      Here is the thing about naming any old joe shmo on the birth record even if he’s married to the woman that gives birth. It’s not his kid really and the kid is really some other man’s responsibility and allowing any old guy to take on his duties as parent is number one unfair to his offspring who does have the right to be supported by their biological parents – The UPA says that paternity is important to people for family medial reasons and for a sense of heritage and those are not things you can get from a when you are not his offspring. If the state orr federal government will chase down every man a woman recalls sleeping and force them to take a paternity test, so that the minor can have that ongoing family medical information and the sense of heritage that ongoing contact with bioth bio parents provides people with (not verbatim but something along those medically necessary lines) Then why the hell is that information not important to everyone? Why do some people’s health get left to chance while other people get government assistance tracking down and testing men to confirm the identity of their fathers? Identifying the biological parents is either important or its not. If its important it should be important enough that everyone has a right to expect the same level of protection and diligence in being identified as the offspring of people who are medically relevant to them. If its not important then throw it out across the board and stop doing genetic testing in child support cases. From now minors only have parents to support them if someone intended them. If people don’t intend to raise them they have no obligations. If it’s good enough for donor offspring then let’s everyone get on board. No more sending birth records to CDC and don’t have doctors or witnesses sign birth records. If that kind of slapshod approach to record keeping is good enough for all the people who have to live life with falsified birth records then lets not bother recording information that people don’t have to be truthful about what’s the point?
      For what its worth I’m an avid same sex marriage supporter. I want to eliminate marital presumption and if not dna test every infant at birth then make both people claiming to be parents swear under penalty of pujery that the child named on the birth record is their biological offspring in order to better ensure medical accuracy. If the child is not then I think they owe the state an explanation of whose offspring it is that they are trying to claim and prove that they have that person’s signed consent so that there are no more UC Irvine or OHSU style kidnapping errors. That means that donors are going to need to go to court and have their names written down like grown ups do when they reproduce. Their offspring deserve at least that much consideration.

  12. @ Surragacy Together. You wrote “the same child is born into a loving family” look, lots and lots of love for a child is a standard, not a revelation. Candidly, anyone’s baby will do, any minature individual, so I sometimes think that those who get invloved with IVF are playing dolls, because so far you have not written about inherited characteristics meaning anything, seeming to take access to your own real family for granted.

    • I know that these replies are really jumbled and hard to follow.

      My comment was in reply to another post saying:

      “their offspring yet they belong to a segregated class of people who don’t count they are not human they are half spring whole spring sold by their parents bought by people who are so wound up in what wonderful parents they would have been had they been able to have children that they don’t realize that paying other people for their offspring will never make them parents it makes them monsters”

      Then goes on to say:

      “The rest of the Drs Frankenstein I have no idea if there is hope for. They don’t belong raising children with such disregard for people its abusive”

      I don’t see these parents as Frankenstein’s or monsters. I simply see them as parents creating a family and like every other family the parents will love their children and do anything for them.

      Surrogacy families are just like every other family.

      The conversation started about Surrogacy contracts and what is enforceable, before it has moved through a range of topics including abortion, adoption, and biology. Throughout all of the topics I have tried to stay on point talking about the law and haven’t really spoken about my personal family.

      It took years for me to overcome infertility and my daughter to be born. There was nothing easy about our journey to parenthood. She recently turned two and I am still running victory laps and celebrating her birth. Her 2nd birthday celebration literally lasted the entire month.

      I am not taking anything for granted.

      Just the opposite, I feel that having access to Surrogacy changed my life and I believe that other people deserve the same opportunity to become parents that I got and that most governments stand in their way by not making the process legal.

      • Yeah but ST she’s your kid you made her she’s there is nothing more to know about her father, your it, your medically accurate Mr. Dad. It does not matter how you wound up with offspring the kid is here and your doing your job.
        Now whoever you reproduced with I’d say the same thing about she has a job to do and a child to raise. If you paid her to go away so you could have your child all to yourself and pick a different woman to act as her mother that would be not a fair thing to do. It would serve your child no purpose, the law could simply hold her mother responsilble for her and she could know who all her maternal relatives are and they could know her, she’d have a true and accurate identity and nothing would have been taken away from her and then she might also be being raised by a step parents on either side as well. People do it all the time; you follow the law the average person follows and parents who are not together often have significant others who are an integral part of raising them and the bond can be stronger than with the bio parent that is all personality and effort. So the idea that the the alternative to isolation and falsehood is non existence is so offensive because the alternative is for bio parents to simply cooperate in their child’s best interests and for their partners and spouses to cooperate in to ensure that the children have more love and attention than they deserve from just their bio parents they’ll get extra. What disturbs me so much is that many people who choose to procreate with donors or choose to raie donor offspring don’t want to believe that a family was separated by their actions, on the contrary they only see that they are building a family. They only see that they have love their building a family and the biological relationships are worthless without the emotional bond. The emotional bond is never given a chance the bio parent hid their child from their family. Besides that nobody can get around the fact that it is unhealthy not to know who your relatives are. I mean they don’t even do a dna test between a guy and the donor whose egg he fertilizes to make sure they are not related, likewise for women with sperm or donor to donor. People can’t make smart reproductive decisions when they can’t see what they are doing or what the results are. Your a very smart guy I learned a lot from you thanks for playin’.

  13. so tell me how that “not taking anything for granted” plays out in your life, I see a woman playing with a two year old doll, the child of a stranger, getting pregnant and any stranger’s donation (sale, if we’re being clear) will do.

    • I just adore you. You may have been wrong about his circumstances but you sure asked the right question to get the right answer. Some people are buying other people’s offspring. See and they think I over react – people are buying people its off putting. What a gem.

  14. I think that you are making assumptions that are 100% off base.

    First, I am a man.
    Second, we are the biological parents to our daughter.
    Third, It isn’t possible for us to buy our own genetically related child.

    • I cannot believe you justified that comment with a reply.

      • When you are used to telling your story over and over it gets hard to tell who is being insensitive and just doesn’t understand the process vs. who is being rude on purpose.

        For example, we have a normal healthy daughter and we have people watching her play for 30 minutes and thinks she’s a great kid.

        Then we mention that she was born from Surrogacy and they start looking at her real close. You can tell that they are thinking to themselves “I thought she was a normal kid. How did I miss something that obvious.”

        Then they start looking her over for the barcode.

        Or my other favorite.

        When they hear she was born from Gestational Surrogacy they respond with “wow, she looks just like you!” Like we got really lucky this happened and they are amazed and happy for us.

        We just want to go “duh!”

        “Our child looks like us, just like your child looks like you. Have you ever taken a biology class.”

        In the end though, we decide not to be rude and patiently explain the process to them with the belief that they are just ignorant to how things work.

    • She just joined us. Cut her a break. And your right its not possible to buy your own genetically related child !!!!! Bingo. Bingo Bingo. Yup. But it is possible to buy someone else’s genetically related child which is what those other kinds of surrogacy arrangements are.

      • Since you enjoy playing. I will give you a few bonus questions to answer.

        Most Governments limit the reproductive rights of their people. They are closer to agreeing with your opinion than mine.

        There are a few countries that allow for compensated Surrogacy, Sperm Donors, and Egg Donors. To places that make the process easiest for it’s citizens are Israel, Russia, India, Georgia (the country), Ukraine, and the USA (each state varies in laws).

        We can debate all of the countries and the varies degrees that they allow for reproductive rights, but for the most part these 6 countries have the largest amount of reproductive rights that are legal.

        If, as you believe, it is against the good of the public to allow people to sell their DNA and reproductive responsibilities why do these countries make it legal?

        Why do they allow the parents and donors to have privacy with their reproductive rights?

        These are VERY different countries from each other with different religious beliefs, morals, and history. Yet, each of them has independently come to the conclusion that Compensated Surrogacy, Sperm Donation, and Egg Donation is good public policy.

        Why do you think this is true?

        Everyone is encouraged to give their thoughts to these questions.

  15. Different societies have different perceptions as to what is good for them. I am part Jewish-Israeli so I’ll only speak of Israel- they are EXTREMELY pronatal. This is in good part related to the Arab-Jewish demographic competition which lurks behind much of Israeli public policy. but it is also on centuries of Jewish tradition which considers “be fruitful and multiply” one of the paramount commands of the bible, whose foundational myths are full of God “remembering” barren women (Sarah, Rachel, Hanna and so forth). So naturally they will support women who want to have a child by any which way possible. They have national insurance that will cover IVF treatments for two children, they will cover egg freezing. if however, you want an abortion, you have to pay for it on your own plus obtain approval from some sort of medical ethics committee. so it really is not a question of reproductive rights but about how the society feels about their demographic needs.

    • The United States on the other hand has a very strong tradition of individual rights and capitalism and suspicion of government interference. That is why the United States allows for sperm donation with almost no regulation. And the regulations surrounding surrogacy seem to be motivated by protecting the individual rights of thte person who is perceived as vulnerable to exploitation (the surrogate, and in some cases the egg donor).
      It is worth mentioning also that the United States does not hold kin networks in high value, prizing again individualism over collectivism and affiliation, so is less concerned about who the actual kin of the individual is, as long as there is somebody there to pick up the slack with a minimum of inconvenience and disorder (such as the husband of the pregnant woman) and a maximum efficiency.
      I don’t believe that there is something inherently moral and good about these policies as you seem to be hinting, Surrogacy. Different societies come to different conclusion for a variety of reasons.

      • I like this way you explained it from an economic standpoint. individualism and maximum efficiency. Your pretty cool Ki.

  16. @ Surrogacy Together
    Well, even if you are a man (a businessman) you are still playing with dolls, because any stranger’s child will do, they are filling your need but it’s clear that you have no regard for the child’s individuality, their inherited characteristics mean nothing to you, instead, any stranger’s child will do – which I would like you to justify.

    • I believe he said he fathered his own genetic child via a surrogate. So it’s really not about his personal life but about his viewpoint.

      • but just for the record Surrogacy; can you say whether you chose this route instead of adoption, for practical reasons, or because you did want to have your own genetic child?

        • I think we may have “jumped the shark” when we go from talking about the law and what is enforceable in a Surrogacy contract to my own personal story.

          I raised two children that were not biologically related to me and when we wanted to grow our family Christy was interested and looked into adopting a child.

          I felt it was important to have my own genetic child and because Surrogacy was a legal option for us it was my first choice.

          When I looked at the choice between adoption and Surrogacy the fact that adoption provides no legal protection for us as the parents while Surrogacy offers us 100% legal protection was a major factor in our decision.

          While genetics was a priority to me and we had the ability to use ours, it isn’t the same priority for others, or even an option, and the ability to use anonymous Egg and Sperm donors is a very important legal right that I support.

          • The ability to use anonymous donors is one you support? I just love that you are here talking.

            Tell us why you think that. Do some people deserve to know their bio families more than others?

            What should donor offspring do to earn the right to legal recognition as members of their genetic families?

    • Josephine can you explain what you mean by “any strangers child will do?”
      What does that even mean?

    • By your definition:

      I would say that when you adopt a child you are taking a strangers baby at birth. When you use an Egg Donor you are doing the same thing before conception.

      If you are going to allow and support adoption you must also allow and support Egg Donation.

      One thing with Egg Donation is that the parents experience the entire pregnancy. The baby is not a strangers, but theirs, a growing member of their family that they love before it was born.

      They are part of the conception, the excitement of the first positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasounds, the heartbeat, the first 3D ultrasounds, and final the birth.

      These parents experience every emotional moment with their baby on their way to become parents.

      • ST, I think I understand this point of yours – that one cannot say that adoption is fine but that egg donation is not because in both cases a woman is not raising her own offspring. Indeed I myself have often said exactly what exactly is the difference here?

        Let me ask you this question (and I will answer your other one to me below) Since you and I agree that egg donation separates a person from their biological family why shouldn’t the egg donor be every bit as obligated under the law to be accountable to and for her offspring at least to the extent that she is identified as mother on their birth record and of course to the extent that if she does not wish to raise her offspring she should have to go to court and give her child up for adoption like any other biological mother that does not wish to raise her offspring?

        OK so I think the reason why all the different countries agree that anonymous conception is a good thing is that they have not yet come to understand it as creating unequal footing for the offspring created. Virtually all countries at one time allowed the keeping and trading of human slaves. Virtually all countries at one time denied women the right to equal pay for equal work, the right to vote, the right to sit on a jury. Virtually all countries at one time allowed for parents to beat their children severely, allowed for children to go to work in factories. Speaking of factories, virtually all countries at one time allowed unsafe and unhealthy conditions for workers with no minimum wages or minimum safety standards for employers to abide by. Virtually all countries at one time or another allowed anyone that owned a car to drive wherever they wanted at whatever speed they wanted.

        Law is not in and of itself reality, law is a reaction to reality. And the reaction to oppressive and unfair behavior does not always stay the same over time. In my heart I believe that the United States has set the pace for more ethical treatment of human beings world wide because we are a place where so many different kinds of people have to work together we have to work harder at balance and fairness than other countries. We are quicker to see imbalance and injustice and we have collectively reacted to those injustices with changing the law. But it is a slow and painful wait for many who died here not free, or many women that died before they ever got the right to vote. It is a slow and painful wait for people that don’t have the right to marry the person they’ve been committed to for 25 years and own a home with. It is a slow and painful wait for people whose health records were falsified at birth as a service to the people who wanted to raise them. It is a slow and demeaning process for them and their children who can’t prevent themselves from marrying one of their cousins. But things change. A change will come, like for the others this touches every race, gender, sexual orientation, and economic group. This is everyone’s issue and it will have a negative impact on the health of the world unless we behave more ethically soon.

      • Yes they experience all these moments but the fetus electrical circiuts are not ready to process the world yet. The fetus is not ready to interact with anyone yet or it would have been born heart beating and eyes blinking getting to know all the marvels of the living world. Its a fetus. It’s life as a sensient being that interacts and bonds with his or her caregivers begins at birth when he or she for the first time requires actual physical hands on care feeding and changing and playing with and teaching and learning and bonding and loving and whatnot. Someone across the world can psych themselves up over the impending birth of someone else’s offspring that they FEEL like they are PAPER PREGNANT. A pregnant woman psychs herself up for the birth of a child she thinks she’s keeping or disconnects and disengages if she’s been told she must give her child up for adoption. The psychology of the people on the outside is not processed or understood by the fetus that is not a person on the inside. The bonding of parent to child cant happen until the child becomes a child and the parents become parents so, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Like you said the gestating thing really is like babysitting only lazier. I am a woman I have been pregnant and I approved that message.

        You said it brutally before but I have to admit that it is true. Chick is only babysitting it does not make her a mother. And I’ll add to that gestating does not make a woman responsible for a person’s existence. She is not the one that needs to pay attention to how the person delivered turns out – the woman who needs to pay attention is the woman who reproduced. Is the person mentally or physically handicapped? The person reproducing might want to make a note of that. Possibly share that information with her other children’s doctors. Maybe take that into consideration before having another 10 or 15 special needs children out there flailing on their own as if they were only children. You just cannot be present enough before birth to actually be responsible for the life of another person’s child. A social parent will never be in the Godlike position of authority over their family the way a genetic parent is suppose to be; managing all that information about each child and applying lessons learned from one to the experiences of the others, applying information conveyed from other relatives to the daily challenges each child has and generally making sure that all the information is being obtained and disseminated. Its a big job and isolating a person’s offspring from one another and from their genetic family compromises their ability to thrive in the world. Its like each one starts from scratch knowing nothing. That is an unnecessary position to put your offspring in. Why do that if you can simply do the right thing and look after them.

      • Would you support a campaign directed to sexually active women, to stop using birth control so that they can provide a baby for adoption to another couple? “Help this couple become parents!”

      • “They are part of the conception, the excitement of the first positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasounds, the heartbeat, the first 3D ultrasounds, and final the birth.These parents experience every emotional moment with their baby on their way to become parents.”

        I find this comment very male centered and insenstive.
        The father may feel that way, after all his role is exactly the same….
        The intended mother may feel the excitement- but the excitement is generally coupled with very complex emotional feelings like grief. You can’t trick a woman that she is pregnant vicariously.

        • Of course, I will offer a male centered viewpoint, but I don’t believe that this makes me insensitive.

          Being an Intended Parent through Surrogacy comes with grief, deep personal discovery, melancholy, helplessness, and doubt.

          Your idea that you just browse online and make a purchase is absurd and completely devoid of reality.

          You need to find another family, yes family, because while most anti-Surrogacy groups just focus on the Surrogate herself, almost all of them are married, all of them have children, and they all have a support group of extended family, friends, and co-workers.

          These real people agree to help take on the weight of your burdens and problems for the next year. This is a large sacrifice on their part.

          In our case, after the first Surrogacy pregnancy in which we lost twins, you have to all mutually agree to move forward with another try after everyone just went through a heartbreaking loss.

          Then you re-group the team for another transfer and all the hope, excitement and fear for another try, and all you get is a big fat negative pregnancy test.

          Enter more self-doubt, fear, grief, and disappointment. Do you drag this family through your pain and make them do another transfer? They volunteered and want to go again. The doctor suggest it might be a good time to change Surrogates, however, she has committed to you and your family. Do you drop her? There isn’t anything medically wrong with her. You just share the emotional struggle and the loss which makes it hard for anyone to be positive about the process.

          It would cost $5,000 and months to change Surrogates at this time and your left with a few frozen embryo’s out of 27. The transfer fee alone is over $3,000. The odds of getting pregnant are really low. How do you move forward? How do you not move forward?

          Your family and the Surrogates family agree to one more try. We are all on the same team and bravely hoping for success. All your hopes, dreams, and a year of your time together wash away two weeks after transfer with another big fat negative pregnancy test.

          Now after spending $40,000 you have no baby, no pregnancy, the miscarriage or twins, two additional transfers that failed, a year of failure, of hoping and dreaming of a future that may never happen, of a child that you will never hold.

          Your part ways with your Surrogate and her family, you wish them well, and feel grief for bringing their family into your struggle, your infertility, and your pain.

          How do you go through this again? How do you not? The biological drive to have children and be a family gnaws at you all day and haunts you every night.

          Your eggs are 38 years old and have a 15% chance of leading to a positive pregnancy. If you use a young Egg Donor your chances improve to over 70%. Is biology important to you? Would you spend $40,000 for one chance with a 15% success rate to have your own child?

          What is the right answer? Do we REALLY want a child at all. Giving up would be so much easier. But, the pain will not go away. A child is calling you.

          You take a long time to raise the money to try again. A surrogate community provides emotional support and encouragement along the way. They’ve been down your road and understand your struggle even when long time friends and family are telling you it would be best to give up the fight and move on with life. You really don’t need this child.

          You listen quietly when you really just want to cuss them out. Every word stabs you in the back. Again you feel the pain. They don’t understand and you just need to move forward without their support because not moving forward is just not possible.

          You find another family to carry your burden and with more fear than excitement, but just a slight glimmer of hope you move forward. Very slowly, one small baby step at a time. Bracing yourself for the failure, for the loss, and for the grief you are sure to receive.

          But you move forward despite these demons because the dream of having a child is to strong to deny.

          This time it works, your pregnant again, everyone wants to cheer and celebrate. Yet, now you are overwhelmed with the fact that you have something to lose. Your heart is being carried by another person.

          As wonderful as they are everything is out of your control. And the really scary part of pregnancy is that it’s not in her control either. Your both along for the ride simply watching if your baby will be alive for another day.

          Enjoying every moment, because today you are a father and you will have that moment forever, but tomorrow, you might have a miscarriage and lose everything. The joy and anguish present every minute of everyday.

          You just want you child back in your arms where you can protect it. Where you feel safe as a parent watching your baby breathe.

          The slowest nine months of your life finally come to an end when your baby is born. Your a family now, your mission complete. The anxiety slowly fades away.

          Someone else went on a limb and helped you become a family and for that you are forever grateful.

          Is that is what Surrogacy looks like from a very male centered and insensitive viewpoint?

          • That was deep as hell. I have never read anything like that before. You really worry about whether it was too much to ask a woman to go through when she would not even be carrying her own baby. See now I want to hug you.

            I had 13 miscarriages and my son died the day he was born and when I got pregnant with my daughter my husband cried and said “please bring me my baby if I could carry my baby I would”. He had married a woman who like your wife was having a hell of a time turning an embryo into a person. I’m sure that had we had the money and gone through the IVF stuff and my eggs were failing he would have been ready to scrap my hopes of biological relatedness and move forward with whatever it would take to keep one of his offspring alive long enough for him to bring home from the hospital. I’m sure I can see the trajectory. I overheard his father at Sammy’s funeral saying that I was not ever going to be able to give him a grandchild and how it was the end of his family line. That was hard.

            I never considered becoming pregnant with another woman’s eggs or having another woman carry my pregnancy. I would not have felt right putting that on another woman. But my husband would have wanted to move forward with it because after all in the end its no different from any man waiting for any woman to deliver his offspring. Why should he go without children just because of me. If he got a woman pregnant from an affair and I stayed with him I’d just be the step mother so I suppose if he wanted to get some other girl pregnant and I could stomach it, I would want to be the step mother out of respect I’d never want to be guilty of having orchestrated that loss of contact with their family.

  17. any stranger’s child will do for wo/men who use IVF to get pregnant, the donors are complete strangers

  18. can you jany stranger’s child will do for wo/men who use IVF to get pregnant, the donors are complete strangers – can you justify this?

  19. People who don’t like surrogacy shouldn’t use surrogacy. People who are ok with surrogacy should be allowed to use it.

  20. For a gay couple, CA gestational surrogacy is a wonderful option. Perhaps surrogates in foreign countries are exploited. Perhaps CA surrogates who work with straight couples are exploited. I have no experience with those situations and can’t speak to them. But, I do know that CA surrogates who work with gay couples are hardly exploited. They’ve made a conscious choice to not only be a surrogate but to be a surrogate for a non-traditional couple. A considerable amount of forethought goes into that decision. People aren’t rushing out to be gestational surrogates for gay couples. They have given the issue a lot of thought. Courageous, strong women is what they are. It takes a lot of courage to tell the narrow minded people who inhabit much of CA (CA isn’t all that liberal – hence Prop 8 passage) that you’re a surrogate for a gay couple. In addition to our gestational surrogate, I got to know about 30 other women who were working with other gay couples. They all had children of their own. They all had a source of income (either they worked or their husband did).

    I find these debates to be strange. Either women are intelligent people who can make decisions for themselves or they’re not. It gets old hearing that women should be afforded equality but then when an issue that people don’t like comes up we hear, “Oh, no. We can’t allow surrogacy because women aren’t smart enough to make an informed decision. So, we must ban the procedure to protect them.” My surrogate was a 35 year old working mother of 4 children. She had previously been a surrogate for a straight couple and liked being a surrogate but didn’t like working with a straight couple. Our philosophy was, “We don’t know about being pregnant because we’re men. You’ve had 5 successful pregnancies. Clearly you know more about it than we do. So, we trust your judgment.” Now, if a 35 year old woman who has 4 kids, a job, is self-supporting, and has been a surrogate before can’t make an informed decision to become a surrogate again then I’d ask why the heck is she allowed to care for 4 kids or drive a car or live independently. Asserting that as a general rule women will be exploited is degrading to women and implies they are weak. It’s fascinating how we never talk about men being exploited to become sperm donors. But, we hear a constant drumbeat that women are exploited to become egg donors or surrogates. It’s an insulting, paternalistic way to treat women.

    • Unfortunately, If a gay man wanted to have a child using a far simpler method- who would actually have a relationship with its own mother, by giving sperm to a female friend to inseminate herself- the odds are high that he would not be recognized as a father. Messed up California almost forces a gay man who wants his parenthood to be recognized to do it via egg donation and surrogacy.
      Gay rights my ass.

      • and this is one law that is on its way to New York :(

      • Another example of very different laws between states, I guess. Where I live, the gay man in your example would be presumed to be the legal father as long as the female friend was single.

        • that’s somewhat better but not good enough. sure, the gay man could choose to inseminate a single woman only. But then the woman could go and get married. Or he might do it with a married woman based on a “gentleman’s agreement” but the woman could cancel that out any time.
          This law was crafted with heterosexual couples in mind and heterosexual couples are unlikely to obtain sperm from a known man. The law should have been updated with the advent of gay marriage, to protect the rights of gay fathers. However it was not and a gay man who either 1. isn’t terribly wealthy 2. actually gives a damn about his kid having a relationship with both its mother and father (himself) , has his reproductive rights severely curtailed.

      • I want a federal law that says all people all people are accountable to and for their offspring. I want a law that says ‘we don’t care what you freaking intended to do or not do, if you have offspring, your on the hook and there is no getting out of it no way no day.”

        Wanting to take care of your own offspring is not staking! It is responsible adult behavior to want to see your own flesh and blood child. It’s appropriate to want to bring her home to visit her relatives in your native country and show her where her ancestors are from. It is a loving and appropriate thing to do to fight like hell anyone who wants to thwart your attempts to show your child the kind of care and consideration they deserve just for existing. You owe it to them to do that and when this child is an adult knowing how hard their father tried to correct the wrong he had done by signing away his child – this will mean the world to them and frankly will mean the difference I think between having self esteem and feeling like crap.

        “If your own biological parents don’t even want you then who on this earth really can be trusted when they say they love you?” More than one donor offspring and numerous adoptees and quasi-marital people have said that line virtually verbatim to me. When they find out their parent changed their mind or when they find out that their parent fought it really really matters to them. They need to know that they matter. Good for him stalky stalky stalk stalk.

        • Marilyn: You can want such a law. People have wanted to oppress and control other people ever since our country was founded. Your idea is nothing new.

          • explain. You don’t think that holding people accountable to and for their offspring is oppressive do you? People’s offspring deserve that don’t they?”

    • Tyson, I agree that it is demeaning to suggest that women cannot make decisions about what to do with their own bodies. I find that argument against surrogacy to be weak and easily refuted.

      So you are now raising a kid with your partner or husband or on your own and you had a great experience with the woman who carried and delivered your child – fantastic.

      My question to you is that in becoming a family yourself have you grappled yet with the idea that the child you are raising won’t be a legal member of her genetic family and there are some very unfair laws out there that will prevent her from being on equal footing with peers whose biological mother’s and maternal relatives are non-anonymous.

      I am not talking about emotional bond and what makes a parent a parent but rather the more boring aspects of human life. It may be that your child knows all their bio family members and they are not compromised in that area. If that is the case then I would ask you to keep an open ear and heart to other donor offspring who are not so lucky. Until the law is changed it means that donor offspring face horribly unequal treatment by the law and only the lucky ones with forward thinking parents don’t feel that bite. Just be aware of what your child’s donor offspring peers face and if you have influence and a good way about you try and convince the people raising those kids to understand the unfair ways the law treats them.

      It’s a thought. It might make your kid feel good to know your aware about those things and care.

      • Marilyn – You shouldn’t have a child through surrogacy because you don’t approve of the method. I have no regrets with my decision and I’m there to help my children as they navigate through their understanding of their concept. Your opposition to surrogacy is based on speculation, not facts, and I don’t find your arguments/rants persuasive.

        • Like Tyson, I am here to protect the story of my child’s creation and birth from people that want to call her parents Monsters.

          While many people would say that my kind of Surrogacy is ok since we are a guy and girl that were infertile and used our own DNA. We have used the most socially approved form of Surrogacy.

          Those same people might turn around and attack gay couples that use Surrogacy, or they might say that couples that use Egg donors or Sperm donors are the bad one’s that need to be stopped.

          Or heaven forbid the people that compensated their Surrogate and paid for their baby. They are the evil one’s for some people that believe that altruistic Surrogacy is the only good kind in their minds.

          I believe that everyone that has become a parent through Surrogacy is part of my family and if you are attacking them you are attaching me. Or more importantly you are attacking my daughter.

          And you can believe me when I say, that as a protective father I am going to defend her against anyone that is anti-Surrogacy.

          I will be doing this because as a child she will not be able to see the small distinction that you are trying to make when people say this form of Surrogacy is good and that form is bad. She will see it all as an attack on her and her parents.

          While she will grow older and be able to understand the differences later in life, many people will never outgrow having a childlike mind and being full of ignorance they will attack her and her birth story.

          That is why I am here sharing my opinions. It is to protect and defend my daughter, her family, and the Surrogate community.

          • Lightbulb moment! I get it. I could not see how any of this applied to your kid or why you would worry about protecting her from hearing comments that are not in favor of surrogacy because you clearly did not purchase your own child from anyone and she has not been deprived of anything as a result of having been delivered by a gestational carrier.

            So you don’t want your child thinking that her wealthy parents exploited the body of a woman who really needed cash. You don’t want her to feel that you and your wife would ask someone to take chances with their own health and safety in order to deliver a baby that was not her own. The risk of pregnancy and child birth belongs to the body of the woman that created the child and it is not her place to put another woman at risk carrying her child. I totally never even thought about it from that standpoint. I am so focused on people being locked out of their own families and denied their civil rights that using women’s bodies is off my radar. It is after all consensual in virtually all instances so I don’t really feel that a person’s rights are compromised by agreeing to be a surrogate. But I can see now where she might feel bad for the economic advantage her parents had in the situation.

            I really had not considered that your child might grapple with the whole issue of whether or not the woman that gave birth to her was exploited since she entered into the agreement willingly. You have to admit that is minor minor minor compared to kids who will have to deal with knowing that their bio parents were paid not to raise them. That is a whole different ball of wax. You said yourself how very different it was you said it is not possible to buy your own biological child. Those people have to deal with the exploitation issue and have to deal with having been objectified and sold or traded out of their bio families.

            This is not small minded or immature of me to say. I can see where you want to protect your child from thinking you exploited vulnerable women. I do. Hopefully she will come to view that part of the process in a way that casts your decision in a positive light for her. She’ll understand that while many women are destitute and exploited for their bodies the woman who carried her was not for whatever reasons that you’ll explain.

            Again you have nothing to worry about. Are you casting a wider net on this surrogacy thing to sell books of surrogacy stories you collect on your website? I’m being blunt because you seem to think the distinction between your kind of surrogacy matters when people are surprised your child looks like you. You think it matters very much that people not think you bought your genetically related child. But you say that buying other people’s offspring is OK. I can’t reconcile the two opinions so I feel like it might be a business decision. If your offering the books for free then I’m wrong and I apologize. I do what I do for free and its possible that your efforts are totally altruistic as well.

        • Tyson could you be specific about something I said that was speculative? I try to stay away from making statements that are speculative because they are not as you say persuasive. Which rant which statement.

          You seem very dedicated to your children. I bet they would be very sad if they were told you created them to be given away that you were not interested in being there for them while they grew up. You are half of who they are and your involvement probably means the world to them. They deserve a bio father that is there for them as you have been.

          • Huh I guess that whole last paragraph was speculative. You do seem dedicated though. It is good point nothing but speculation

          • The emphasis you place on biology can not be carried over to the population at large. I’m adopted as are my two siblings. None of us have ever searched for our biological connections. We see no point or benefit. I’m not alone in this thinking. I know other adoptees who feel the same. To some adoptees it matters. To some it doesn’t. So, an emphasis on biological connections isn’t a reason to deny a child an existence. My children wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t used surrogacy. I choose life over non-life. I’m not a fan of anonymous donations as I think people should have options. Nonanonymous donations take away options. I’m not a fan of any system that would exploit a gestational surrogate. So, I have no qualms with some regulations. But, I see no legitimate reason to ban surrogacy. The desire to ban the procedure is driven by bigotry and intolerance, whether people want to admit it or not.

            • the argument that people wouldn’t exist otherwise, is an unfair argument.
              you could use that same argument against birth control, that they are failing to choose life over non life.
              the fact is that most people are not expected to feel grateful simply for existing. it’s unfair to place that burden on donor-conceived.
              It’s also true that not everyone considers their biological roots to be important, but a very significant percentage do and are caused pain by being separated from them. That is a risk that people should at least take into account before going ahead with their donor plans.
              That is my opinion regarding people’s private arrangements.
              When it comes to the law, my opinion is that the government should be inventing creative legal fictions to support these arrangements.

              • if the government is neutral the government would not differentiate between a child conceived by ART and a child conceived by sexual intercourse. I don’t say ban. all i say is that the government be neutral on the issue, not actively support it by creating special laws on its behalf.

            • Tyson if you would ever like to locate your family or your siblings would ever like to locate theirs you can write to Julie and I will do it for free at my own expense as I do for anyone that asks. I will give you my pass words to all the websites for searching that you could poke around at your leisure. I believe that nobody should have to pay to find their own family. Remember that you are much harder to find than they are. Don’t underestimate your value to your own family and don’t be too sure that you were easily forgotten. You might be surprised. I know that you find it to be of little importance. Many people just give me their information and one day after they’ve forgotten all about it I give them a call and there is a crying parent or sibling on the other line and I introduce them and just disconnect myself. And that is the greatest feeling in the world to help put the questions to rest and give people their control back.

              Half the people that ask for a little help spent years prior telling me how they don’t care and never want to meet their biological families. It sounds like a script to me how they are different and they really mean it and they have no desire to search and they tell me what real family is and does and then one day they say “well maybe just for medical reasons” I say “of course just for medical reasons you certainly have that right” It is not disrespectful to your parents and it does not dishonor their hard work, it just provides a complete picture of the person they nurtured and shaped that’s all. And I’ve heard that shaking a hand that feels and looks like your own is a pretty amazing feeling.

            • Why would you or anyone not want their children to have full and complete access to their biological mother on a daily basis? There are times when this is outside of a father’s control when the mother flees hides whatever. But given the choice would you want your children to have their bio mother involved in their life or not? Would you deliberately set out to exclude her or findeliberately choose to make a child with a woman who wanted nothing to do with your children if it would be just as easy to choose one that wanted to know them?

  21. About the Mcmurray close case; I find it very strange; how was Mcmurray able to get temporary custody and a restraining order without any evidence as to Close’s non motherhood?

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