A Quick Note on a Surrogacy Story

This was on the back page of the NYT magazine section yesterday.    It’s a simple little surrogacy story, told first person by Joshua Gamson who, along with his husband, used a surrogate from Kentucky to form a family.   It’s worth a read if only to see how much legal complexity arises in such a brief sketch of the story.    Married in some states, not in others.   A California court order in a Kentucky court.   The whole birth certificate problem.  

I’ve written about many of these issues in the past and you can find some of that discussion using the tags.    But it’s nice to put the human element back into the picture–every surrogacy case is also a real story of real people.   This little essay does that nicely. 

At the same time, there’s a cautionary undertone–if you’re going down this path, you’d better have legal counsel, and good legal counsel at that.  The age of the internet is a wonderful thing in many ways, but it has made it far easier for people to enter into surrogacy arrangements on their own.    That way, I fear, lies trouble.    Whether it’s domestic or international, there’s a host of legal issues that someone needs to be keeping an eye on.

One response to “A Quick Note on a Surrogacy Story

  1. I read the article and the author seems humbled by the experience and honestly I half routed for them, just because they seem like good people.
    Here is another http://blogs.phillymag.com/gphilly/2011/05/10/mothers-day-goes-gay/ article about children with multiple moms that are lesbians. I liked the article so much because the author is so likable and the arrangement she describes is normal where I live.
    The author in your link refers to the child as his daughter. The author in the story I link to refers to the 25 year old as her daughter. I believe the author in your story has legal parental authority over his spouses child but his spouse is the Father. In the article I link to the author says she was married to a woman who gave birth 25 years ago after being artificially inseminated, she goes on to say they divorced she remarried and her ex began a committed relationship with a woman who was inseminated and gave birth to two children who lived in the home with her exes daughter for the duration. The author could not have been a legal parent under marital presumption the way the author in your story is because marriage between women was not available 25 years ago. Their marriage may have been recognized privately amongst their own group of friends but they remained officially single according to public records so the divorce she refers to is just a break up. Her remarriage, that is real because it just happened in 2008. Her the reality of her motherhood does not extend outside the confines of her intimate friends that recognize it.
    Both authors are so charming that I have to make myself remember that they think its OK to pay someone to abandon their child. Paying to conceive is really neither here nor there. Its the abandonment part and the anonymity part that is so arrogant and indifferent. It does add insult to injury that the author of the story I link to actually use to joke that the child may have extra mothers day cards to make but she makes up for it on fathers day! And joke that she could bring a petrie dish to school on days when the rest of the kids got to bring their fathers! For all the likable things about the author, God bless her she is completely out to lunch. That is the un-funniest thing a person could say to a child in that situation. For Pete sake tell them that they are just like every other child, not weird, not a science experiment. Of course they have a Father and he did care that they grow up healthy and loved so he said it was OK for Mommy to raise you on her own with someone else that she loves very much. Is that so damn hard? Is it?

    Some people who are now know their fathers – it took a while to stop calling them their donors. A good long while. Even though they wanted to find them real bad it took a long time to admit that they were regular normal people with fathers just like everyone else. Lots of people dont meet their fathers until adulthood. Its not that unusual.

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