Saturday, September 27, 2014

Not much debate on surrogates

The NY Times has been reporting on the surrogacy baby-making business, as I have commented here and here, and now it reports:
Surrogates and Couples Face a Maze of Laws, State by State ...

While surrogacy is far more accepted in the United States than in most countries, and increasing rapidly (more than 2,000 babies will be born through it here this year), it remains, like abortion, a polarizing and charged issue. There is nothing resembling a national consensus on how to handle it and no federal law, leaving the states free to do as they wish.

Seventeen states have laws permitting surrogacy, but they vary greatly in both breadth and restrictions. ...

California has the most permissive law, allowing anyone to hire a woman to carry a baby and the birth certificate to carry the names of the intended parents. As a result, California has a booming surrogacy industry, attracting clients from around the world.

In many states, surrogacy remains a political third rail, drawing opposition from anti-abortion groups, opponents of same-sex marriage, the Roman Catholic Church, some feminists, and those who see surrogacy as an experiment that could have unforeseen long-range effects.
Then the paper has a debate on Hiring a Woman for Her Womb
People unable to bear children have increasingly turned to women who bear children for them, often by transferring an embryo created by in-vitro fertilization. Because legal and social views on surrogacy vary from nation to nation (and even state to state), prospective parents often engage surrogates in the United States and in developing countries. Controversy has clouded this issue.

What can be done to insure that birth surrogacy is safe, ethical and protective of both the birth mother and the intended parents?
It is not much of a debate. A reproductive issue lawyer says that it is fine as long as the law requires lawyers to be in on the action. A bioethics professor says:
Some say just let women choose if they want to be a paid surrogate. I agree.
He has concerns about poor people, but he mainly does not believe we should have any poor people, and surrogacy has little to do with it. A psychiatrist says that surrogacy is fine as long as everyone has counseling. A Japanese-American female law professor says:
At the least, surrogacy should only move forward when children born of surrogacy will have legal parents and citizenship assured, when surrogates’ health, well-being and daily lives are prioritized, and when intended parents are protected against discrimination based on marital status, sexual orientation, or other status.
So as long as the LGBTQIA lobby has full access to the baby factories, then what other ethical issues could there be?

There are people who object to the whole business as immoral baby selling, but they did not make it into this debate.

At 2,000 babies per year in the USA, the number is not large enough to have a significant social impact. By comparison, we have about a million abortions per year. As surrogacy is legal in some states and illegal in others, people are free to compare the effects of those laws.

Most people have little knowledge of this business. The laws are being shaped by lawyers and physicians in the business, with occasional opinions from the gay or pro-life lobbies.


Just Saying said...

Hiring a Woman for Her Womb

Isn't that what marriage had become? Oh right - no because the women get an unending claim to money as well as the kid afterwards...

Go to India and hire a woman, then leave her and take the kid. Easy peasy...

George said...

I can see how someone would come to that conclusion.