Barbara Kay: Second thoughts on surrogacy

| | Last Updated: 31/10/13 2:02 PM ET

I am uneasy about reproductive happiness being restricted to the 1% who can afford the price that surrogate mothers demand.

I know one such couple very well. They are in fact typical of the demographic that goes in for surrogacy: educated, high-achieving, mature, domestically stable, financially secure, yearning to parent. I was saddened by their anguish in enduring one failed pregnancy after another. And how could I fail to rejoice with them when a surrogate produced two beautiful, healthy twin girls, 100% theirs biologically?

The outcome seemed to be a win-win. The well-paid surrogate mother wasn’t emotionally invested. The babies have been welcomed into a nurturing, comfortable home in which unbounded love and every desirable social and material advantage is lavished upon them.

So what explains my ambivalence?

One factor is that relatively few surrogacies are altruistically inspired. And as a good Canadian, I am uneasy about reproductive happiness being restricted to the 1% who can afford to pay the price that surrogate mothers typically demand. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to remedy this inequality by endorsing surrogacy as a reproductive “right” that Medicare should fund, especially considering that three-quarters of surrogacies fail.

Surrogates run a daunting medical gauntlet most people never hear of, requiring months of preparation involving massive synthetic hormone loads that can wreak havoc on the body

In a recent essay in the Weekly Standard magazine, entitled “Womb for Rent,” Charlotte Allen notes that gay marriage likely will soon be universally legal in the United States, as of course it already is in Canada. This creates a new infertility category — “social infertility” — consisting mainly of single heterosexual men and gay couples (quips about “gaybies” and “surrogaycy” abound on websites). One California surrogacy agency reports that gay couples constitute a third of its clientele. One can therefore see the logical basis for gays demanding surrogacy as a “right.”

But pregnancy is never risk-free, and surrogates run a daunting medical gauntlet most people never hear of, requiring months of preparation involving massive synthetic hormone loads that can wreak havoc on the body (often repeated after failure). Plus, there is a good chance of carrying twins, which involves its own special conditions and discomforts, as well as a higher risk of pre-eclampsia and premature birth.

Surrogacy in India, where some 25,000 foreign couples shop annually (gays are barred), can be procured for as little as $5,000, a fortune to penurious Indian women who are sometimes pushed into surrogacy by their husbands. Scandalous clinic conditions have been exposed. Indian surrogates often are not paid if they miscarry; they can be forced to have unnecessary, but more rapid C-sections; and there have even been reported surrogate deaths traceable to indifferent care for the surrogate.

What with celebrities such as Elton John, Robert De Niro, Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker bruiting their happiness achieved through surrogacy, and our culture’s growing solicitude for gay entitlements, surrogacy is bound to win widespread social acceptance.

And yet I remain uneasy. Perhaps it has something to do with a statement issued by the British couple, when queried as to whether they would meet with their surrogates: “She’s doing a job for us. How often do you communicate with your builder or gardener? She’ll get paid … We don’t need to see her.”

An unidentified British couple will be travelling to Mumbai, India next March to pick up some valuable merchandise they ordered a while ago: their four biological newborn babies.

The 30-something couple, beset with fertility issues, decided on gestational surrogacy as their best bet for biological children and, hedging that bet, went with triple embryos in two surrogate wombs, resulting in double twin pregnancies (reportedly delighted, they declined offers to reduce the number).

Their case has raised concerns among medical professionals in Britain, where the rules are stricter — they would not have been allowed two surrogates in the same cycle. But it is not an uncommon situation in India, where surrogacy is now a billion-dollar industry.

I must confess that while I hold unconflicted opinions on some reproductive issues — I oppose the creation of purposely fatherless sperm-donor children, for example — I feel ambivalent about gestational surrogacy when the parents would otherwise remain childless, and the surrogate carries the biological issue of both parents.


Source - National Post

Our view

In Ontario, becoming a suppoter of the 48 private corporations that make up the cartel called the Children's Aid Societies is a FREE way of becoming a parent.

It's all stacked in your favour. First, Workers use the slightest excuse to justify apprehending a child or children from loving devoted parents.

Its a Billion Dollar scam and for Example, the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa gets around $80 million dollars directly for around 400 staff and and a whole host of hangers on, foster mothers who are given the nice cute well behaved kids and kept unnecessarily and sometimes then adopted.

How can they do this? The average person is outraged when they learn just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the criminality of the Children's Aid Societies.

Its done by a culture of fabricating of evidence. To achieve victories in Court they have their own "secret Courts" with their OWN JUDGES, thats right.

Across Ontario lawyers for the Children's Aid Societies are appointed as judges where they leave a trail of destruction to support very obviously fabricated evidence.

In Ottawa the judiciary has as its head judge of Child Protection Matters Madam Justice Heidi Polowin the former lead lawyer for the Children's Aid Society. Then there is Justice Timmothy Minnema a former lawyer for the Children's Aid Society.

Ottawa is not alone, across Ontario, former CAS lawyers have been appointed to the Judiciary in droves.

Now, normally a judge can't hear a matter involving his old law firm but CAS lawyers are so accustomed to being above the law, they exempt themselves and hear CAS matters. It's an example of their own contempt for the fundamental principles of justice.

If you think that's bad enough the Children's Aid Societies get to select their judges for specific cases.

Lawyers for the Children's Aid Society fabricate evidence and engage in practices that horrify local lawyers and they are above the law and out of control.

If you want to adopt a child, contact your Corrupt child abusing Children's Aid Society and become part of the Criminal Cartel of the Children's Aid Societies of Ontario.


Cdn Political Junkie

I disagree with most of your language, but agree with the principle points. I work in the legal profession, and I can say that CAS workers in Ontario are, for the most part, terrible. A good case worker is the exception, NOT the norm. I've worked on countless family custody cases where the case worker has continually made matters worse between the parents. I would also add (somewhat irrelevantly) that the system is designed around the premise of keeping the children with the mother, and is highly biased against the father, even if he is demonstrably the better parent.

I have sat in cafes where case workers openly discuss the contents and details of ongoing investigations, and use defendant's names openly and with disdain. IN PUBLIC PLACES. I have personally lodged six separate complains against four different CAS case workers for doing so. It boils my blood, and is utterly ludicrous that these people are protected and keep their jobs. If I did that, I would be disbarred.

You're also right about former CAS lawyers become judges, and their inability to admit that they should recuse themselves. I had two separate cases that went in front of the same judge in the OCJ. In both instances, by any standard or principle of recusal, he should have stepped down. But he heard them and, not surprisingly, had an utterly biased ruling in favour of the CAS (he made 8 findings of fact that were absolutely unfounded and were later overturned in the appeal). Upon appeal, both of the cases were overturned on the basis of "obvious prejudicial bias."

And yet, the problem seems to be expanding.