Surrogacy: Mix-Ups and Messes

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on November 30, 2015

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A New Zealand couple is now speaking out and telling the world their story that the child they brought home from Thailand following a surrogate pregnancy arrangement four years ago was not in fact their own. According to reports, their embryos were mixed-up at the hospital and, to date, they still don’t know what happened to them. In all likelihood, they were implanted in another woman and their biological child is being raised by parents elsewhere.

The Thai government has since cracked down on the practice of surrogacy and banned it within the country, but once more we see how the practice is roiled with complications where there is no legal fix or regulation that would solve this situation. It simply must be stopped.

Meanwhile, two surrogate mothers in California who are pregnant with triplets are being threatened by the intended parents to abort one of the fetuses. And let’s not forget the surrogate in Idaho who was pregnant with twins who died last month due to complications just days before delivery.

Each week we hear stories of this nature—true accounts of women being exploited through the practice of surrogacy and only realizing after it’s too late just what they’ve signed up for in this arrangement. We hear stories of children who were born through the practice and feel as if they are mere products.

Sadly, what we don’t hear are stories of legislators looking to crack down on this sham enterprise. And regrettably, we rarely find allies in the media who are willing to document these realities and challenge the narrative that surrogacy always leads to happy endings.

So, we rely on you. Our friends, our supporters, our readers. Today marks Cyber Monday—a time when the internet is abuzz with holiday sales and shopping. May I suggest we participate in another form? Help us share these stories—post them to your Facebook and Twitter pages and e-mail them to your friends. Just don’t let the story die down. Can we count on you?

Image by alphaone via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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