Studies have suggested that many couples who have trouble conceiving a child naturally have turned to surrogacy in recent years. Either by using their own sperm and eggs or those that have been donated, they pay a woman to carry their child to term and then claim the child as their own – in most circumstances.
Last year a surrogate was offered an extra $10,000 to abort the baby she was carrying for a couple because an ultrasound showed the baby was going to be born with severe disabilities. It’s an incredible story where the biological parents demanded the surrogate have a late-term abortion and the surrogate fleeing the state to somewhere where she could have the child and place it for adoption.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to surrogacy. Babies are treated as pure consumerism – easily created and easily discarded if unwanted.
The latest surrogacy story is heart-breaking as well. An Australian couple, where the husband is a sex offender who spent three years in jail, paid a woman in Thailand to have their child. She ended up having twins – a boy and a girl – and the boy had Down syndrome. The couple only wanted the girl and left the boy behind in Thailand. The surrogate is taking care of the boy, named Gammy, and now wants his sister back with her. Oh, and the Australian couple want the money back that they paid for their children to be conceived and born. They said they would have ordered an abortion if they knew the baby would have a disability.
Wesley J. Smith at National Review Online uses this particular case to demonstrate his valid point:
“Surrogacy and IVF has objectified procreation. Now, it can be about not just having a baby to unconditionally love, but about ordering a baby that meets specifications.”
And there is the case of celebrity talk show host Sheri Shepherd, who, after filing divorce from her husband and hiring a surrogate to carry their child, wants nothing to do with the newborn and has asked the courts to release her from any parenting duties or obligations.
The Washington Post ran a story in 2010 on a couple who are in their early 30s and fertile and who froze embryos because they want to wait to start a family. Said the wife: “Our five frozen embryos, which we call our baby blastocysts, will remain in storage until we are ready to use them. … Now, we have some insurance against future infertility.”
“Use them” – not love them. That’s exactly what has happened. These children are being used. It is a gross commercialization of the greatest gift we have: life itself.
The National Catholic Register points to a disturbing show out of Britain to illustrate this point:
“Last year, the television show Parent Makers followed the same-sex British couple Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow. The Drewitt-Barlows have used surrogates and donor eggs to have five children. In the trailer for the show, Barrie tells his curly-haired son Orlando, “I paid for a gorgeous designer child with green eyes, olive skin and straight, blonde hair.” Orlando defends himself by responding, “I don’t have straight hair. I don’t care about that.” Barrie retorts, “Yeah, but I care.” [emphasis mine]
Life is diminished to a commercial product and discarding that product, either before birth or after, is merely seen as contractual and within the rights of everyone involved in the creation of the child. The child. How often it is forgotten that a unique human being is at the center of the entire debate.
Infertility is a devastating diagnosis and the pain is truly unimaginable unless one is unfortunate enough to have to go through it. But it is never a good thing to go down the road of IVF and surrogacy because they are at the beginning of a very slippery slope that, instead of valuing life to the fullest, devalues it to the point of commercialization and materialism.