There was an article last month reporting a “gay baby boom” in Connecticut, due, of course, to surrogacy. Connecticut has some of the most lenient laws in the country when it comes to surrogacy.
We asked Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture about it. Reprinted below, with her permission, is her response:
While the push to legalize commercial surrogacy is often seen through the lens of gay men needing surrogates and egg donors to “build” families and “make” babies, it is the case that still the majority of babies born via surrogacy have been to heterosexual couples. Perhaps this shift to gay parenting is part of a larger strategy to be sure no one is called bigoted or homophobic, but the truth is, all surrogacy, whether for gay, straight or singles should be prohibited.
My experience in California, working with surrogate mothers who have signed contracts in my state is that contracts can never protect women and children from the many harms. It is curious, that in Europe, surrogacy is largely illegal. A European Parliament resolution even states that surrogacy “undermines the dignity of women, using her reproductive body as a commodity. The resolution even equates surrogacy to violence against women! Third world countries are changing their laws too, to either prohibit or restrict reproductive tourism. Why? Because women and children have been exploited, harmed and had their basic human rights violated.
As I said today in my testimony in Washington State, surrogacy is our Handmaid’s Tale. As Kim Kardashian and her husband announce the birth of their child via surrogacy, I ask, when have you ever seen a wealthy Hollywood celebrity offer to be the surrogate for her low income housekeeper. Never. Surrogacy has always been the rich against the poor. It is those with money who can buy. They can buy eggs from young women and they can rent wombs. It is those in need of money who have to sell or rent.
I agree with many, that surrogacy is the same as buying and selling babies. What is the surrogate being paid to do? She’s being paid to gestate a baby, or babies, and surrender them at birth, in exchange for money.
The only way forward is for us in the U.S. to do as many international countries have done, like France, Spain, Germany, Italy, China and more – we need to prohibit surrogacy, not regulate it. Surrogacy is an international problem which demands an international solution and that solution is to StopSurrogacyNow