' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Surrogacy today: The American Way?

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Surrogacy today: The American Way?


Lorraine her daughter Jane, third meeting in 1982.
At a ladies lunch the other day: One woman, brought by a friend but unknown to the rest of us, describes how her gay friends had children. First, one of the partners had a child with a surrogate, a little girl. Origin of egg is uncertain at this point, but probably from a third party; I hesitate to ask. I don't want to be a part of this conversation but there I am, drinking iced tea.

My friends all know my status. One woman present has, in a moment of inebriated anger, called me a "reproductive agent," a phrase I am certain she got from the grandparents of children adopted from Russia, her close friends. I know, it's terrible,
but she has no recollection of every saying that--she denies it--and she is becoming somewhat senile and has been a good friend for some years, and done us many favors. I got over it. But I cannot forget it, of course. She says nothing during this discourse also, as does my neighbor, hosting the lunch.

The little girl, we hear, is adorable.

After a while, the partner of the girl wants to have "his own child," and goes forward with same plan. At this point I do ask where the eggs came from: answer: a college student, who is not the surrogate mother, who, I am assured, was paId plenty. Right...how much does that work out an hour? Or, does this not seem like exploitation of the poor? This I do not say.

During the "insertion" of the embryos, the doctor asks if he ought to implant a second, live embryo, just to be sure. Sure, is the answer from the father donor--in fact, why not put in all three?

All three take. Surrogate has triplets, all girls. I ask if the price for carrying triplets to term went up. The woman does not know. She saw the girls when they were just a few days old, in fact, held them, all weighed under four pounds at birth. The girls are delightful. The men have had to change their lives, of course, because now they are raising four daughters.

What I have a problem with is the possibly unknown parentage of one half of the so-created children of these three girls, and the unspsoken attitude that such a way to have children is fine and dandy. Yes, perhaps the guys do know who the mother/egg donor is, they know the young woman whose traits the girls will carry and dislplay throughout their lives. Perhaps they do not, it was done anonymously through a fertility clinic of some sort. I think I heard that they may have used the same egg donor, so the children are all maternal sisters, but at the point that came up I just wanted the conversation to end so did not question further. I could not bring myself ask the question--will the girls ever know the egg donor/mother?--or talk about the children of sperm donors who look on line for their biological fathers. I am relieved when the hostess changes the subject. What else is there to say, anyway? I have been talking about these issues for decades, and I have seen technology push the boundaries of what is ethical and reasonable in child creation.If biology makes so little difference--yet the man wanted to have his "own" children--how can we expect natural, biological parents to have their rights considered when it comes to cases likes, say, Veronica and her father, Dusten Brown?

This is life in America today. Or at least, this is my life. --lorraine
________________________

EVERYBODY: First mother, adoptees and ADOPTIVE PARENTS:  Please take a moment and sign the petition in the right sidebar. I know, we have done petitions before, but at least it is something. Sign and ask your significant others, and friends and relatives. We need support. Sometimes I feel like I am knocking my head against a wall, but what is the alternative? So Sign and Pass It On, post on  your Facebook page, etc.  THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. ASK THE GAY MARRIAGE ADVOCATES. 

From FMF:
'Baby Veronica' adoption will go forward 

Creating children without a full identity is a crime against humanity

READING
Lethal Secrets
"The psychology of donor insemination presents both problems and solutions. In the world of alternative means of conception, donor insemination is the parent procedure, the most available, successful and egalitarian. Breaking the bonds of silence and ending secrecy is necessary, the authors believe, to address the inherent psyhchological problems. As the world continues headlong down the road of high-tech procedures and methodologies, there is a need to maintain a strong sense of importance of the human element and historical, genetic connections."--Amazon  Written by our late friend, Annette Baran.

8 comments :

  1. Egg donations have become a money making business for some women, particularly in Spain in the current economic crunch. It is a painful process. No one is paid enough and each woman has a finite number of eggs.

    Exploitative? Yes! It's one thing to adopt children in need. It's another thing to buy the production of designer children.

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  2. Well .. America does have a long history of slavery, and child trafficking fits right in.

    The sperm donor adults who are not happy having no information about 50% of their family line are appropriately upset. This reality factors into how these "children" feel about their families and parents as well. My friend, who was a sperm donor child, and had a wonderful mother who arranged for him to go to the best schools and have a happy childhood, still keeps his distance from his mother. All he knows about his "father" is that he was a Harvard Medical school student at the time. I hired J right after he graduated from our local Ivy League college. I knew his family. His mother loved him deeply. But, as soon as J was able, he left my employ and moved to Italy, from there to Bahrain. He has not been back to the USA. When you take from someone the ability to know their past (and who they really are), you risk their resentment and distance in the future. And their feelings are justified. Before one makes or takes a "baby" maybe they should practice telling the future adult (and all that adult's family) why they will never be able to know their real family history and ancestry.

    It is also important to consider that these future adults that are being 'created' will have children of their own, and those children and their families will want to know something of their ancestry. In fact, it was the daughters of my adoptive brother's biological uncle (his birth-grandmother was forced into a relinquishment) who found us. The daughters wanted to know their father's history and where he came from. Adoption is about WAY MORE than just the adoptee and adopters. There are entire extended families and ALL children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and more to come who are affected. "No man is an island" and we all want to know our roots to some degree.

    Young women trying to make a few dollars also should consider that "eggs" and "babies" BECOME (on a regular basis) ADULTS. Would you feel comfortable telling an adult - in no uncertain terms - that your desire for a "child" supersedes their right to know their family, and all their children's, grand-children's, and great-grandchildren's (and so on) right to know? After a few generations, this can be a lot of people!

    As y'all know, my stepdaughter is a labor and delivery nurse. Her "best friend" through nursing college donated eggs. Recently, this friend went back to the fertility clinic to see photos of the children she had helped to create (they keep pictures and allow this). She has three sons, and always wanted a daughter. She told my stepdaughter that her 'child' was a dark-haired little girl with a face and eyes just like her. When she saw the photo of the girl who looked just like her, she was deeply moved. She has always wanted a daughter. Now, she has a deep sadness and mixed feelings about what she did for some tuition money. And rightly so!

    (part one)

    ReplyDelete

  3. I thank God my stepdaughter did not donate any eggs. Knowing how my husband dotes on his children and grandchildren, I cannot imagine there being more grandchildren out there he could not know.

    People need to really think about their actions. Maybe the terms "baby" and "child" need to be replaced with "future adult," because that is what people are. We spend far more of our lives as adults than children, and all of us have the right to know.

    Additionally, creating human beings creates a responsibility on a spiritual level. (Check out the misery of the now 50-something sperm donor with over 300 kids and a boatload of regret). Whether you raise the resultant person (or not), you are still connected and will have to work through any issues you create. The half-siblings are forming groups, and the men are filling with regret! (there are many more stories than just this link.) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/health/06donor.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Alas, in America these days, knowing that "babies are people too" is a concept ahead of its time.

    (part two)

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  4. The only surrogate situation I know well is that of a close friend who could not carry a pregnancy past three months. An embryo from her own egg and her husband's sperm was gestated to term by a cheery married mother of three who hoped to add to her own children's college fund.

    Ironically, before the surrogacy began, one of the future parents received one of those near-mythical "six-figure book advances" that we writers hear about. "It's all going toward the baby," they said, seemingly without regret.

    Now a teenager, the kid is the combined spit of both parents in appearance and nature; I feel tenderly toward this little family for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that all four grandparents were teenage Holocaust survivors who lost nearly all of their relatives.

    I suppose that represents the ideal of what surrogacy can do, or be. But how often does it happen like that?

    ReplyDelete
  5. KatieP, when I read that NYT story, this ad popped up next to it:

    "Fertility Financing
    Lowest Available Loan Rates.
    As Low as 3.99%. Contact Us Today.
    AttainFertility.com"

    They know their market!

    ReplyDelete
  6. OH! Tarquin, I get that all the time. I could have sold eggs and two dozen babies if I'd had the product to sell.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My dear Auntie's partner has 2 sperm donor babies. The partner, L was in a long term relationship with S. They decided to have children. L used an anonymous sperm donor and conceived boy-girl twins. They are 14 now and blonde-blue eyed like their mother. Two year later, the partner, S used the same donor and had a little girl, who has dark hair and eyes just like her mother.

    The women adopted each others children.

    Years went by and the women split up, and agreed to share custody of the 3 children. Both partners are with other women now, and the kids spend a few weeks with each family.

    the twins are half sibs to their sister, because they have the same sperm donor. The women joke and call him donor # 54.

    Everything seems fine, as far as I can tell. I have no idea what the future holds for those children, but I know I would feel cheated if I wasn't allowed to know who my father was.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Creating children without a full identity is a crime against humanity"- this is so true, and it is really sad to think that there are some child which are product of egg or sperm donation which didn't even know the identity of their parents. But if we will check the way that other country treat egg/sperm donation even surrogacy it is more organized. Intended parents can meet the surrogate and can have a good relationship with the surrogate It's just a matter of transparency.

    ReplyDelete

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