Re: S.2071 Child – Parent Security Act

Dear Member of Assembly,

My name is Katy Faust. I am founder and director of the children’s rights organization Them Before Us. We represent the party most impacted by S.2071 – the children.  The ill-named “Child-Parent Security Act” harms children in four ways:

1. Trauma: Losing a parent is always traumatic for children, even at birth. Studies show that separation from their birth mother causes “major physiological stressor for the infant.” In addition, even brief maternal deprivation can permanently alter the structure of the infant brain.  Even adoptees, who have found their “forever family”, have long referred to a “primal wound” resulting from maternal separation, hindering attachment, bonding, and psychological health. If we examine the studies on the social and psychological effect of surrogacy and listen to the stories of kids, it’s clear that surrogacy is not child-friendly. One man born of surrogacy writes:

“I don’t care why my parents or my mother did this. It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can pretend these are not your children. You can say it is a gift or you donated your egg to the [intended mother]. But the fact is that someone contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity. Babies are not commodities. Babies are human beings.”

2. Losing a parent. If S.2071 passes, many children will be intentionally denied a relationship with their biological mother or father. S.2071 redefines “parent” in ways that lead to intentional ambiguity in children’s most critical relationships.  Studies show that nothing, especially not “intent,” statistically provides children with the same level of connection and protection as their biological parents. Donor children struggle disproportionately with depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. Eighty percent of donor-conceived children desire to know the identity of their biological father.

  • I have two moms and am constantly wondering what it would be like to have a father and who my biological dad is. I’m wondering is there any way to find who he is?
  • I am egg donor conceived. Male. I found out when I was 16, now in my mid 20’s. Years later I still wonder and ponder, “who is my REAL Mother”? Where is she? Is she even alive? My current Mother, well growing up never accepted me, or even cared to grow a bond with me.  It makes sense why now.
  • After the shock of “losing” my dad, I realized that there was a man out there who I did look like who fathered me. I then began to mourn the loss of a man who I never even knew existed until a few weeks earlier… Who was he? Did he ever think about me? – Stephanie Blessing

3. Intentional motherlessness. S.2071 offers financial incentives to separate children from both their genetic mother and birth mother. Not due to tragedy as in adoption, but because the intended parents believe that mothers are unnecessary.  Yet children who are motherless suffer greatly:

  • I never have had a mom’s love and affection… I still suffer because of that abandonment feeling. I often would wonder why every other kid had a relationship with their mom, but not me. Was I unlovable in the sight of my mom? Why did she not want to be in my life? – Rhianna
  • I’m a boy of 14. I live with 2 dads. One is my biological dad and one of them isn’t. My biological mother (who gave my dads her ovum for my birth) comes my house often. She’s 38 and my dads’ long time best friend. I want to call her my mom but my dads always get mad when I try. I actually already call her mom when my dads are not around and she liked it. She and I have lots of connections.”
  • Me, my baby brother, Dad, and [his partner] Billy [were] the only family I had ever known. [I watched] The Land Before Time. It was a traumatic experience. Littlefoot had a “Mother” and she died saving his life. Littlefoot spent the entire movie mourning the loss of his “Mother.” It was in that moment, as a 5 yr old girl, that I realized there was such a thing as a mother and that I did not have one. I spent the rest of the day crying into the arms of a teacher I would never see again for a mother that I never knew I never had. – Samantha

4. Commodification. New York originally banned commercial surrogacy in 1992 on the basis that “the practice could not be distinguished from the sale of children and that it placed children at significant risk of harm.” Despite growing cultural acceptance of the practice, the impact that surrogacy has on children has not changed in the last 27 years.  It still objectifies children. Even without the $100,000+ surrogacy price tag, children created via reproductive technologies often feel commodified. Around half of donor-conceived children are disturbed that money changed hands during their conception.

  • “Being “wanted” can sometimes feel like a curse, like I was created to make you happy, my rights be damned. I’d be lying if I said I never felt commodified. – Bethany
  • I knew from an early age that I was purchased and selected from essentially a catalog. I knew that my blonde hair and blue eyes was somehow valued above other colorations. I always knew that I was purchased and created precisely to make her happy. – Alana Newman
  • I am told, look how much your parents wanted you, they planned and saved to have you… When you know that a huge part of the reason that you came into the world is due solely to a paycheck, and that after being paid you are disposable, given away and never thought of again, it impacts how you view yourself. –Jessica Kern (Child of Surrogacy)

That some children suffer the tragic loss of one or both parents doesn’t justify intentionally denying others a relationship with their mother or father. That some children are relinquished by their birth mother doesn’t justify intentionally severing the mother-child bond. Children have a right to their mother and father. Third-party reproduction and surrogacy deliberately violate those rights.  Any process that needlessly separates a child from one or both parents is an injustice. And this brand of injustice sets children up for a lifetime of loss and struggle. New York should have not part of it.

If you are in New York and think your representative should read this letter, send it to them here and tell them to vote No on the Child Parent Security Act.