(Image Source: Inclusive Surrogacy)
On July 11, 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex couples and single men access to surrogacy, a process which previously was open only to heterosexual couples and single women. This ruling was made on the grounds that barring these persons to obtain children through surrogacy was a “continuous, grievous human rights violation,” and violated their “right to parenthood.” Israel’s “Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty,” upon which this ruling was enacted, states that “The basic human rights in Israel are based on the recognition of the value of the human being, the sanctity of his life, and his being a free person,” and “Every human being is entitled to protection of his life, body and dignity.”
However, there is no “right to parenthood” when pursuing a process that intentionally deprives children of their own primary, natural right to life, and the right to their mother and father. While this law seeks to respect the sanctity of life and the value and dignity of all human beings, it obversely violates the rights of children to their lives and dignity. Under basic Israeli law, do children suddenly not fall under the category of “every human being”?
Since surrogacy often involves the IVF process, which is an obvious violation of the right to life for the multitude of human embryos the process regards as potentially disposable, these small human beings are fashioned without any legal guarantees to a right to life. If the IVF process is not pursued and “traditional surrogacy” is implemented, donor gametes must still be used by same-sex couples and single men, which ensures that children conceived this way will always be denied the right to be raised by at least one of their biological parents.
Not only does the surrogacy process commodify children by treating them as objects to be acquired through a third-party, but rulings such as Israel’s continue to open the door for the creation of more surrogacy conferences to meet the growing supply-and-demand for these men to obtain babies. These conferences include ways for prospective gay parents to “find the right fit for themselves” in order to obtain their end result of an “amazing child.” There are resources for finding a surrogate, picking an egg donor, for the importance of psychological screening of surrogates and egg donors (we wouldn’t want that pesky natural, maternal attachment to interfere with one’s purchase), and other information helpful for building a made-to-order child.
Here are a few adult children born through surrogacy and gamete donation who feel their existences started with commodification:
What about what the kids of traditional surrogacy think? What do we think about what you think? What you think doesn’t even make sense to most of us…How do you think we feel about being created specifically to be given away? You should all know that kids form their own opinions. I don’t care why my parents or my mother did this. It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want. You can wrap it up in a silk freaking scarf. You can pretend these are not your children. You can say it is a gift or you donated your egg to the IM. But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child.
And this crap about being paid only for carrying the child, kind of like prenatal child support. Who in the heck is going to pay someone to carry a child? If that was the case, then they would pay you to have the baby and you would raise. No, they are paying you to hand the baby over to them and give up your parental rights. If you didn’t agree to sign away your rights and hand over the baby they would sure not hire you in the first place. Let’s call it what it is. Money is given to cement the agreement for parental rights and relinquishment of the child.
Surrogacy is a business. There is lots of money to be made for the agencies, the lawyers, the doctors and the surrogates, but mostly the lawyers and agencies. You type in a search and all you come up with is propaganda from the business side of surrogacy. People need to know the kids’ perspective. It took me a long time to sift through all of the BS and get to the truth. I finally found studies and 10 other kids born from traditional surrogacy…I think it’s time you all know how we feel.
Yes I am angry. Yes I feel cheated…all the good intentions and love in the world won’t change the definition of right and wrong. It won’t change how the kids feel.
…I can be grateful to be alive all I want. It does not take away that people bought and sold me for their self-serving desires.
You could also be complicit in eugenics, dysgenics, genetic homogenization, and incest. If you use the standard fertility clinic, which discriminates against people based on height, weight, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, and biological diversity, you are complicit in selective breeding. You are complicit in saying that certain lives are more worthy of existing than others. You are giving up your rights to ever say you support people with any differences. You will be treating your child like a pedigree dog.
The Men Having Babies conferences also recently announced that they will start allowing those who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to resume attending conferences. This vaccination requirement is to “ensure the health and safety of all participants,” but what about the health and safety of children created through reproductive technologies? Other than the IVF process contributing to the deaths of millions of children through failed implantation, disposal, and selective reduction, children born through IVF can also face a variety of health issues. Researchers at Cambridge University found that “The prevalence of major birth defects such as chromosomal and musculoskeletal defects diagnosed by 1 year of age is two-fold higher in infants conceived by IVF or ICSI than in naturally conceived infants born between 1993 and 1997 in Western Australia.” Children conceived through the IVF process are also at risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, are at risk of having low birth weights which can contribute to long-term development concerns, and are at risk of epigenetic modifications which alter their DNA, making them more susceptible to diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
What greater human rights violations exist for children than intentionally damaging their health, their right to life, right to their biological parents, and right to dignity than pursuing commodifying practices such as IVF and surrogacy to satisfy adult desires?