The Baby Market: Should the government decide who can obtain a baby through surrogacy? The debate is summed up by Rebecca Dresser is a professor of law and professor of ethics in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis:
"For better or worse, most individuals become parents without having to establish their qualifications for child-rearing. But in adoption, prospective parents must undergo screening to evaluate their parental fitness. Which approach should we take to people seeking parenthood through surrogacy?"
Charles P. Kindregan Jr. is a professor of family law at Suffolk University in Boston, and is co-author of the American Bar Association book on assisted reproduction, says:
"The freedom of parental choice to conceive and raise a child is protected by the Constitution." Seems this would clearly add more protection to the surrogate than those who are "essentially contractors who find egg donors, sperm donors and pregnancy surrogates to carry the baby."
Kindregen instead believes: "Everyone who has studied the issues raised by assisted reproductive technology and specifically by surrogacy recognize that there is a need to ensure the protection of children brought into existence by this technology. I think it is possible to achieve this goal while still allowing the option for gay and lesbian partners, as well as non-partnered and infertile couples to enjoy the rights and obligations of parenthood."
He then goes on to say, "It is unconscionable that the practice of surrogacy in the United States is so unregulated that anyone can open and operate a for-profit surrogacy clinic....
"Legal adoption is the soundest method of creating and protecting legal parenthood, but a person cannot be compelled to adopt and may not even be eligible to do so. However, the use of surrogacy can be provided with greater protections for all involved, including the potential children."
HUH? In most states anyone can hang a shingle and arrange adoptions! Private adoption there are little standards except ability to pay and once an adoption is finalized - even a state adoption - there are no follow-up protections for the children.
Arthur Caplan is a professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says:
Some years ago, young woman in Indiana signed a surrogacy agreement with a man from Pennsylvania. She agreed to be artificially inseminated by him and deliver any baby that resulted for a fee of $30,000. One month after a baby boy was born, the fee paid and the child taken back to Northeast Pennsylvania, the man beat the child to death. He pleaded guilty to third degree murder.
Today, the fees being charged for surrogate mothers have escalated well past $50,000. As a result, some of the surrogacy trade is being outsourced to poor women in India and China. Indian women agree to carry to term embryos for American parents for fees averaging around $12,000. However, most of the money goes to brokers or agents.
There are more laws in the United States governing the breeding of dogs, cats, fish, exotic animals, and wild game species than exist with respect to the use of surrogates and reproductive technologies to make people.
All of the arguments seem to assume that adoptive parents meet some "fitness" requirements that should be applied to potential parents through surrogacy, though they know fill well that no one is going to enforce any such regulations in a pay-as-you-go drive-through industry ...and when the "model" they use doesn't even apply it.