Tuesday, February 1, 2011

World Most Prolific Professional Baby Breeder

Cori Smelker. 43, is five for five - her own and surrogates so she has a way to go to catch up to Carole.  Cori makes $20k per surrogatre birth and owns Surrogate Angels of San Antonio, "a full service surrogate agency matching couples unable to carry their own baby/babies with women who are ready and willing to be their gestational carrier." Cori is also a freelance writer and editor with a bachelors of education from University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Afrika.

Her first surrogate ecperience was dlivering twins in 2005,  She says:

It was such a positive experience all the way around that I decided to repeat it. Another set of parents welcomed their little boy into the world in April 2007.

A third family welcomed their son in the month of August 2008. They desired to add another child to their family, so I chose to become their surrogate again. In June 2009 we implanted three embryos and in July discovered that one had stuck around. This family welcome their daughter into the world in February 2010.....

Although I have never been faced with infertility myself, I can see its devastating effects on couples. It is therefore my desire to match couples with surrogates so that, through them, their vision of a complete family can be realised.

Despite being called a "Super Surrogate" by Inside Edition, Cori has a long way to go to compete for that title because of Britain's "Super Surrogate," Carole Horlock, 36. 

Carole, a part-time laundrette worker lives with her 50-year old mechanic boyfriend of four years and has two children Steffanie, 13, and Megan, nine.

But she has birthed nine children fo others at a price tag of  £5,000 in expenses for each birth.  She claims she enjoys helping childless couples so much that she would do it for free and is trying for ten surrogate births.

Her father says he is being deprived of his grandchildren, and her ex-husband says she is greedy. She is also condemned by opponents of the commercialisation of pregnancy.

And her daughter Megan is none too happy. She said: "If there was another way for my mum to have a baby, I would choose it - because I don't want her to be tired all the time."She loses her temper and I don't like her to be in a temper."

Hmmmm, and this is something she does because she enjoys it!?

Miss Horlock's father Ron Levy, a 'committed Christian' from Colchester, said: "I find the whole business deeply upsetting. They are all my grandchildren and I shall never know them."

Miss Horlock's ex-husband Stephen Horlock, a 46-year- old design engineer who fathered her elder daughter before their separation in 1990, said: "Money is definitely what drives Carole.
"She will never reveal how much she makes, but she once said it was thanks to surrogacy that she has been able to buy her council house."

Carole claims: "Surrogate children grow up to be perfectly well-balanced.
"They are planned for and wanted. All the children I have had know me. I'm not some mystery woman, I'm a close friend, but not their mother."

But John Smeaton, of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, condemned the practice.
He said: "Surrogate children can spend their whole lives wondering who their real parents are. What she is doing is an affront to the dignity of human life."


Amanda said...

Oh my. They place the prospect of an individual being "well-adjusted" based on the fact that they were wanted by someone? These individuals fail to realize that in order for children in adoption and situtations like this to be "chosen" they had to be "unchosen" (and my First Mom friends know what I mean by that) FIRST. I dont' care what kind of bow someone dresses that concept up with--it still hurts.

Mirah Riben said...

I am totally anti-surrogacy. I helped get it made illegal in NJ!

I think children of surrogates would be confused, but would they feel they were unwanted? Unwanted by whom? the mother who carried them?

Gestational carriers who are not at all biologically connected to the child they carry just complicate the issue further, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Unwanted?? How in the hell could one feel unwanted after all their parents went through to have them???
I just delivered a surro baby 4 mos ago and his parents spent well over $100,000 to have him. I hardly think he will EVER feel unwanted. Get a freakin clue. *rolls eyes*

Mirah Riben said...


Stop rolling your eyes and use them to read and you would see that your anger is misplaced. I did not say they would feel unwanted - quite the opposite: I questioned Amanda who did.

Beth said...

Im confused as to how the babies will not know who their parents are? Their parents went through so much to get them here to their families and will be raised by their parents. Surrogates are not their parents, why would they question this later?? There is nothing to know other than that another woman carried you for your parents. Just as if your oven was broken and you borrowed your neighbors oven to make dinner. Your dinner is still your ingredients, your hard work, and you will still take it home, it just happened to be baked in someone elses oven. There is nothing to condemn about this. I'm a Christ-follower and hopeful surrogate, my husband and church are incredibly supportive. Why should we condemn people to a child-less life if there is a way we can help them?

Mirah Riben said...

Just an oven, OK, then~! Thanks for that very humane look at these human woman who are risking their lives for others!

First of all, not all surrogate arrangements involve the eggs of the adoptive mother who will raise the child. Some women who do not produce eggs use surrogates as do some women who are concerned about passing on a genetic disorder. The egg might be the surrogate's or a third party's. In such a case the egg "donor" is genetically related to the offspring.

As for Christ and your church supporting this, that is truly sad. Why not encourage people who want children and have difficult with biology to adopt one of 120,000 children in foster care in the US who could be adopted??? Seems to me that's what Jesus want
us to do.

Do you know why surrogacy was outlawed in NJ and is unlawful in most of the world? because it is IMMORAL!! And your church supports it! That's just WRONG! They know noy what they are doing!!

Do you that unlike a kitchen oven, a human female when pregnant - whether the egg is hers or not -- produced hormones that are intended to bond her with the movement inside her. Did you know that the neonate - a living human being! - HEARS the voice of the mother in whose womb he is and can recognize her voice and her smell after birth?

pixel_pusher said...

Ms. Riben- I'm curious as to how you can call surrogacy 'immoral'. Didn't God Himself use a surrogate to bring His Son Jesus into the world? He could have just spoken a new body for His Son out of the dirt, just like he did with Adam; if surrogacy was a sin, then Jesus would've been born into sin, and therefore would have been useless to us as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. On that basis alone, surrogacy- whether gestational or traditional- is NOT immoral.

Cori Smelker, at least, is a GESTATIONAL surrogate- meaning, she did not use her own eggs for the surrogate babies she carried, she was simply the 'carrier'. Of COURSE the children she carried know who their parents are- its the couples that are raising them! It's not how you your children come into the world that makes you a 'parent'- it's how you raise them after they're here. There are hundreds of thousands of children born to biological parents who don't care one bit for their own children.

You obviously have never had to deal with the heartache of infertility- so don't you dare think you can judge either the surrogates or the Intended Parents about how they choose to have children. And, what gives you the right to judge how a woman chooses to use her uterus? If a woman has the right to choose an abortion, then she also has the right to use her uterus to carry someone else's child. That's why it's called "Pro-Choice".

Mirah Riben said...

most industrialized nations have outlawed surrogacy on the basis of infertility. did it eve occur to you that if God wanted you to have a child he'd have made you fertile? Or, perhaps He did and you simply waited too long -- like the parable of the man who waited on the roof, parying for God to resrcue him from rising flood waters and waived off the boat that offered him to get onboard & kept praying, and waved off the helicopter that dropped ladder. And when he died and stood before His maker he said: "God, I was good man, a fervent beliver. I prayed and prayed. Why didn't you answer my prayers and rescue me?" And God said: "What did you think the boat and helicopter were?"

Did you wait too long and miss your fertiled wiklnow of opportubnity? Did you loose your fertility because of obesity or being unmderweight? Did you loose it by contracting and STD or having abortions? MANY people are infertile as a result of these and other preventable causes...and then thye have the nerve to thinK God or aNyone else owes THEM A CHILD!

It is immoral to ask someone to risk thei rlife to bear a child for nother. It is immoral to BUY those servioces or BUY a child! It is immoral to think You are God and create life! It is immoral to treat human life as a commodity and a mother as a Handmaid.

pixel_pusher said...

I'm sorry, but I look to God's Word as the standard of what's moral and what's not- NOT someone with an ill-informed and inflexible view of the world. And for your information, God doesn't make someone infertile ("Every good and perfect gift comes from God"- James 1:17)- that was never His plan for mankind. He told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Gen 1:28). God never rescinded that order, but man's own sinful nature did. Satan brought sin, disease, sickness and death into the world through Man's sin by tricking Man into handing over Man's authority over the earth. God brings "Life and life more abundant", whereas Satan comes to "Kill, steal and destroy" (John 10:10). Man's own sin, thanks to Satan's tricks, makes man infertile. Why then would He answer Hannah's prayer with Samuel (1 Samuel 1:12-20)? As far as I'm concerned, surrogates are simply helping those couples struggling with infertility to take back what Satan stole from then. You must have a different God than I do.

If someone were to need a heart transplant, would you tell them that it was immoral to use someone else's donated heart because "God must have wanted them to have a weak heart"? What about women who lose their uterus to cancer or as a result of an inept doctor during the birth of a previous child? Is it God's will that they suffer infertility because of someone else's mistake?

And what's with the crap about "BUYing the services or BUYING a child?" Nobody is holding a gun to the heads of either the intended parents OR the surrogates. And as far as Gestational Surrogacy is concerned, the parents aren't buying anyone's baby- it's already theirs. Just because you personally think it's wrong, doesn't make it so.

I happen to be the husband of a wonderful woman who's given me several of my own children, before deciding to be a Gestational surrogate herself and help those struggling with infertility. Even though I've not walked a mile in these couples' shoes, I have an enormous amount of compassion for them- which is obviously something you can't do.

(and by the way, the 'parable' you mentioned is not from the Bible- it's just some poor dope's attempt to spiritualize some tragic event, not to mentioned flawed and ridiculous. If you want to arm yourself with 'parables', stick to the REAL Bible.)

pixel_pusher said...

And actually, your 'parable' proves just the opposite of what you were saying- that the man on the roof ignored the rescue from his plight in the form of technology (the boat and the helicopter) because he was waiting on-- what? A 'supernatural' rescue from God? Just as the man on the roof failed to recognize God's rescue in the form of the boat and helicopter, you are failing to see the answer to an infertile couple's prayer in the form of Surrogacy.

Mirah Riben said...

I did not say God made anyone infertile. I asked if you "waited too long"? A good deal of infertility is PREVENTABLE: caused by waiting too long, contracting STDS, abortions. weight, etc. You may well have once been fertile but blew it! And I do believe that God chose some not to have children so they could care for children in other ways. For generations, people accepted that. It is only recently that people began to believe they should act like God and create other human beings! A human being is not an organ! Human beings have needs and RIGHTS of their own!

The Vatican says:

"...human life is a gift from God that has been entrusted to men and women, who are called to appreciate its inestimable value and take responsibility for maintaining its dignity — with regard both to the human being called into existence and to the special nature of the transmission of human life. Because of the dignity both of the child and of the parents, the document declares that in vitro fertilization, whether used by a married couple or by unmarried individuals, is always wrong. The good and natural desire of parents struggling to conceive a child of their own, which the instruction praises, does not give them a right to one by any means whatsoever.

"A new human being is not an object or a piece of property that adults have a right to manufacture, manipulate or destroy, but rather a personal subject biologically distinct from both father and mother whose dignity and individual rights must be respected and safeguarded. A child is a gift, not a thing. A child has the right to be begotten, not made, or as the document says, to be "conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up within marriage, [because] it is through the secure and recognized relationship to his own parents that the child can discover his own identity and achieve his own proper human development." The child, in other words, should be conceived as the fruit of the personal union and love of parents committed to each other for life, not fabricated by anonymous medical technicians earning a payday.


Mirah Riben said...

Part II:

"In vitro fertilization likewise violates the dignity of parents, by renting asunder the connection between love-making and life-making. A child is no longer the fruit of their personal bodily union, but merely the fusion of their gametes, separated from their bodies, washed, and paired by technicians on a lab bench. The wife is no longer impregnated by her husband during an act of love in the peaceful and romantic solitude of their bedroom, but by a doctor injecting her with a pipette in a hospital room surrounded by strangers with masks over their mouths, as her husband stands to the side. This image alone is enough to bear witness that the process is not worthy of human dignity and interpersonal love.

"But the in vitro procedure brings with it other affronts to the intrinsic worth of both children and parents. In a typical process, about eight to ten eggs are fertilized. A whole large family of fraternal twins, in other words, is brought into existence. These brothers and sisters are allowed to grow for a couple of days in a laboratory, then some of them are selected to be injected into the mother. The other children are either frozen in liquid nitrogen to preserve them for future in vitro attempts or they are left to die or be destroyed. Therefore the cost of having a child through in vitro is measured not only in the tens of thousands of dollars that a couple needs to pay, but in the death or cryopreservation of most of the parents' children and the implanted child's siblings. Again, the image itself is enough to convince most people that the process is not commensurate with human dignity.

"The whole practice, moreover, is open to abuses contrary to the intrinsic worth of both children and parents. Egomaniacal doctors have substituted their sperm in place of the father's and have genetically sired scores of half-siblings through unsuspecting mothers. Single women in their late sixties are using IVF to conceive children whom the actuarial tables indicate they'll leave orphans before high school graduation or maybe even before kindergarten. Children whose fathers were anonymous sperm donors are now coming of age and are seeking to know who their dads are, or what medical conditions they may have inherited; at present, however, they have no rights to this information, because the entire in vitro industry and the legislation that protects it are set up to satisfy adult desires, without concern for what is best for the child. And last but not least: IVF makes it possible for a child to grow up to discover that he or she has an anonymous egg donor for a biological mom, an anonymous sperm donor for a genetic dad, a surrogate mom as birth mother, and then a "father" and a "mother" who paid the other three for their services. These multiple layers of relations are creating not just a legal mess but a psychological one for such children."


"Heterologous artificial fertilization violates the rights of the child; it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and can hinder the maturing of his personal identity.

"Furthermore, it offends the common vocation... of the spouses who are called to fatherhood and motherhood: it objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity; it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood and responsibility for upbringing.

"Such damage to the personal relationships within the family has repercussions on civil society: what threatens the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder and injustice in the whole of social life."


pixel_pusher said...

Ms. Riben, I am not Catholic, so I really don't care what the Vatican says. Your whole double-barreled posting is based on the assumption that the Vatican governs all Christianity throughout the world- but it does not. As a Protestant (actually an Evangelical), I understand the Pope to be a pretty good man, and in most cases good at his job- but the opinions of the Vatican in no way govern my beliefs about this subject, neither for most of the rest of the world. Besides, I know of several Catholics who have used surrogates with great success, and have no regrets whatsoever about their decision. How important do you think the Vatican's opinion on this matter is to them?

Show me, if you can, in the Bible where "God wanted someone to remain infertile so that they could care for children in other ways." You can't- but I can show you plenty of places where infertile people cried out to God for a child, and He granted their request. Why would He do that, if He had planned for them to be infertile in the first place? And IF, a you suggest, that God "wanted someone to remain infertile so that they could care for children in other ways," how does your definition of "other ways" preclude Surrogacy? Wouldn't Surrogacy actually fit the definition of "caring for children in other ways?"

I stand by my earlier assertion that your position is based on incomplete information and ignorance of the actual experience of infertility. If you yourself had experienced infertility, your position would be completely the opposite. In addition, your position of the 'morality' of surrogacy is, at best, purely subjective, and at most, severely flawed. Nevertheless, the opinion of one bitter old woman does not change the minds of hundreds of thousands of couples struggling with this issue, and your lack of compassion for them is astounding. I thank my God that He has more grace and love for His children than you do. Perhaps if your understanding of God was based on a true relationship with Him rather than religious dogma, you'd have more compassion for those 'less fortunate' than you.

And you obviously didn't read all of my posting- otherwise you'd have noticed that my wife and I have not been touched by infertility ourselves as you assume (quite the opposite, actually), yet we still have the compassion for those who have- enough so that we have been surrogates (well, my wife has been) multiple times to great effect. As for the quotes you've provided- they sound suspiciously like your own tired arguments (are you quoting from your own book?), which make your 'evidence' even less compelling.

pixel_pusher said...

Actually, Ms. Riben, you DID say that God actually makes some people infertile. Your response posted on June 25th, 2011 at 7:24 pm states, "did it eve occur to you that if God wanted you to have a child he'd have made you fertile?" (a note of advice, though, Ma'am- your arguments would hold more credence and weight if you'd just learn how to use a spell check once in awhile.) As I have already pointed out, God doesn't make people infertile. The sinful nature of mankind brought sickness and imperfection, but God doesn't want that for us- His answer to Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 1 proves this.

It makes me curious as to what must have happened to you in your past that has warped your view of God to become such an impersonal, spiteful, vengeful deity? In my wife's work as a surrogate, we have encountered several unfortunate women who have actually been born without a uterus. Would you have the callousness to tell them that THEIR sin caused them to be infertile? They were born that way, and a baby cannot be sinful while still in the womb; and even if you were to claim that their parents' sin caused their children's infertility, are you still going to tell those unfortunate, womb-less women that they can't have children, and it's all their parents' fault? What a horrible hateful 'deity' your god must be!

And here's something else you need to consider: since it's obvious to me that your views of surrogacy are based on equal parts of religious dogma and personal opinion, and not on true Biblical principles- what if you're flat-out wrong? You pat yourself on the back on helping to make surrogacy illegal in NJ (as if the laws of NJ governed the rest of the country), but what if you get to the Great White Throne and find that all your arguments and efforts were wrong? The Bible says that each of us will have to give an account for every careless word spoken (see Matthew 12:35-37), and I would dare say that this includes misrepresenting God's character, His Word and His grace and love towards mankind.

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