Exploiting mothers and selling heir babies to the highest bidders might also sound like sci fi. It is in fact far worse than any future imagined by Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale or George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, or Lois Lowry's the Giver. Yet even brilliant and fertile the minds of these classic authors could not have imagined the influence of money in the process of conception, birth and parenting. These author's imagined mass infertility in the future, but they then foresaw government stepping in and and controlling breeding and parental selection.
None, in their wildest imagination, could conceive of the exact opposite. A total lack of government control and limits placed only according to one's pocketbook. None imagined in their most extreme dreams the wild west world of money-talks-and-nobody-walks away empty handed where parenting selection is based on one and only one criteria: he who can pay the fee on the price tag gets the child! Simple as that. Masochistic child abusers, pedophiles, and pimps!! Step right up! You too could be the next Michael Jackson or Matthew Mancuso (Masha Allen's adoptive rapist and online tormentor who haunts her still with his photographic kiddie porn legacy) or William Peckenpaugh who got himself his a fine little boy to use and abuse...
Step right up every sicko who ever wanted their very own child to torture in the most repugnant and unimaginable ways. Now, you too can realize your dream come true! Just pony-up the cash and he or she is yours. No strings attached. No social worker will ever get involved or check up on you.
You can "home school" and then do whatever you please in the privacy of your own home. Hey, it's a far better deal than Brian David Mitchell who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart or Phillip Craig Garrido who abducted Jaycee Dugard got. Kidnapping, after all, carries a very stiff penalty if you're caught. Not this surrogacy stuff. They're making it LEGAL!!!
State surrogacy bill alarmingly short of protections
Washingtonians should be alarmed that state lawmakers are rushing to legalize commercial surrogacy with no protections for the surrogate mothers and no protections for the babies being sold.Washingtonians should be alarmed that state lawmakers are rushing to legalize commercial surrogacy with no protections for the surrogate mothers and no protections for the babies being sold.
Today, volunteer surrogate mothers and their babies are protected by state adoption procedures and government oversight. Paid surrogacy is currently prohibited and punishable to up to a year in prison. However, House Bill 1267 would eliminate all these protections and for the first time legalize the selling of babies for profit, with virtually no limits on who can buy a baby.
Nothing would prevent Washington babies from being sold overseas to anonymous foreign buyers, as there is no requirement for the baby buyer to be an American citizen. There is nothing preventing convicted sex predators or any criminal currently in prison from buying a surrogate baby. They just have to hire a lawyer. [We currently export approximately 500 babies a year overseas via adoption!]
The bill doesn’t require criminal background checks, drug tests, or other safety checks. Incredibly, while the bill requires buyers to take a mental health test, it doesn’t require them to pass! Alarming test results don’t need to be shared with the birth mother or any public agency. One can spectacularly fail all state adoption guidelines and still receive a baby under HB 1267.
Can you imagine the moral outrage if Washington’s foster children were handed to anonymous individuals with zero government oversight or screenings? Or if adoption babies were sold to foreign nationals or to anyone who can raise the cash? [Ooops, they are!] For goodness sakes, what does it say about our state when puppies born in puppy mills or chickens on farms have more government oversight than commercial surrogate babies born in Washington?
I also worry that the bill provides no worker protections for the hired mother. The woman worker is hired with a private service contract that deliberately excludes every state worker protection and safety laws that we have on the books.
There is no minimum wage protection. The disability and life insurance requirements are riddled with ghastly loopholes. The sole protection against worker exploitation and harm is that the contracts must be reviewed by an “independent” lawyer for the surrogate – who can be paid by the baby buyer.
Lawmakers would never allow any other worker to be hired by a Washington business with so little protection for their health and safety. HB 1267 is special treatment for surrogacy businesses run amok.
How could this high-risk bill pass our House of Representatives with practically no real public discussion?
It passed because the bill was sold as “clarifying” surrogacy laws to help loving infertile couples and loving gay couples fulfill their dreams of having children. But can lawmakers seriously afford to pretend that only good people, lawyers and businesses will be involved in the hiring and supervising of women for their wombs and in buying their babies?
This is not just a Christian or a conservative issue. When feminist leaders such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Freidan also believe that paid surrogacy “will lead to the exploitation of women, especially poorer ones, by more affluent couples,” and that it violates laws “prohibiting the trafficking in human lives, particularly the buying and selling of infants,” shouldn’t we listen?
India learned from painful experience that the unregulated marketplace and lawyers were not enough to protect their surrogate babies or to prevent horrendous exploitation of destitute women by surrogacy businesses.
While we do need more jobs and businesses in Washington during these tough economic times, hiring women for their reproductive functions using secret contracts and having them sell their babies to anyone who has the cash is not the right way to create jobs, businesses or babies.
You can comment at the site of the original piece here. Bless the News Tribune for printing this!State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, represents the 30th District.
One of the proudest feathers in my cap is my involvement in fighting to make paid surrogacy illegal in the state of New Jersey. The notorious case of Mary Beth Whitehead fighting to keep the baby she carried as a surrogate for William Stern and his wife Betsy. Mary Beth was a housewife and mother who discovered that she could not part with the child she had bonded with in utereo and had suckled at her breast. In the end the Sterns got custody but Mary Beth and her family got visitation and surrogacy was outlawed thanks to the great efforts of Harold Cassidy, attorney.
The law was enacted in good part because of the cross the board support we obtained from religious leaders of all faiths and ethicist, all of whom decried the immorality of paid surrogacy as baby selling and in direct violation of the intent of laws against pre-birth contracts.
And yet, sadly, no other states followed with similar legislation specifically banning the practice and now Washington wants to actually legalize it! Those with morals in that state need to research the NJ case and rally the troops to fight this abomination against humanity.
It's illegal to sell bodily organs because of the huge possibility of exploiting the poor...yet we allow THIS! Are human babies less worthy of protection than a liver or kidney? Those body parts do not grieve the loss of the voice and smell of the body from whence they came. Nor does the donor body grieve their loss, often because they are deceased. And yet, ironically, more and more donor recipients want to meet the donor family to thank them (but of course, they don't live with the dread fears and insecurities that the family will steal the organ back....AND amputees suffer phantom pain!)
We are talking about human being being bough and sold, folks. That is what is also called SLAVERY. Even in the time of slavery SOME masters treated SOME slaves with kindness. Some even thought of them as "family" as a sort - they did, as in adoption - bear their owner's names after all. The fact is that once a human being is purchased and owned he or she is at the mercy of their captor. They may be treated with kindness or they may not. they have no recourse to complain or run away, because in the instance of surrogacy and paid adoption they are merely children.
We look aghast at the practice of Haitians to sell their children as maids and think THIS is OK? Why? Because we pretend that all the myths of adoption are true. We ignore the blatant acts to the contrary and call them anomalies and go right on believing that children will get a "better life" because they are so very wanted. Even if and when they are fortunate enough to wind up with parents who care for them well, does the end every justify the means? Some children are adopted into families who dote over them. Does that make it all right that the child may have been kidnapped and trafficked for adoption? Seems to as governments are wont to get involved and even DNA test possible kidnap victims if after the kidnapping they are then "legally" adopted! That puts the seal of approval on an otherwise felonious crime.
So...exploit the poor and sell their babies to the highest bidders. Why not do it in terms of surrogacy? We've been doing it for decades and calling it "adoption" .. and even considering it noble and charitable when 90% of the children in orphanages worldwide have family who do NOT want them adopted, as was the case with the two children adopted by Madonna. But once again, money trumped humanity and morality and the "end" is supposed to justify the means of tearing families apart to satisfy the whims of the more affluent.
Exploiting the poor and COMMODIFYING their children! Turning them into automobiles or souvenir trinkets.
AND, unlike adoption surrogacy has no pretense of being a magnanimous or humane act. It is selfish. It involves people who insist upon having a child that is genetically connected to at least one parent and so they totally turn their back on all the thousands of alleged orphans on need. Let us bear in mind that infertility is a medical issue and surrogacy and adoption are legal and social solution, not medical ones. Let us also not forget that the vast majority of infertility is preventable.
Yet, instead of being outraged and joining New Jersey - an all other civilized, industrialized nations - in banning paid surrogacy...we as a nation are "normalizing" it by applauding celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker who chooses surrogacy...and featuring it on several prime time dramas and sitcoms such as "Brothers and Sisters" and "Rules of Engagement." The first TV show to show surrogacy was "Friends" - however that was in-family and not for fee! Big difference! If a family member, or even close friend wants to risk their life and future ability to bear a child for another, that's a choice that cannot be regulated. But when money gets involved it becomes baby selling and MUST be not controlled but stopped. Egg "donation" is equally exploitive and equally repugnant and also should be outlaed, as well as anonymous sperm "donation."
UPDATE: Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband wants his 94-year-old wife to become a mother again using an egg donor, artificial insemination and a surrogate mother! I could not make that up!
Email Rep. Mark Miloscia. Thank him for opposing this horrible legislation.