Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Morals and Ethics in (Domestic) Adoption Part IV

Theresa Erickson, 43,  a California lawyer who specializes in reproductive law is the latest of three women to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for taking part in what federal prosecutors called a "baby-selling ring" that charged a dozen couples more than $100,000 to adopt babies born from surrogate pregnancies. Full story here.

Here's how their scheme worked: 

Erickson along with a Maryland-based lawyer who also specializes in reproductive law and a Las Vegas woman, recruited women to travel to Ukraine to be implanted with embryos created from the sperm and egg of donors. The surrogates were sent to Ukraine to have the embryos implanted because no American fertility doctor would perform such a procedure without documents proving that an agreement existed between the woman and the "intended parents."

Once the gestational carrier, or surrogate, reached the second trimester of pregnancy, prosecutors claimed the defendants would "shop" the babies by falsely telling couples that a couple who had intended to adopt the baby backed out of the deal.

The new couple that agreed to adopt the unborn baby would have to pay more than $100,000 in fees. Women who agreed to carry the babies to term were paid from $38,000 to $45,000, court documents said.
The law is designed to prevent profit-making from the sale of parental rights. By falsely declaring the unborn baby was the result of a legitimate surrogacy arrangement, prosecutors said the defendants obtained pre-birth judgments that named the adoptive parents on the babies' birth certificates.

The couples who adopted the babies did not believe they were breaking the law and will not have their parental rights taken away.   Think of a drug bust in which the druggies get to keep the stash!

Not only do they get to keep the babies, they get reimbursed some of the fees!! 

And the children have no family history - but after all, they're just commodities.

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