What happens when a woman wants a baby but her body simply won’t cooperate? She may decide to adopt, or she may decide to go another route altogether and have someone else have the baby for her. That someone else is a surrogate mother.
There are two types of surrogate mothers. One, called a traditional surrogate involves a woman getting artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. The woman then carries and delivers the baby.
The other kind is called a gestational surrogate, which involves in vitro fertilization. In other words, the eggs get gathered from the mother and are fertilized with sperm from the father. The embryo then gets placed into the uterus of a gestational surrogate.
Unlike a traditional surrogate, the gestational surrogate does not have any genetic ties to the baby. Since the intended parents have genetic ties to the baby, gestational surrogacy has become more common than traditional surrogacy. In fact, each year 750 babies are born using this type of surrogacy.
Surrogacy seems like a simple answer to a tough problem. A woman can’t have a baby with her own body, so she finds someone else to carry a baby for her. Some have called it “giving the gift of life.” But one problem many people have with this practice is that money changes hands, making the baby nothing more than a commodity. Some feel that children are manufactured only to be sold, and when children are created for that purpose, they can be destroyed at the whim of whomever is “renting a womb.” It should be noted that surrogate mothers sell their services for up to $40,000, plus expenses.
Besides having problems with the money aspect of it, those who are pro-life are also concerned about the fact that a contract with a surrogate mother often contains provisions that make abortion mandatory. In recent years, there have been cases where the surrogate mother was forced by the intended parents to abort the baby because it was found that the baby in the womb had a defect of some kind.
In one particular case, after finding out the baby had multiple medical issues including a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in the brain, and a heart defect, the intended parents offered the surrogate mother $10,000 to terminate the pregnancy. While this particular story had a happy ending, with the surrogate mother being able to find another couple to adopt the baby, this is not always the case.
Besides the threat of having to abort a medically fragile baby, some surrogate mothers have been forced into something called “selective reduction.” Oftentimes when in vitro fertilization is involved, it results in the surrogate mother becoming pregnant with more than one baby. Because most surrogacy contracts have selective reduction provisions, the surrogate mother may be forced to abort one or more of the babies if the intended parents only wants one of them.
This is exactly what happened when Melissa Cook became a surrogate for a man who wanted to have twins. She became pregnant with triplets and he asked her to undergo a selective reduction procedure. After filing her own lawsuit to try to block the abortion, Cook said, “I no longer view surrogacy arrangements in the same favorable light I once did. I have a deep empathy for men who want children. However, I now think that the basic concept of surrogacy arrangements must be re-examined, scrutinized and reconsidered.”
It’s not just those that consider themselves pro-life that should be against surrogacy, however. All Christians should question whether or not it is something that is supported by Scripture. One Catholic teaching points to surrogacy as a form of adultery. Since the body of the husband belongs to the wife, and vice versa, neither of them should be able to have children with any other woman. Besides condemning surrogacy, the Catholic Church says Christians should not condone in vitro fertilization stating, “Human conception is removed from sacred sexual intercourse, and done in a Petri dish” and that “Life becomes now a product, produced in a laboratory, usually at a stated price. Sacred human life, becomes a commodity for sale.”
Joseph R. Zakhary, an attorney and leading authority on surrogacy and abortion law agrees with the teachings of the Catholic Church and calls surrogacy, “inherently immoral but deceptively alluring.” He also states, “Surrogacy is not ‘giving the gift of life’ – it is part of the culture of death.”
~ Christian Patriot Daily