This was originally written a really long time ago. I hesitated to publish it because I don't like to seem judgmental about people or things.
On the other hand, this is my blog and my thoughts...
Only God can judge any of us.
I ran across this article while checking my email tonight (Dec. 2009) and I'm stunned, shocked and a bit flabbergasted.
This article discusses surrogacy and its laws in this country. In light of Nadya Suleman and her octuplets and the many families and women going through this, I feel compelled to speak.
The laws in this country concerning surrogacy, IVF and all other means of artificial insemination must change.
An episode of Law and Order last season made me want to go out and rant about how the justice system of this country must evolve quicker and get with the times. On this episode, there was a video taping of a crime that would have been perfect evidence for the prosecution because it clearly showed who the perpetrators were, but because the tape could not be authenticated because it had been posted online, the tape was thrown out. This episode was a clear example of the legal system not having evolved with the technological age enough. With all the technology available to us and especially available to the government, every person who posts anything can ultimately be tracked. (Don't think for a second that Big Brother is not watching you!) While I clearly understand the importance of authenticating evidence and the means by which it was obtained, I mean, damn, here's the crime on tape, and it's been proven that the tape hasn't been altered in any way, so what's the deal.
Now, in terms of surrogacy, according to this article, this country has different laws and regulations per state. As we can all recall from the Suleman situation, IVF has no laws on how many eggs can be implanted--they only have "guidelines." Guidelines get broken! (Just like rules are meant to be broken, right?) Let's be real.
I understand the need to implant a few eggs because there is no guarantee which ones or how many will turn into babies, but why was Suleman implanted with so many eggs knowing how many kids she had at home? Hell, why was she even allowed to receive IVF again considering how many kids she had at home? But hey, whatever! We have the right to procreate how we want and how many times we want. I just pray those kids are well taken care of at all times!
Now, as for the cases in this article, the first situation with the Kehoes and Bakers--geez! Neither woman or family had genetic ties to the children, so seriously who is the mother? Should the mother not be the woman who sought these children out? Ms. Kehoe went through a lot to "create" these kids, so shouldn't she have the right to them? But perhaps that's the bigger issue of this whole case--should we have the right to "create" kids in this manner where neither the mother or father are genetically linked to the children and the mother-to-be doesn't even carry the kids for whatever reason. How far is too far? Getting someone to carry your child for you because your body physically can't do it is one thing, but it seems another thing altogether when you find someone else's egg, find someone else's sperm, find someone to carry the implanted eggs, and then plan to take the kids home after those long 40 weeks. (Goodness, does 40 weeks seem like forever the closer you get to week 40!) Is it something else altogether? Or is it not?
Realistically, on the other hand, who are we (society or laws) to decide when and how people "conceive" and bring their children into the world? We certainly can't dial back the clock and remove the option of people to use surrogates; they'll just go to another country. And I certainly don't want a "world police" deciding this matter for the entire world. But where do we draw the line? How do we draw the line? Do we even draw a line?
For instance, the other guy mentioned in the article--who in the heck didn't do their job in investigating this guy before his kids were "created" and implanted in the surrogates? I mean, we all know the media reports what they choose, but from the info in the article, it seems that someone dropped the ball in investigating this guy before hand. He seems a little "special" and ill-prepared to be a parent of twins. (Hell, some couples aren't prepared to be parents of twins when they were expecting one bundle of joy, but they catch their breath and get it together in due time.) But as the famous phrase goes: you need a license to drive a car, but you don't need a license to have kids. Perhaps we should. But that scares me too!
I can only imagine the potential fear parents like the Kehoes face. I mean, these people went out of their way to get the children they wanted in their lives and because of legalities and someone else's concerns (founded or unfounded--who knows), the children were taken from them? I mean, geez!
There are no clear cut answers to this issue, which may explain why each state regulates how their citizens deal with this. I find myself doing what I complain about when I'm reading other folks. Asking a whole bunch of questions, hypothesizing on a whole bunch, and offering some suggestions.
Again, I can't judge and my only concern is that those babies are well taken care of.
The Founding Fathers certainly didn't have surrogacy in mind when they wrote our laws.