Gestational Surrogacy in the United States: The Ethical Choice

Victoria Ferrara


Gestational surrogacy in the United States, when managed by competent lawyers and physicians, is the most ethical and reliable manner in which to have a child by surrogacy. The recent article in New York Magazine, Inside the Dark Realities of the International Surrogacy Industry, by Alex Ronan (March 30, 2015) gives insight into the problematic and distressing circumstances of surrogacy being conducted in India. The article states, " [The investigative team] quickly expose the dark underside of an unregulated and dangerous industry. Women are routinely recruited from slums, made to sign contracts they can't read, before spending a year living in a facility. Once the baby is born ? via cesarean section so that doctors can maximize births per day ? the surrogate is sent home, often without the full compensation she was promised. We spoke to Toboni about the lives of surrogate women, how the industry can improve, and the emerging black market for extra' babies."  

This is NOT the way surrogacy is done in the U.S.  Here in the U.S., surrogates are wonderful women who come to surrogacy on their own and by their choice. They are not poor or destitute by any means. For example, at Worldwide Surrogacy, we do not accept surrogate applicants who are on welfare or state aid. There are a couple of reasons,  one being that we do not want to jeopardize their benefits. If they receive compensation as a surrogate, they may no longer be eligible for their government entitlements.

Further, we avoid accepting candidates who come to surrogacy just for the money because they are in great need of the money. Our surrogates are women from stable families, with children of their own. They are smart and good-natured people who want to help someone achieve their dream of having a child. Yes, they want to make some extra money, but they are financially capable of living without the extra compensation they will receive from gestational surrogacy. They are healthy; they enjoy pregnancy and they want to share in the joy of the intended parents.

Most importantly, our professional team will make sure that all parties are treated with respect and dignity. The surrogate will have control over her medical treatment; she and her intended parents will work together to decide on medical doctors and hospitals. The article on India indicates that the intended parents do not know or even meet their surrogate. This is the opposite of how surrogacy is done in the United States where the relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents is expected and nurtured. People come together as a team to bring a baby into the world.

The one drawback of surrogacy in the United States is that it is expensive. But the expense is worth it, knowing you have control over the process, you have a competent professional team, and you are making decision out in the open in a straightforward way. This is the story you want to tell your children. I am not passing any judgment on people who have had children through the Indian process. It is simply that there are ethical considerations and legal problems that should be carefully thought through before engaging in that process.

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