Quote from the "Son of a Surrogate" Blog

Quote from the "Son of a Surrogate" Blog

It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want. You can wrap it up in a silk freaking scarf. You can pretend these are not your children. You can say it is a gift or you donated your egg to the IM. But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. I dont care if you think I am not your child, what about what I think! Maybe I know I am your child.When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My letter to David Catania's office today

I reached out today to David Catania's office, the D.C. official who is working on passing surrogacy legislation in the district, I thought I'd share the letter

So I called David Catania's office today and found out that Keri Nash the legislative counsel is the person who's been doing the work on the bill. I sent this e-mail to both she and David Catania. 
Hello Keri,
We just spoke on the phone, I'm a product of a traditional surrogacy. I am opposed to this bill for different reasons.
First when I read the bill, I don't see where there will be any requirements for psychological testing on the intended parents. If something like that is left up to the agencies, they are not motivated to do a thorough job because, if they don't sell the product (child) they don't make their money.
Secondly, I have real issue that we're creating children to intentionally separate them from a biological parent. When this is done the child will go through some of the same identity/ emotional issues as children of regular adoption.
Third, there is a psychological concept called "The Cinderella Effect" Where it's proven that children raised not by biological parents are at an increased risk for abuse. The child will not be related to at least one of the intended parents.
Fourth, This bill is not saying it's o.k. just to do compassionate surrogacies (surrogacies where the surrogate has expenses covered but does not gain financially). As a product of surrogacy I am firmly against turning babies into a product.
If you would like some resources where children of surrogacy have blogged how they feel here are some sources:
my blog is:
Also there is a non-profit organization called
The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. The founder (Jennifer Lahl) of this non-profit has done a lot of research into surrogacy issues as she's currently filming a documentary about it. She would be a great resource to turn to. The non-profit's website is:
Please feel free to call/ e-mail me with any questions.
Jessica Kern

All staff have an e-mail on this page http://www.davidcatania.com/component/option,com_contact/catid,19/Itemid,47/

Bill getting introducded to D.C. to legalize surrogacy

For anyone interested in making some noise against this bill getting passed, please write a ltter to:
Office of Councilmember David A. Catania
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 404, Washington, D.C. 20004

Or at this link you can e-mail David A. Catania and his staff. I called the office and was told that Keri Nash is the one working on the bill. 


Here are the talking points for the bill getting introduced to D.C.

Office of Councilmember David A. Catania
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 404, Washington, D.C. 20004

Introduction Talking Points – Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013
            Today, I am pleased to introduce the Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013.  Over the last 50 years, medical technology has dramatically altered who is able to have children and when and how these children are conceived.  As a result, surrogacy has become an important alternative for some individuals choosing to start a family.  The law in the District, however, has not kept pace with these advances in medical technology.  In fact, surrogacy agreements are statutorily prohibited under DC law and punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or up to one year in jail. 
            Surrogacy is seldom a decision lightly considered by those on the journey to build a family.  Often people come to surrogacy after trying and exhausting many other options.  In some cases, medical issues make it impossible or unsafe for the parent to carry a child.  For infertile couples, gay couples, and single individuals, surrogacy presents a life-changing option that helps make the dream of parenthood a reality for those who otherwise unable to conceive. 
            This legislation retires the notion that surrogacy is a punishable offense.  Instead, under this bill District law would support the creation of families by legalizing properly executed surrogacy agreements rather than penalizing their use by eliminating significant obstacles for those trying to expand their family through surrogacy.  In doing so, this legislation will codify and outline the process to execute surrogacy agreements and establish legal parentage in District courts.
             Through this legislation we will District residents with greater flexibility in terms of how and when they bring a child into their lives while ensuring their privacy.  I look forward to this legislation’s prompt consideration and welcome co-sponsors.  

And here is the Bill which is being presented: 


   Councilmember David A. Catania        



Councilmember David A. Catania introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on ________________.

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 16 of the District of Columbia Official Code to permit surrogate parenting contracts within the Districtto establish a legal relationship between a child and his or her intended parent and govern proceedings to establish that relationship. 

Act may be cited as the “Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013”.
Sec. 2. Chapter 4 of Title 16 of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:
(a) Section 16-401 is amended to read as follows:
                        “(1) “Gestational carrier” means a woman who is not an intended parent and who agrees to gestate an embryo that is genetically unrelated to her pursuant to a surrogate parenting agreement.
                        “(2) “Intended parent” means an individual, married or unmarried, who manifests the intent to be legally bound as the parent of a child resulting from assisted reproduction.
                        “(3) “Surrogate” means:
                                    (A) A gestational carrier;
                                    (B)  A “traditional surrogate” meaning a woman who agrees to gestate an embryo, in which the woman is the gamete donor and the embryo was created using the sperm of the intended father or donor arranged by the intended parent or parents.
                                    (C) A woman, over the age of 18 who bears and carries a child for another through medically assisted reproduction and pursuant to a written agreement, as set forth in section 16-402.
                        “(4) “Surrogate parenting contact” means the agreement between the intended parents and the intended surrogate relating to the fee or other valuable consideration services rendered and medical costs.
            (b) Section 16-402 is amended to read as follows:
                        “(a) A surrogate parenting contract shall include, at a minimum:
                                    “(1) The date the surrogate parenting contract was executed;
                                    “(2) The person from whom the gametes originated, unless anonymously donated; and,
                                    “(3) The identity of the intended parent or parents.
                        “(b) Prior to executing the written surrogate parenting contract, a surrogate and the intended parent shall be represented by separate independent licensed attorneys of their choosing.
                        “(c) The surrogate parenting contract shall be executed by the parties and the signatures on the surrogate parenting contract shall be notarized, or witnessed by an equivalent method as required by District law. 
                        “(d) The parties to a surrogate parenting contract shall not undergo an embryo transfer procedure, or commence injectable medication in preparation for an embryo transfer for assisted reproduction purposes until the surrogate parenting contract has been fully executed as required by subsections (b) and (c) of this section. 
                        “(e) An action to establish the parent-child relationship between the intended parent and the child as to a child conceived pursuant to a surrogate parenting contract may be filed in the District before the child’s birth and shall include:
                                    “(1) A copy of the surrogate parenting contract shall be filed by the court for the purpose of establishing the parent-child relationship; and,
                                    “(2) A written statement signed by the parties to the surrogate parenting contract that shall attest, under penalty of perjury, and to the best of their knowledge and belief, that each party has complied with this section in entering into the surrogate parenting contract.
                        “(f) A surrogate parenting contract executed in accordance with this section shall be presumptively valid and shall not be rescinded or revoked without a court order except as provided under subsection (g) of this section. 
                        “(g) Any failure to comply with the requirements of this section shall rebut the presumption of the validity of the surrogate parenting contract.”.
Sec. 3.  Fiscal impact statement. 
            The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(3)).
            Sec. 4. Effective date.
            This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813: D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)) and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

Petition to give donor conceived children more rights


"The welfare and interests of persons born or to be born as a result of treatment procedures are paramount".
This is the first guiding principle of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 the legislation governing ART practices (including Donor Conception) in Victoria.
Donor conception is conception using donated gametes (sperms and eggs) or embryos.
• People who were conceived from gametes donated in Victoria after 1998 are entitled under legislation to obtain identifying information about their donors when they reach adulthood.
• People conceived from gametes donated between 1988 and 1997 can only access identifying information about their donors with the donor’s consent.
• However, people conceived from gametes donated prior to 1988 have no legislated right to obtain identifying information.
This means that if you are donor conceived, your ability to access vital information about your genetic parentage and identity entirely depends on the date the gametes used to conceive you were donated. This has created a complex and confusing situation of differing rights and abilities with many serious implications.
• On the 23rd of June 2010 the Legislative Council of the Parliament of Victoria gave the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee terms of reference to conduct an inquiry into access by donor-conceived people to information about donors.
• On the 28th of March 2012 the Law Reform Committee tabled its comprehensive final report recommending that all donor conceived people be given access to identifying information about donors.
• On the 11th of October 2012 the government issued an interim response stating that despite the comprehensive inquiry by the Law Reform Committee and detailed report, the final government response was to be delayed pending a six month consultation to undertake research into the views of the broader donor community.
In May 1982, the Victorian Government established the Committee to Consider the Social, Ethical and Legal Issues Arising From In Vitro Fertilization, chaired by Professor Louis Waller (the “Waller Committee”).
The Waller Committee argued in its 1983 report that counselling for donors was critical, recommending that in counselling a donor should be advised "that there can be no guarantee of permanent, complete anonymity"*.
While the subsequent Victorian Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act of 1984 included a requirement for the counselling of donors (and their spouses, if they were married), the legislation did not specify that the matters mentioned by the Waller Committee should be addressed in the counselling and, in particular, did not mandate that donors be advised that “there can be no guarantee of permanent, complete anonymity.” To the contrary, most clinics appear to have emphasised to donors that only non-identifying information would be released to donor-conceived children, and that they would remain
*Committee to Consider the Social, Ethical and Legal Issues Arising from In Vitro Fertilization, Report on donor gametes in IVF, Melbourne, 1983, pp. 19-20.
Excerpt from the "Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors" Final Report March 2012
This year it will be 30 years since the seminal Waller report. Please support us in urging the Victorian government to implement the recommendations of the Law Reform Committee which will operate to sensitively balance the interests of both donor conceived people and donors whilst ensuring equality and certainty with the release of information.
If you would like to know more about this issue please read the PLRC Final report available for download here:

Sad today…

Most days, I’m able to feel a sense of family from the extended biological family that I’ve found who’ve accepted me equally into the family, or from my friends who I love dearly as my own created family. I try and keep and keep a good attitude, because honestly I am lucky to have some phenomenal people in my life, people who have the biggest hearts, and are honest and loyal and all the other amazing traits that they posses.

There are a lot of days though where I feel adrift, kind of like a tumbleweed with no roots to attach to and not being able to find my home. Today is one of those days. Today is one of those days that I feel like if I just disappeared everyone who is in my life would assume that I was busy and would get in touch later. I could just disappear and no one would really know. (This is my fault because I’m horrible at keeping in touch!!)

This sense of being adrift comes from not feeling like I don’t have a true immediate family. For a brief period the summer before last I felt like I’d found my immediate family, and there was so much peace in that. Unfortunately, surrogacy is messy and complicated and there was some fallout due to people not really knowing how to interact with the surrogate, and feeling forced into a relationship where they’d always been told that surrogate children were meant for other families and not theirs.

It’s days like today where my heart hurts a bit more over a surrogacy agency, doctors, lawyers, and the rest of the adults involved not successfully making sure that this product they were creating would be o.k.. I really don’t have a full understanding of how rigorous of psychological testing the intended parents are put through, in the case of traditional surrogacies it’s only a ½ adoption. The intended father is also the biological father. It wouldn’t really benefit an agency to be thorough they’d lose the money they were going to make on the brokering of the product they are selling. The intended father, what was his motivation did he have a need to make sure he grew his family tree?  What about the adoptive mom, did she feel an obligation to go through with the surrogacy scenario because she had guilt about not being able to provide a child? For the most part I believe that the biological mom had good intents about starting a family, but there is always the nagging feeling in the background though that I wouldn’t have been brought into this world without the paycheck. Altruism only extends so far I suppose. Did all of these adults who were participating have a complete lack of awareness that there are a lot of issues that products of surrogacy are at risk for? I believe that for everyone involved had this surrogacy story worked out ideally we’d all be happy. However, it didn’t the one who truly has to deal with the fall out is the product.

Today is also one of those days where I can’t quite shake the feeling of being less then. Most days if that is a fleeting thought I can check myself and remind myself that we’re all just people getting through life the best way we know how, and hopefully learning lessons as we go. Today though it’s harder to believe that. Today is a day where I see that my bio-dad and adopted mother’s wants were more important than my needs. Today is a day where I feel the sting that I’m less then to my birth mother. I understand that I wasn’t created to be your child, but how is there that divide for you? I know there is no obligation for anything towards me, there were contracts signed and honored, and I wasn’t intended for you, but how do you deny your own flesh and blood? For me, I see that I have your height, your sense of humor, your hair/ eye color among other things. I don’t have the luxury of ever having seen myself reflected back from family before, maybe it’s something you can just take for granted b/c you have always had that around you. But how do I not feel like yours after all the similarities and the carrying for nine months? It does make me feel less then, In my childhood home I my needs were not considered, that taught me that I didn’t have the right to my feelings. Now that I have found my birth mom, I feel less then her children that she planned to have for herself. I waiver back and forth between feeling guilty that I do want things from her when I know she’s not obligated to me, and just feeling so rejected and alone that I’m not seen as worthy of those things.

The part to me that is truly sad though, there are more of us products speaking up now that we’re not happy with how we came into the world, and all I see when I scour google, facebook, youtube etc are surrogacy agencies advertising their services to families. Where are the resources and communities for us products of surrogacy?

I’m sad today, but that’s o.k. it’s bed time and I’m sure after I get some sleep I’ll be able to hit the world with a better attitude tomorrow. No, if I'm being really honest with myself... I'm saying I'll have a better attitude in the morning b/c that's what we're supposed to to do.. pick ourselves up by the bootstraps. Life is challenging for everyone we have our own crosses to bear, but I still don't understand intentionally putting children in the world with a high potential of dealing with these burdens.

Maybe one day i'll be married, and start my own family and i'll know what the feeling of being in a immediate family truly is like, not just the glimpses I've gotten throughout my lives.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Cinderella Effect

 Up until tonight my only contact with other products of donations like myself has exclusively been through watching documentaries, reading blogs etc., all forms were exclusively online. Tonight I got to talk to someone who is a product of sperm donation. It took 29 years, but now I feel less isolated, there is someone who I can talk to who has walked in my shoes. I confided in her that I have a history with my adopted mom and biological father of physical, and mental abuse. I shared with her that I didn’t want to share this part of my story because I didn’t want people to have the ability to say that my thoughts and feelings toward these reproductive techniques were solely due to my abuse, that my story was a one in a million possibility for their families if they chose to pursue sperm/egg donation, or surrogacy. She shared with me that this is a crucial part of the story that it’s being proven that children who are not raised with their biological children have a higher statistic for abuse. I was floored! When you think about this it does make sense just in observations typically don’t you see mom’s in the family having more patience with their children’s antics then babysitters or the other adults in their l
The more research I am doing about adoption issues, (which are relevant to children conceived via modern technologies) the more shocking information I find.
I feel that this piece of information is an extremely powerful reason why we should not be bringing more children into this world in this manner!
 I’m including the links to some articles which explain “the Cinderella Effect” more clearly then I ever could.