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.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Judiciary and Public Safety: Bill 20-32, the Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013

Tomorrow I will be on a panel with Jennifer Lahl, President of The Center for Bioethics and Culture, Kathleen Sloan National Organization for Women (NOW) Board of Directors. Our aim will be to show the committee why it is not a good idea to pass the BILL 20-32, THE “SURROGACY PARE
NTING AGREEMENT ACT OF 2013”. 
 
This blog includes the testimony that I will be making at the hearing. 
 
Thank you to the members of the DC council for letting me address you today on the Surrogacy
Parenting Act of 2013. 
 
My name is Jessica Kern. I am a product of a traditional surrogacy. (This is where a surrogate is hired to both donate her egg and carry the child to term.) I am here today to urge you to not change DC’s current stance on surrogacy. 
As a product of surrogacy I can tell you firsthand what we children of donor conception go through.
Children of surrogacy, just like children of a traditional adoption, deal with all the traumas that go along with adoption. We want to know where we come from. We want to know who our biological mothers are. We want to know who gave birth to us and what they are like.  We are curious about their family and other siblings we may have.  I spent the first 17 years of my life being lied to by my biological father and adopted mother.  Only when I read in my medical records, did I discover I was a product of a traditional surrogacy. Imagine the trust issues that this creates when your family lies to you your whole life, about information that is your right to know. I am one of the fortunate children of donor conception because it only took me nine years to find my birth mom, however those of us who are conceived through surrogacy do not have the right to have this information.  Often we are lied to, and never are even told our stories of origin.  When we are conceived it comes across to me that only the adults involved have their interests looked after. The intended parents might be threatened that their child won’t view them as parents if they know who their biological parents are, or the surrogate possibly did the surrogacy for financial reasons and does not want to be tracked down. From where I sit this is a painful thing. When I was blessed to find my birth mom I subsequently developed relationships with my extended family. At 26, for the first time in my life, I saw where I got my sense of humor from, my physical traits etc. Even though I hadn’t grown up around these people, the genes from this side of my family are what is dominate in me. I finally made sense to myself in ways that I didn’t understand was possible. When we have children in this world who already need homes, why are we intentionally creating children to go through adoption traumas? I am one of the lucky ones who were able to heal some of my pain when I found my birth mother. However, I still deal with the other adoption issues of what makes me different in my biological mom’s eyes. How can she consider the children that she intended to have her children, and the children she had through surrogacy not equals. When you know that a huge part of the reason that you came into the world is due solely to a paycheck, and that after being paid you are disposable, given away and never thought of again, it impacts how you view yourself.
As a product of surrogacy, when I express this viewpoint to others, I am told, look how much your
parents wanted you, they planned and saved to have you. You should be grateful and thankful for them.  But at the end of the day, the adults were looking out for themselves, and what they needed and wanted
The next point I would like to speak to is a psychological effect, called the “Cinderella Effect”. This is a real concern for me that I experienced personally.  The “Cinderella Effect” describes the risk of abuse to children being raised by who aren’t biologically related to the child they are raising. The odds of being abused increase for the child. I experienced this first hand. Growing up in a household where I was biologically related to my father, but not to my adopted mother, I was physically abused until I was 13.  I reported my adoptive mother to social services. The physical abuse for the most part stopped at that point, but the verbal abuse increased until my therapist removed me out of their home four years later. I would like to think, that yes my story is the exception to the rule and that the majority of third party conception births go smoothly. From where I’m sitting, sadly that’s not the case. I feel that there is a good reason for this though. Parents who go through surrogacy to start their family are not by law required to go through psychological testing like parents who are starting their families through adoption. I really wish that at the very least that when the doctors, lawyers made their contracts with intended families and surrogate moms, while they were nailing down the financial details, this psychological testing is required. That somewhere in the mix of the profit, I really wish that there would have been a thought to make sure the child being created was going to be going into a safe home.  For myself, being born via surrogacy has left me feeling like I don’t have any immediate family. I choose not to have a relationship with my biological father and adopted mother because of the abuse. Whenever I’m around them it impacts my mental health negatively, so in order to protect myself I can’t be around them. Unfortunately my biological mother and I aren’t speaking now, and I’m afraid that since I’ve decided to speak out against surrogacy we may never have a relationship again. (But this is too important to not speak out about. We now have information that 30 years ago wasn’t available.) Out of the people who I consider to be immediate family I have one brother who will speak to me. From where I’m sitting, surrogacy is not the magic answer to creating families; more often it’s a source of cause for lifelong pain for everyone involved. I know I’ve really been hurt through this process, but I can see where my intended parents, birth mother, and I have all been hurt in our own ways. I strongly urge the Council to please consider the needs of the children born via surrogacy and uphold the previous law that penalized surrogacy. This is what’s in the best interest of children, and families. 
Thank you 

 

1 comment:

  1. You know what they refer to as reproductive technology is just a euphemism for black market adoption right? If all the adults can privately agree to the transfer of parental title and obligations up front before the child is born or even conceived then they can simply leave the name of the child's biological parents of the child's identifying records at birth possibly colluding int falsification of the child's identifying record by naming someone else instead. This naming of someone other than the child's bio parent at birth short cuts the considerable time and expense of a formal adoption and leaves no trace of a person's true identity as the offspring of their bio parents, there is no truthful original that can be unsealed. That is the hallmark of black market adoption, not the exchange of money but the gaining of parental authority over another person's offspring without due process of court approved adoption.

    Just black market adoption loophole. Its legal but it is just a loophole allowing for people to skip the steps that properly identify the person and skip the steps that protect them from being trafficked for a life of service performing in the roll of another person's child. All the identifying legal documents would be falsified so they could not protest or leave, legally locked into performing the part of the biological child that someone desired but was unable to produce. They agreed to raise another person's offspring if that person's offspring would pretend to be theirs instead and if the formal records were falsified to make it look as if they were really the parent.
    It's messed up. People deserve room and board and child care as themselves offspring of their bio parents. They don't have to do a damn thing in exchange for being raised to adulthood it's a human right. But some people can be born with fewer human rights if courts honor contracts where bio parents sell or gift their offspring into positions of service; their offspring will perform a service in exchange for their room and board for 18 years - they will play the roll of the biological child that one or both were unable to produce. To ensure that their offspring make good on their parents promise to perform the parent agrees that the buyer can falsify their identifying records making their offspring appear to be the offspring of the people raising them. Their offspring will be performing an act a roll as the bio child of the people raising them not just for 18 years but for the rest of their life they will be working off this debt this promise made by their bio parents that they would pretend to be sommeone else's child. That is just not fair that a bio parent can negotiate down the rights and freedoms their offspring will have once born either as a gift or in exchange for a little cash.

    I'm so sure it's probably real easy to give up the freedomm and human rights of your offspring if they don't even exist when your getting the pay check. Ultimately when the kid is born without the rights something horribly unfair has happened to them.

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