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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Today's D.C. Councilman Hearing

Today I testified at D.C.'s hearing about the Bill 20-32 the Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013. This was my first experience speaking out against surrogacy on this type of platform.

I was sadly, not surprised by, but none the less disappointed by the fact that the councilmen on the Judiciary and Public Safety committee were not interested in hearing whether or not it was a good idea to pass a policy to allow gestational surrogacy in the district, rather they had their minds made up that this was going to be done. It seemed to me that they wanted to hear what tweeks would need to be made to this piece of legislation before it was passed.
The reason that this isn't surprising is this type of legislation can benefit the people like Mr. Cantina who could benefit from this type of legislation. Mr. Cantina is a gay man, who I would imagine like the rest of us has a biological clock. Currently for gay couples it is a challenge to adopt through traditional adoptions. However, with the newer wave of assisted third party reproductive services. People like Mr. Cantina do not need to be invested in trying to reform the current adoption system which would enable gay couples to do traditional adoptions. Instead they can surge through and obtain their child through surrogacy. (Let me say, that I in no way think that being gay means you should not be a parent. I don't believe that one's sexual orientation has anything to do with they type of parent that one would be.) So if the people who are creating the legislation are writing the bills, what hope do we have that this issue can be looked at from an unbiased stance? It's natural when something resonates with a struggle that we ourselves have gone through or people in our community have gone through that we will have blinders on, and no longer be able to be objective.

I was really surprised to hear a Doctor from a fertility clinic testify that there was no proven risk to the drugs used in the process of harvesting eggs. (Hello, the documentary Eggsploitation showcases women who lost their ability to have their own children, women who have developed cancer as well as women who have died from the process!!!) But I guess if people were really aware of the risks that surrogates and egg donors go through, it would hurt the financial bottom for this reproductive industry. I will agree that it's hard to track exactly how extensive any complications will be, because there have been ZERO studies to follow up on the effects of the processes for the women involved. In fact a lady who spoke on the Eggsploitation documentary said that after she developed cancer she contacted the egg bank that she had donated her eggs to in order to see if any potential children who may have been born from her eggs, would be able to  be informed that they might need to undergo screening for cancers. She was informed that after the eggs were transfered all records were destroyed. (Great looking out for the children of donor conception!)

Another huge thing that I was struck by, today we heard from attorneys, doctors, surrogates, parents who have had their children for surrogacies. They all spoke to needing this legislation to protect the intended parents to protect them from a surrogate who may change her mind. Secondly they did agree that the surrogates should have representation. (which typically is representation paid for by the intended parents.... because that wouldn't be biased representation at all.........) But not one of those people spoke towards the children being created through surrogacy. The folks who were testifying that this bill should not be passed, spoke towards the medical risks, the exploitation of the women involved and also towards the welfare of the children.

As a product of surrogacy, I feel like the intended parents and the surrogates are willingly creating a life, there is no accident here so the children conceived through these technologies have zero reason to not know who their biological parents are. They should always have access to their real medical history. If the surrogate or the intended parents aren't comfortable with this they shouldn't be doing a surrogacy. Surrogacy by nature sets up products of surrogacy to go through adoption traumas so if all adults are being responsible and putting the child's needs first wouldn't they want to minimize this to the full extent possible?

I was really surprised when the councilmen made a point of noting that the people who were speaking against the bill were not D.C. residents however, the people who were speaking positively about the bill, it was not highlighted when one of them was not a D.C. resident. 

Due to the fact that the councilmen's minds seemed to be made up already I'm not sure how effective the testimony was today, but I hope at the very least there will be more consideration towards the children conceived via gestation surrogacy. One can hope.

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