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Complex surrogacy story (surrogate offered money to have abortion)

(15 Posts)
PinkBiro Wed 12-Aug-20 08:48:52

www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/girl-whose-parents-offered-surrogate-22471670?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=upday&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=organic

So presumably the egg/sperm donors/genetic "parents" did not want, or look after, the child once they knew she had disabilities.

Apologies if this has been posted already.

OP’s posts: |
TheGreatWave Wed 12-Aug-20 09:46:01

What a tragic outcome, but the little girl had 8 years full of loving care from her (adopted) parents.

I am not sure what to think of this statement though, what's in place to make it less likely to happen? i.e. in who's favour is any policy / guidance / law written?

Melissa Brisman, an attorney who specializes in surrogacy, told CNN that following the dispute over aborting the unborn child, similar disputes are "less likely" to occur now.

DuDuDuLangaLangaBingBong Thu 13-Aug-20 23:47:41

Thank fuck for the adoptive parents, who clearly loved this little girl and found lots of meaning and joy in her short life.

I have no idea what the quote at the end means,
but I have the sinking feeling that it implies that commissioning parents are now more likely to be able to demand a termination - the law in the USA varies enormously from state to state - I wonder if @OhHolyJesus @Clymene or @FannyCann (regular Mumsnet FWR posters with particular interest in surrogacy law) know any more details?

(Apologies if I missed someone particularly well-informed or messed up a poster’s name - it’s almost midnight and I’m tipsily posting ‘drive by’ style)

NotBadConsidering Thu 13-Aug-20 23:50:06

There needs to be a “it will never happen” surrogacy thread too. Poor girl, and well done to those parents who took her on knowing it would end like that.

LockdownLump Thu 13-Aug-20 23:55:11

There needs to be a “it will never happen” surrogacy thread too

Agreed. That story has just turned my stomach tbh.

I'm peak EVERYTHING tonight.

Stop the world. I wanna get off

OhHolyJesus Fri 14-Aug-20 15:51:05

Thanks for the tag - other than this story circulating via my google alerts @DuDuDuLangaLangaBingBong I can't really offer anything more, it's a incredibly tragic story. I'm so pleased the child was loved and was given the best life possible for the short life she had. From what I've read and researched it's not a common story but it certainly isn't the only story of a surrogate baby being rejected by the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother. Baby Gammy is one but happily is with his mum, Baby Bridgette is another and thankfully is cared for and loved. Neither are babies anymore of course.

Susan A Ring wrote Unexpected Mother and not only was she forced to have 'selective reduction' after all three embryos implanted took, but she was strongly encouraged to abort the remaining foetus by the commissioning mother (CM) once the procedure was complete. The twins she had in the second surrogacy pregnancy were adopted at just a few weeks old. Their brother remains with the CM as I understand it as the couple divorced. The CF is bipolar. (Background and mental health checks are only done on the SM not the CPs in the US and in the U.K., although social services do at least do checks of CMs in the U.K. as part of the parental order process, but they already have the baby/babies by then.)

There aren't any statistics I can reference to prove this but to me it seem much more likely for CPs to 'cancel the order' before or after the birth, due to a change in circumstances (delegation/divorce like S Ring's CPs) or rejection of a disabled/brain damaged baby based on tests, than it is for a surrogate mother to change her mind.

The link below covers disputes over parental orders up to 2017 in the U.K. and its very hard to find more recent cases, not because they don't exist (as surrogate births are on the increase, with it comes the likelihood of abandoned babies) but because these stories don't get covered by the media so much. It would mess with the narrative of surrogacy being all lovey dovey.

https://www.ngalaw.co.uk/knowledge-centre/surrogacy-disputes

FannyCann Sun 16-Aug-20 13:25:40

Thanks for the tag @DuDuDuLangaLangaBingBong
I missed it before so sorry for not replying earlier.

"Melissa Brisman, an attorney who specializes in surrogacy, told CNN that following the dispute over aborting the unborn child, similar disputes are "less likely" to occur now."

I think it means contracts have been tightened up. sad

I heard Jennifer Lahl talking on a webinar recently. She said that contracts typically include an abortion clause and will say the commissioning parents (CPs) don't have to give their reasons.
If the surrogate mother refuses she will be liable to pay back all money spent so far, not just her own "wages" but the medical costs, attorney and agency costs etc. As well as being expected to keep a baby who might have complex health problems. In other words they can't possibly afford to refuse.

In the UK contracts are unenforceable so we don't have that problem and even with the Law Commission plans, they say contracts will still be unenforceable so no risk of this happening here. Also I do believe the NHS has a strong culture of safeguarding and simply wouldn't allow it.

However, where I foresee problems is that agreements, albeit unenforceable, are made, and of course no one thinks these things will happen to them, so tend to sign up without really expecting to have to follow through. So when they do happen there will be big fall outs between the parties. It could be that the baby had some deformity that the surrogate mother would think wasn't bad enough to merit abortion but the CPs are pursuing their perfect baby? Thanks to the NHS no one will end up bankrupt.

I'm so glad Seraphina was loved and cared for and had a happy life.

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Sun 16-Aug-20 14:14:24

"Melissa Brisman, an attorney who specializes in surrogacy, told CNN that following the dispute over aborting the unborn child, similar disputes are "less likely" to occur now."

I think it means contracts have been tightened up.

Yes. Every negative aspect for the people commissioning a child will be eliminated within the contract.

It doesn't really matter if contracts aren't enforceable in the uk, because the women used in surrogacy are less likely to have the ability to keep their child and more likely to be intimidated by just the threats of legal action.

Surrogacy is a class as well as feminist issue.

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Sun 16-Aug-20 14:15:34

And, of course, a child rights issue.

JellySlice Sun 16-Aug-20 14:35:28

If the genetic mother was pregnant and chose to abort, most pro-choice people would accept that this was her right. So in a way she should still have the right to abort her foetus, even if it is growing elsewhere. But the problem is that her foetus is growing elsewhere. And that 'elsewhere' is a person, a woman with her own rights as well. Does becoming a surrogate mother mean that the woman signs away all her human rights?

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Sun 16-Aug-20 16:05:03

"genetic mother"

This is another issue forced in these biased contracts - egg donor, generic mother, mother, surrogate all have different meaning and rights depending on the demands of people commissioning children.

NiceGerbil Sun 16-Aug-20 16:08:30

Agree with pp that I believe that USA contracts have been tightened up so that the people paying can essentially force the pregnant woman to abort for any reason whatsoever.

DidoLamenting Sun 16-Aug-20 18:26:23

What an awful situation.

The adoptive parents are better people than I'll ever be.

BadgertheBodger Sun 16-Aug-20 22:52:29

I’m very glad that lovely girl had a loving family, despite the disgusting behaviour of the “parents” who “commissioned” her.

This is yet another story which demonstrates to me the importance of safeguarding and making rules which cover ALL eventualities, even the really shit ones. Yes. Occasionally, I’m sure, some people make babies for other people and it works out fine. Occasionally. But until we get to a point where EVERY single time we can be assured there has been no exploitation, no coercion, that the child will never suffer as a result of the decision to create them...then there should be no surrogacy. I can’t imagine a situation where any of those issues could be eliminated.

Gingerkittykat Mon 17-Aug-20 09:27:37

I remember the case of baby Gammy. It was reported at first that the biological parents had refused to take him home and had only wanted his non disabled twin but later reporting and court documents said it was the surrogate who refused to hand him over.

No matter who decided Gammy should stay in Thailand, a set of twins have been separated and will grow up apart.

The biological father is a convicted child sex offender who has been deemed safe to live with his biological daughter, another downside of surrogacy.

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