Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

Printer Friendly Version

Title: Surrogacy Not a Good Option

Category: Child Care


In recent years, as many as 600 babies have been brought into the world through surrogate mothers in America. In many cases, over $50,000 has been offered for the surrogate mother to serve as birth mother for those desiring a baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics, along with many other groups, is opposed to this general practice. The major reason surrogacy is opposed by the AAP and most other child advocacy groups is because of the concern for the child. Common sense would suggest that having five parents, two genetic, one carrying, and two adoptive adds to confusion in the child's identity. Even more important, in my opinion, attaching a huge monetary value to a child's adoption into a family invites corruption in the process and baby brokering.

Does surrogate parenting seriously consider the psychological well being of the child? I feel that it does not. I would personally much prefer to see adoption supported as a viable option to parents who are unable to conceive their own child. Also, we have over 600,000 children in the foster care system in our country looking for good homes. In a New York Times article, July 10, 1992, the estimated 600 United States babies born through surrogacy was considered very small. This article states there have been over 4,000 such births at a cost of over 33 million dollars. One surrogate broker admitted to moving his practice and 1.5 million dollar income to California where the laws were less restrictive.

The current bill before the California legislature, SB937 (Watson), would outline and support guidelines for surrogate parenting. The provisions in the bill would basically give California's blessing on the procedure. Dr. Joseph Davis, fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who practices in Menlo Park, California, is actively fighting this bill with the support of many other pediatric colleagues. He believes through his long experience working on the issue of adoption and dependant care that surrogacy is a very poor option and very much a conflict as far as both the surrogate child and all the siblings involved. He would like to see the American Academy of Pediatrics come out with an even stronger statement and stance against surrogacy. I agree with him wholeheartedly. At this 20 year anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, it is a good time to reflect on where we are as a society, after over 20 million abortions, millions of couples want children. These children might be available if we, as a society, supported adoption and discouraged abortion. Support adoption as a good option and reach out to the poor, the confused and the hurting individuals faced with tough situations.

The New Life Center in Opelousas, which will service eight parishes throughout south Louisiana, will help young ladies who consider adoption as an option in the future. The New Life Center's unique mission statement will include education toward self-sufficiency. Young ladies choosing to keep their infants or place them for adoption will be equally supported in their decision. Let's all get behind this exciting new center which supports new life.