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Looking for Surrogate Mothers in the United States

July 13, 2014
Plain English Version
Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, used a surrogate mother for their twins.

Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, used a surrogate mother for their twins.

What is a surrogate mother? A surrogate mother carries the fertilized egg of the genetic biological mother and father.  The biological parents of the infant become the parents of the infant when it is born to the surrogate.

Surrogacy began 30 years ago. The first baby was born through in-vitro fertilization in England. In invitro fertilization the embryo is created in a laboratory. Eggs and sperm from parents or donors are transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother. She has no genetic link to the baby.

In most of the world the hiring of a surrogate mothers is forbidden. Only a few countries – among them India, Thailand, Ukraine and Mexico – allow it.

In the past, thousands of Americans have gone to counties such as South Korea, China, Russia and Guatemala to adopt babies.  Now thousands of people from all over the world are coming to these countries to find a surrogate mother.

All of this creates many questions.

Many nations simply assert that this is not in the best interests of the baby WHY??.  They are against the “commercialization” of baby making. They say it is usually poor women who “rent” out their wombs.

New York State bans surrogacy. California allows it. Advertisements seek egg donors and would-be parents. Many people use the Internet find what they need.

New agencies and older ones vie for business.

Questions remain. Will surrogates be paid more for cesarean section? For multiple births? How can you monitor the health habits of surrogate mothers during pregnancy? What about health problems that for the surrogate after birth?

There are many ethical and legal issues. However, the practice is growing. It is likely that there will be more news about surrogacy ahead.

Source: The New York Times July 5, 2014

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