More War On Women: Surrogacy, Exploitation And Extortion
Religion & Liberty Online

More War On Women: Surrogacy, Exploitation And Extortion

In some parts of the United States, it is legal to hire a surrogate to carry a baby. The surrogate is paid for her services, and then surrenders the baby to the adoptive parents. Shared Conception in Texas (a “surrogacy-friendly” state, according to their website) puts it this way when discussing fees:

Sure there are a myriad of ways to make $20,000+ a year! To be honest, when you factor in morning sickness, sleepless nights, swollen ankles, doctor appointments, clinic visits, injections, labor pains and everything else associated with pregnancy, no logical and reasonable person would apply for that job…unless they have a yearning and a calling to profoundly help a couple or individual who is unable to have kids.

They are certainly right: it’s impossible to put a price tag on motherhood…but they’re going to try!

Surrogacy inevitably preys on vulnerable women. Often, these are women with few job skills, desperately in need of money and willing to risk their health, clinging to the notion that they are doing something good: giving a couple who wants a baby just that.

What happens when things don’t go as planned?

Crystal Kelley, a single mom of two, decided to become a surrogate. It seemed a good way for her to make money, while caring for her children. The couple (who were the child’s biological parents) were dismayed to learn that the baby girl Kelley was carrying had major medical issues.

‘Baby S.’ was diagnosed in utero with a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in her brain, and heart defects, and her parents – names undisclosed – preferred to have her dead than have to care for a disabled child.

They offered Kelley $10,000 to abort the child. Kelley considered, and even made a counter offer, but ultimately decided not to abort the baby. Kelley shares her story below.

The world of surrogacy is a world of commodity: the mother is reduced to the rental of her womb, the baby is an object that can paid for or rejected, and the creation of life becomes a business transaction. It’s the exploitation of women and (at least in this case) extortion for getting rid of a “product” that wasn’t what was ordered.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.