When a Child is Born: The Film Lifting The Lid on Surrogacy, Race, and Disability

Cath Clarke | The Guardian | June 24, 2021

The Surrogate is a film about a woman who agrees to carry a child for her best friend and his husband. Their perspectives on the agreement diverge when a prenatal test indicates the baby will be born with Down’s syndrome. In this interview, writer-director Jeremy Hersh and actress Jasmine Batchelor share their thought process behind the film that showcases a complex intersection of race, abortion, sexuality, class, and disability.

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Babies Stranded in Suburban Chicago, Thousands of Miles From Parents, Because of Bureaucratic Delays

Sylvia Perez | Fox 32 Chicago | April 21, 2021

Surrogacy-born babies in suburban Chicago continue to be stranded 15 months into the pandemic, miles away from their intended parents in Taiwan and China. Embassies there are not accepting in-person appointments, so the parents cannot obtain the necessary travel documents to pick up their children. One surrogacy agency worker and her husband have cared for four such babies in the last year during these bureaucratic delays.

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State Department Will Recognize Citizenship of Babies Born to a US Citizen Through In Vitro Fertilization or Surrogacy

Connor Perrett | Business Insider | May 18, 2021

The State Department announced that children born through surrogacy or IVF in other countries are automatically considered US citizens if one parent is a US citizen. Previously, children born abroad were required to be genetically related to the parent with US citizenship, but under the new policy, the genetic connection can be to either married parent. The updated policy will particularly alleviate the process of having children through assisted reproduction for same sex couples.

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The Egg Hunt

Katherine Plumhoff | Teen Vogue | April 9, 2021

This article describes the United States’ fertility industry as a commercial market in which egg donors are paid differential amounts based on race, social class, physical traits, and education level. It raises questions about whether targeted marketing may particularly entice low-income college students without providing adequate information about how little is known about the long-term risks. Researcher Dr. Diane Tober suggests increasing information about risks during the informed consent process, ongoing tracking of donor health, and eliminating the burden of the cost of education.

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LGBTQ and Single Prospective Parents in Illinois Would Have Access to Fertility Benefits that Heterosexual Couples Have Enjoyed For 30 Years, Under Proposed Law: ‘This is an Anti-discrimination Bill’

Nara Schoenberg | Chicago Tribune | April 5, 2021

Illinois state law requires large companies to cover fertility services if they offer pregnancy benefits. However, the requirement also details that couples must first try to conceive for a full year of unprotected sex, which excludes LGBTQ couples and single people. Representative Margaret Croke proposed a bill addressing these inequalities that will be reviewed by the House of Representatives by the end of May.

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Parents Are Demanding Surrogates Who Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine

Carter Sherman | Vice | March 9, 2021

Many intended parents are asking agencies to match them with surrogates who agree not to get a COVID vaccine, despite the fact that contracting COVID during pregnancy could increase the risk of severity of the illness and also lead to pre-term birth. The article discusses the importance of communicating about the vaccine prior to entering into a contract, and raises the issue of the power differential between intended parents’ requirements in a contract and a surrogate’s ability to maintain bodily autonomy.

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GR Couple Denied Legal Rights to Biological Twins Due to ‘Outdated’ Michigan Fertility Laws

Annie Szatkowski | FOX 17 West Michigan | January 19, 2021

This article focuses on Tammy and Jordan Myers, a Michigan couple whose request for parental rights to their twin biological children born via a gestational carrier were denied by two judges. Under current state law, the couple will have to adopt the children. Michigan law prohibits all surrogacy, including arrangements without compensation. The couple hopes that the State legislature will introduce a fertility bill this year allowing intended parents of children born through surrogacy to more easily gain parental rights.

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Judge: Gay Couple’s Child Born in England is a U.S. Citizen 

Kate Brumback | Washington Post | August 31, 2020

A US federal judge has ruled on the case of a gay couple in the state of Georgia, recognizing that their daughter, who was born to a surrogate in England, is a U.S. citizen. This ruling comes after another victory in a similar case of a gay US couple, in which citizenship was initially denied to a child born to a surrogate in Canada. In recent years, the State Department has made significant efforts to contest the citizenship status of gay couples’ children born to surrogates in other countries.

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An American Surrogate Had His Baby. Then Coronavirus Hit.

By Emily Shugerman | The Daily Beast | August 01, 2020

A month before Sierra Martin, a surrogate in Washington State, US, was due to give birth, one of the intended parents asked if she could care for the baby if he was unable to travel due to the coronavirus. This article highlights the story of Martin, a single mother who has been caring for the baby for months, and Li, one of the two fathers in China who was denied entry to the US. Martin was concerned about bonding with the baby and having to give him away. Li is among hundreds of parents who face barriers retrieving their children from the US in the midst of the pandemic.

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Chinese Infants Born to Chicago-Area Surrogates Are Stranded in the U.S. Without Their Parents, Due to COVID-19: ‘I Am Missing This Kid Every Minute.’

By Nara Schoenberg | Chicago Tribune | July 22, 2020

Vicky Li, a former employee at a Chicago based surrogacy agency, and her husband, Jerry Wu, have volunteered to care for two children born to surrogates until the parents can fly to the US from China. Hundreds of intended parents from other countries have not been able to come to the US to pick up their children born to surrogates, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. According to the article, the babies are being cared for by an impromptu collection of surrogates, agency employees, baby nurses, family friends and relatives.

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