Kim Kardashian recently revealed in an episode of the reality TV show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” that she wants to explore surrogacy for a third child with her partner, Kanye West.
“If you use a surrogate, nobody has to know the whole time,” her sister Kourtney says in a clip from the show. “You could have a baby for a year and nobody would even know.”
This Daily Mail article from Nov. 7 describes the episode. It also chronicles other comments Kim has made about her first two pregnancies and her experience in both of a life-threatening condition called placenta accreta. This is a clinical condition resulting from the placenta, part of whole, attaching to the uterine wall.
“Surrogacy’s been distinguished as something completely different from adoption,” says Lisa Ikemoto, a UC Davis School of Law professor who specializes in reproductive rights and bioethics. Unlike in adoption, there’s no legally required screening of intended parents. A pregnant woman who offers to give her baby up for adoption can reconsider her decision; in California, a pregnant surrogate cannot. To a large extent, the law “puts a lot of trust in a surrogacy center to make sure that these things are carried out appropriately,” Ikemoto says. “It’s very industry-friendly, and by ‘industry,’ I’m referring to the fertility industry.”
This article provides an overview of the Melissa Cook case — the story of a 47-year old woman in California who agreed to become a gestational mother and the “battle” that followed, between her and the intended parent, once she became pregnant with triplets.
Though based in the United States, a number of issues that emerged in the case have also been documented in international commercial surrogacy arrangements. This includes legal concerns related to contracts and their enforcement, practices that can impact the health of gestational mothers (such as reductions), and implications on the children that are born.
For those interested, the article also provides a lot of useful information on the 1986 Baby M case — the first contested surrogacy case in American history. Read the full article >
The surrogacy industry, however, is like a hydra that refuses to respect legislative precedent. As soon as a surrogacy bill is defeated, another one immediately appears to take its place. In action more characteristic of a dictatorship than a democracy, the proponents of contract pregnancy insist on enforcing their will no matter how many times their discredited proposal is rejected.
Framed by Minnesota’s efforts in 2014 to regulate commercial surrogacy, this article reflects the views of the authors on the practice – most importantly, on its commodification of women’s bodies and the health, legal, and social risks to gestational mothers.
The authors are co-founders of a campaign called Stop Surrogacy Now. The initiative’s website claims to bring together a “worldwide, ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse group opposed to the exploitation of women and the human trafficking of children through surrogacy.”
This comprehensive article covers international commercial surrogacy laws around the world, with emphasis on and the implications of recent legal changes in India, Thailand, and Nepal. It follows an Australian couple, forbidden from paying gestational mothers in their own country, on a journey that spans Israel (the location of their agency), India (where their gestational mother lives), and Nepal (where she travels for embryo transfer and the birth) — with helpful insights on the effects of such arrangements on the children that are caught in the middle.
Humenuk and Geller spent over three years filming this intimate portrait of a gay couple with two daughters birthed by their close friend. THE GUYS NEXT DOOR explores the struggles and possibilities that creating family brings. It is a timely film that both embraces and transcends gay rights and gay families. In the words of esteemed documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March), “with nuance, verve and humor, this film explores the humanity that connects us all.”