A Case of Surrogacy’s Gordian Knot

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What a mess. What a God-awful mess the new reproductive technologies in general—and commercial surrogacy, in particular—are making of family life. What a legal, emotional, and moral mess. Case in point: A commercial surrogacy contract was litigated in Tennessee all the way to the state’s Supreme Court—which was forced to sort out the chaos that […]

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Surrogacy Up Close: “Points of Origin”

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“If I had the money, I wouldn’t do this.” These are the words offered by Anjali, the hired surrogate for R.J. and Rosemary in a beautiful and well-crafted new short film, Points of Origin, by filmmaker Anya Leta that explores the tensions of commercial surrogacy in India. While R.J. is a native of India, he […]

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International Day of Rural Women: Promoting Real Solutions

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Today, October 15, the United Nations celebrates the “International Day of Rural Women.” The day was established in 2007 to mark “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” Unfortunately, in places like India, Thailand, and soon, Nepal, one […]

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The Happy Surrogate Families

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In addition to the tragic stories of surrogacy gone wrong, there are families and surrogates with “happy endings.” It is important to hear these stories, too, and to respond to the arguments they make in favor of surrogacy. Since the release of my latest film, Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, and with the media attention […]

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Surrogacy: Children of Dreams, Parents of Means

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A new book tells the story of an infertile couple that has children through Indian surrogacy services—but it glosses over the costs to egg donors, surrogate mothers, and children. Since gestational surrogacy was legalized in 2002, it has become one of the fastest growing industries in India’s rapidly developing economy. A recent World Bank report […]

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More New York Times Coverage of Surrogacy, Breeders?

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The New York Times today published the third and final installment in a series of articles on surrogacy. This article appears on the front page and is titled, “Surrogates and Couples Face a Maze of Laws, State by State.” Weighing the Risks One of the strongest opponents of surrogacy is Jennifer Lahl, president of the […]

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The “Ease” of Babies Outside the Womb

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“Making Babies Outside of the Womb Has Never Been So Easy” exclaims a new headline in The Atlantic. The article reports that one percent of children now born in the U.S. are conceived via reproductive technology in some form or fashion (IVF, sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, or a combination thereof). As the author notes: […]

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Kajsa Ekis Ekman at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

An important talk on surrogacy from Australia’s “Festival of Dangerous Ideas.” Jennifer Lahl interviewed the speaker, Kajsa Ekis Ekman, in July, and that interview is posted here.

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Breeders? Featured on ABC News’ Nightline and PBS’ To The Contrary

In August, both ABC and PBS aired segments on surrogacy that prominently featured Jennifer Lahl and our latest film Breeders: A Subclass of Women?. The videos of each segment are embedded below. For more, the film’s website has links to the extensive list of media coverage Breeders? has garnered. Conception Controversy: Regretting Surrogacy, ABC NewsNightline […]

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C-Sections and Surrogates: A Risky Combination

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The Atlantic features an article highlighting the high risks of caesarean section birth deliveries and its increased usage, noting: “surgical childbirth has gone from an act of desperation to the most common major surgery in the U.S” According to new research cited in the article, C-section babies go on to have a 22 percent higher […]

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Surrogates Speaking Up and Speaking Out

Our Christopher White has “Hot Topic” item on surrogacy on the Human Life Review blog. In it, he highlights the far-reaching effects of the practice. Surrogacy never concerns just one person’s decision-making capacity. In addition to the women involved, the process also affects the children conceived through this method, and a host of other individuals. […]

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The Giver and Our Not So Dystopian Society

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The case of Baby Gammy opened the eyes of the world to the cruelty that can often come into play in surrogate pregnancy arrangements—especially when a child is discovered to have some form of disability. Unfortunately, it seems the Baby Gammy case is not an outlier. The Telegraph is reporting on a new situation where […]

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This Deserves to be Read Far and Wide

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Australian feminist health researcher Dr. Renate Klein has written a timely and important article on surrogacy, particularly in the wake of the scandal surrounding the Baby Gammy case. Specifically, she is responding to those who claim that regulation will cure all that is wrong with surrogacy. Her view differs considerably: As a critic of the […]

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End Third-Party Conception Arrangements

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Regulations can’t solve the tangle of moral wrongs that beset surrogate motherhood. I’m no fan of third-party reproduction. Anybody who reads my writings or who has watched any of the three documentary films I have produced on the topic knows that these arrangements in my view are fraught with medical, ethical, and legal problems that […]

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Surrogacy as a Modern Means of Slavery?

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If anyone has any doubts that surrogacy has created a market for the buying and selling of children, a new case in Thailand should put any skepticism to rest. The Brisbane Times is reporting that the Bangkok police have raided a surrogacy business where nine, six-month-old babies born via surrogacy were found. While the story […]

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Surrogacy in China: Lessons in Candor and Cruelty

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A recent New York Times article highlights the continual rise of surrogacy—this time in China. Surrogacy is illegal in China, but that hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs like Huang Jinlai, founder of Baby Plan Medical Technology Company, from navigating his way around the law to profit from Chinese couples desperate to have children. For the past few […]

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Surrogacy: Prostitution’s Little Sister

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I just had the pleasure of Skype chatting with Kajsa Ekman, author of an important new book, Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self. Ekman is a Swedish cultural journalist and now author. I reached out to Ms. Ekman after her book came out and after reading an interview where the majority […]

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The Children Know It’s Not OK

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The Center for Bioethics and Culture’s mission is to initiate, facilitate, and enhance conversations focused on the intersection of health and wellness, medicine, science and technology, and law and public policy around matters in bioethics. Specifically, we intentionally bring diverse voices together, across the spectrum of human experiences, building common cause in order to answer […]

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