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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2013 at 6:29 AM

The surrogacy debate

Women can make decisions

Columnist Kathleen Parker’s “women are being exploited” argument was used many years ago by anti-surrogacy groups when medical and legal advances created opportunities for family formation using safe and regulated assisted reproduction technology techniques, including gestational surrogacy [“The surrogacy industry quagmire,” Opinion, May 28].

Her argument is based on two erroneous assumptions. The first is that most surrogates use their own genetic material to conceive the child. This is untrue, as most serve as gestational carriers using eggs donated by the intended mother or an anonymous donor. The second is that women are incapable of making decisions involving their own bodies, and thus will be manipulated into agreeing to become gestational carriers.

Parker has misled her readers by citing one example of a surrogacy which may not have resulted well to support her opinion, while totally ignoring the facts and statistics that show that the vast majority of surrogate births (births using gestational carriers) proceed successfully as all the participants had planned.

In our experience, gestational carriers are intelligent, caring, capable and financially secure women who want to help people (often women who are being treated medically or gay male partners) who cannot carry a child.

Most surrogacy arrangements have a happy ending, with the birth of a healthy child and all participants delighted with the procedure and the outcome.

Parker’s conclusion suggesting a surrogacy ban makes no sense. Rather, the process and procedures should be regulated with reasonable medical and legal oversight so the rights of all participants, particularly the children created by use of assisted reproductive technology, will be protected.

Raegen Rasnic and Mark Demaray, fellows, American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, Seattle

Comments | Topics: babies, childbirth, mothers

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