Friday, June 08, 2012

A morality tale for our day

Once same-sex unions have been sanctified with the word "marriage," some homosexual couples will have children, writes Michael Cook at But where will they get their children?

All lesbian couples need is a sperm donor and possibly an IVF clinic. Male homosexual couples wanting children with some of their genes need a surrogate mother.

Surrogacy brokers are springing up wherever in the world there is poverty as well as sympathetic government regulation. advertise surrogate mothers from the Ukraine. Advocates for Surrogacy advertise the services of women in Guatemala. market surrogates in Greece, Panama and India.

Premila Vaghela, a 30-year-old Indian woman with two children of her own, died in the eighth month of pregnancy of unexplained complications after collapsing in her IVF clinic. Doctors there did an emergency caesarean and gave the  child to the American woman who commissioned it. "Premila paid the price of offering herself as surrogate with her life," said the Indian media.

(A Sunday Telegraph investigation claimed there are already up to 1,000 surrogacy clinics in India, all unregulated. There were an estimated 2,000 births to surrogate mothers in India last year, with up to 1,000 of the babies going to Britain. Couples and single people pay an average of £25,000 a time; the surrogate mothers are paid up to £6,000 to donate eggs and carry babies.)

The contracts the women sign are incredibly exploitative. They must agree to the most intrusive limitation of their lifestyle and to accept reduction of the number of foetuses in the womb (three embryos are transferred at a time) if necessary.

Reproductive tourism, says one Indian magazine, is immensely valuable, not only empowering the surrogates, but bringing a lot of revenue for the state. "Where the storks dare to fly. . . Bringing smiles to couples across the world."

Says Michael Cook: "Supporters of same-sex marriage have to face the stark fact that legislation  will mean misery for women in developing countries. Perhaps death will be rare. But it will certainly happen. Are gay couples ready to force women to have selective abortions? Are they ready to accept that some women will die bearing a child they paid for? Are they ready to accept the degradation and exploitation that are inherent in their dream of being married?"