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Face first into my own vomit

February 26, 2010

This week on Dr. Phil, surrogate Shelly Baker attempted to defend her decision to keep the children she had carried for another couple (Amy and Scott Kehoe).  Her decision was based on the fact that the mother had an undeclared psychological disorder. Normally I’d rather fall face first into my own vomit than watch Dr. Phil.  However, I actually agreed with many of his observations.

  1. The IP (Intended Parents) and Surro got together via classified ad so there were no psych screenings on either side.  Another couple on the show used a surrogate they found on the internet.  People, do not make me come over there and smack you.  You’re not looking for an apartment to rent for chrissakes.  You’re looking for a very special person to help you with the creation of your family.
  2. They did this in Michigan where the lawmakers are apparently in denial about scientific advancements in reproduction and are, in fact, still waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain with the other scroll.
  3. Once Surro discovered the IM’s illness, wouldn’t you think the correct course of action would be to get some qualified professionals involved?  Objective third party decision maker types to figure out what to do?  Nope, she just said, “They’re mine now,” and the judge agreed.  Even though she has NO BIOLOGICAL ties to the children.
  4. It should be noted that the IPs don’t either but I don’t think this matters.  In most states, the laws surrounding surrogacy (in fact, most contract laws) support the INTENT of the contract.  Surro’s intent was to carry the children for the IPs.  She signed documents stating that she would hand them over.  Then she changed her mind.  WHY she changed her mind should be irrelevant. If both parties are of legal age and sound mind when they signed the contract, the court has an obligation to uphold the intent of the agreement. (Note: The IM had been treated for depression in the past.  If that is now sufficient diagnosis for denying parenthood, I think a few people might just have something to say about that.)
  5. I get that she felt responsible for bringing the children into the world but does that mean she just gets to keep the kids?  The judge said yes.  Interestingly, he did not make the surro pay back the medical fees or refund any other monies she had been given.

So here’s what I’m thinking.  Calling all infertiles to Michigan!  Place an ad to be a surrogate, get someone else to not only pay all your medical expenses for you but also hand you $25k for your “trouble” and have yourself a couple o kids.

Seriously, what’s to stop someone from doing just that now?

Since her decision to keep the kids (6 months ago), the IPs have been exhaustively screened psychologically and have passed.  Why is the surro still permitted to keep these children?

Which brings me to another point:  Does it bother anyone else that infertiles and adoptive parents have to basically allow someone else up their asses with a microscope before they’re deemed “fit” to be parents?

You need to pass a test to drive a car but anyone can have a child. Unless you need some help getting there.  Then your ass is open for business.

  1. Well put! It is really scary that this surrogate woman and her husband can keep these kids. I saw this too and I think there is a strong argument to be made that this surrogate and her husband aren’t the best example of mental health! Her husband seemed like a bully – ick. One of the problems here is that the judge and society at large are stupid when it comes to infertility – they don’t ‘get’ it.

    • You’re exactly right. They don’t “get” it at all – and it’s so hard to advocate for it when so many people (like celebrities) are ashamed of their own infertility. I understand that they are entitled to their privacy…it would just help our cause so much if someone would step up to the plate and own it. SJP has I think – she at least admitted using a surrogate. And then look what happened to that poor woman. Rrrgh! V. frustrating!

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