Surrogacy industry a return to the dark days
Adelaide couple Mark and Matt, both 29, have acquired Thai-designed newborns Tate and Estelle through commercialised surrogacy overseas. According to Adelaide’s Sunday Mail, the dual boy-girl delivery an hour apart by caesarean section to separate surrogate women for gay parents is believed to be an Australian first.
These babies have a complex genealogical history.
They were conceived from eggs extracted from a single Caucasian donor woman (country not identified), separately fertilised with the men’s sperm, then implanted into two Thai women who acted as surrogate mothers.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, and adoption by gay people not allowed in South Australia. The men spent $80,000 to obtain the children.
I’m not about to make a case that Mark and Matt won’t love the children or provide good homes for them. And it’s not just gay men engaging in reproductive tourism in developing countries – an estimated 500 couples a year are doing it, with figures showing a tripling in three years.
What most concerns me is the complete erasure of the mother in these acts of global womb renting by wealthy Westerners. This latest case highlights this mother disappearance.
There is no mother in the story. A graph shows the men as ”Biological Fathers”, the women as ”Surrogate 1” and ”Surrogate 2”. Elsewhere they are ”women”, not ”mothers”.
The birth mothers won’t ever be contacted or shared in photos, even though it was their voices the babies heard and responded to in-utero, their bodies who nourished and sustained them and prepared for their arrival. Read more.