People experience fertility issues for a wide variety of factors
Most of these factors are medical and are beyond their control, but can often be alleviated through the help of fertility treatment and sometimes the help of a surrogate to carry the pregnancy
Cancer survivors in particular often deal with premature infertility caused by chemotherapy or a hysterectomy.
There are an estimated 6.1 million women in America who are currently dealing with infertility as the result of medical conditions, including cancer treatment. However, the South Dakota legislature just passed Bill 1096. This Bill will make finding a surrogate even more difficult, owing to its broad definition of ‘commercial surrogacy,” which is now prohibited.
Attorney Emilee Gehling is the co-founder of Dakota Surrogacy and is vehemently against this bill
“The language in the proposed bill is extremely broad. We’re worried it will needlessly criminalise people with good intentions. As it stands, anyone who introduces a couple or an individual to a potential surrogate could be labeled a surrogacy broker and face criminal charges.”
“Often, those who make the introduction are friends and family members of both sides involved in surrogacy. In addition, this bill would not allow parents to pay for a surrogate’s attorney or other costs she has to pay just to be a surrogate. Why are we making it so much harder for infertile couples, who have gone through years of heartbreak, or cancer survivors, who have had to go through chemotherapy or hysterectomies and who have already suffered so much, to simply have the family they so desperately desire?”
South Dakota’s Elizabeth Waletich knows the process of surrogacy intimately, as she was able to use a surrogate to grow her own family
She now worries that other women will be denied the chance she was given to parenthood owing to misconceptions that surround surrogacy.
“It was already difficult for us to find a suitable surrogate when we had our baby. Now I worry it will be even harder. There’s this awful misconception that surrogates are performing this service for the money they might make, or that couples are paying for babies.“
She continues. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Surrogates face a lot of associated costs along with the pregnancy. There are legal costs to ensure that the surrogate’s rights are protected during and after the pregnancy. There are the costs of doctor’s appointments, testing, medications, vitamins and the cost of the delivery, not to mention the lost wages due to all the medical appointments, illness, and recovery.”
The new Bill will prohibit parents from compensating surrogates for these costs, a move that critics say will effectively ban surrogacy
Waletich continues, “It’s not reasonable to ask someone to not only make a huge decision of carrying another couple’s child, but also to cover all the costs associated with that pregnancy and delivery. Wanting to help the person who carries your child for you for nine months is natural.”
What do you think about compensating surrogates? Should this be allowed, or should they be prohibited from taking any payment. Have you had a child using a surrogate? What was your experience? We would love to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org