International Couples Turn to U.S. Women for Surrogacy: Will This Spark Another Birthright Citizenship Debate?Meredith Carroll
I feel for couples desperate for a child but who are unable to conceive. To some people, wading through the adoption process is just too expensive or time-consuming, or adoption won’t fulfill the same spiritual need as having a biological child. As such, I look at surrogates as some of the most selfless kind of women because their generous spirits (and bodies) allow select couples to see to it that their families are emotionally complete.
An estimated 1,400 babies are born via surrogate in the United States every year, and a news story out suggests that in the past five years, would-be parents from places like Europe and Latin America are increasingly seeking out American women to carry their babies.
According to the Detroit Free Press, surrogacy agency officials say having babies born U.S. citizens isn’t a primary motivation, particularly for couples in countries where it’s a socially unacceptable practice. In some countries, like Spain, surrogacy is illegal. Surrogates can also make in the mid-five figures for carrying someone else’s baby.
But while I think the number of babies born to surrogates is low to begin with, and the number of international babies born to surrogates is even lower, somehow I think the people so passionately opposed to birthright citizenship will see stories like this one and attempt to use it as more fuel in the immigration debate, which is a shame since one of those most joyous experiences in life can be cradling your newborn baby, and I’d hate to see worthy people prevented from doing just that — no matter where their passports say they’re from — because the issue gets caught up in political crosshairs.
Maybe I’m wrong — I certainly hope so — but I just have a sinking feeling about this one.
Image: Creative Commons