Surrogacy has become a well-established road to parenthood for many couples.
Surrogates form agreements with couples stipulating how and when the surrogate will become pregnant, with whose eggs and sperm. They agree about where the birth will take place. They agree on compensation to the surrogate for her time and the burden of carrying a pregnancy.
In the normal order of things, all these details are sorted out and signed into a contract before the baby is conceived.
A group of prominent fertility advocates have now been accused of reversing the order of operations: they would hire a woman to become pregnant, and then shop her fetus around to prospective parents.
Court documents lay out a plan that Erickson and Chambers came up with six years ago, before including Neiman in 2008: the women would arrange for surrogates to fly to Ukraine to be impregnated with donor embryos. When the surrogates were about 12 weeks along, the babies would be offered to prospective parents. Once a couple was found, Erickson would file a document in a California court, fraudulently claiming that the surrogacy agreement was in place from the start.
All participants have been pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The custom-made babies were delivered to at least 12 couples, who believed they were adopting a child after a fake surrogacy agreement had fallen through.
No children were harmed in this scam: the surrogates were well-paid for their efforts, the adoptive parents were happy with their new children and the kids all went to homes that desperately wanted them. And yet it seems pretty wrong to sell babies, even under these benign circumstances.
What do you think?