Bioethics News

LGBT rift over surrogacy

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It’s not just bio-conservatives who are troubled and puzzled by the growth of surrogate motherhood. Writing in the Huffington Post, Keston Ott-Dahl, the lesbian co-mother of a Down syndrome daughter, confesses that there is conflict in the LGBT community as well.

Keston’s partner Andrea was the surrogate mother (with her own eggs) of Delaney Skye.  The commissioning couple, also lesbians, were distraught when the foetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome and asked Andrea to abort her. The Ott-Dahl’s refused and have lived happily ever after – a journey they have chronicled in a blog, a book, and a video (above).

But there are problems. Clearly, with the legalisation of same-sex marriage, more gay and lesbian couples will want children. They need surrogacy. Banning it “would be devastating for the LGBT Community,” writes Keston.

However, many couples want a perfect baby and specify in contracts that defective babies should be aborted or that multiple foetuses should be “reduced”. But this is wrong, she says:

Intended parents need to be mindful ahead of time that there is no such thing as a designer baby, you get what you get — be open-minded (hearted) and grateful.

It is also wrong to force a surrogate mother into aborting a child:

In my opinion, “terminating” should always be at the discretion of the surrogate who is responsible for the growing inside of her. The right to choose doesn’t necessarily mean choosing to terminate. She can choose life as well and no one should attempt to take away her choice regardless of any business arrangement or biological link.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.