Unintentional Surrogate Motherhood

A short time into her pregnancy, a married woman in Ohio was told by her husband that he had just received a call from the fertility clinic which helped them attain this pregnancy.  The clinic “goofed,” and the baby in her belly was the product of the embryo of some other couple, who now expected her to go through childbirth and hand over the baby.

This couple is quite religious and they don’t believe in abortion, so in spite of their immense personal pain, they planned to hand over the baby after it was born (they did so at the end of September, when the woman delivered a healthy baby boy).Their only request was to see and hold the baby first, as they had already formed a bond.

Shame on the clinic for making that phone call!  You may be shocked at that response, but since strangers meet, fall in love, marry and spend their lives together, it’s obvious that genetics is not the prime criterion for love, or no one would be able to adopt a child.

Having been pregnant, I’ll tell you that at the absolute instant of fertilization, an intense relationship starts (and continues, in spite of morning sickness, and inevitable heartburn and constipation).  This actual “birth mother” is traumatized, as is her whole family.  And for what?  Ownership of an embryo?

I remember a Law and Order episode where the “punch line” was that the father who raised the now-teenage boy was revealed NOT to be the biological father, and he lost custody.  Shameful and cruel, I thought.

Some people think that because something is “the truth,” that it should be revealed.  Not necessarily, and especially not when terrible human suffering ensues.

The “embryo” family simply could have kept trying, and there is no proof that this particular embryo would have thrived until birth in the genetic mother. 

I think everyone was better off with this truth not being spoken.