« Rebellious Surrogate Mothers » – Extract from Tugdual Derville’s book

Surrogacy to be discussed again in France and Europe.

At the launch of the newly published book The Era of Mankindby its General Delegate, Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA is publishing a short extract entitled « Rebellious Surrogate Mothers ».

“ By reducing women to the status of producing children, as if they were machines, surrogacy foreshadows the appearance of real machines for producing children. These « artificial wombs » are a call to progress for those who consider the necessity of a surrogate mother as the ultimate obstacle to their own omnipotence. Although the surrogate mother may have decided intellectually not to become “emotionally involved » in her pregnancy, she has a mother’s heart which can rebel and become deeply attached to the baby growing inside her body. Even by increasing the amount of the financial compensation, her submission cannot be guaranteed. The simplest solution would be to replace the woman by an obedient technical device.

For the sponsors, the surrogate mother seems to be the weakest link; this is due to her humanity. When a top-quality finished product is expected, the gestational carrier can constitute an obstacle, despite the specific provisions signed by the contracting parties. The most significant examples of submission demanded by the “future parents” from the « gestational carrier” are in cases of abortions: for multiple pregnancy, « embryonic reduction », or in the event of a suspected handicap, « medical » abortion. An American woman, Melissa Cook, thus fought against her sponsor, a 47-year old man, when he demanded her to abort one of the triplets she was expecting. They had been conceived in-vitro with his sperm and a 20 year- old donor’s ovocytes. The father invoked a clause in the contract but the surrogate mother did not want to abort one of the fetuses. « These are human beings; I have become attached to these children » declared the mother. Henceforth Melissa Cook objects to surrogacy as being a « baby business ». As stipulated in the contract the babies were forcibly separated from their mother following their birth on February 22, 2016. Although unsuccessful, her defense lawyer argued: « The attachment process between the pregnant mother and the child she is carrying for nine months is simultaneously physiological and psychological, and it’s the same process and the same experience for every mother, whether she is genetically related to the child or not ». The young girl’s lawyer explained that hospital workers did not allow her to see the infants, taking them away immediately following their birth: « Here we have a mother who loves them, who fought for them, who defended their right to life, and who is ready to take care of them. You can’t tell a mother who just gave birth to these infants that no matter what happens it’s none of her business. »

Although no one can force an American woman to undergo a selective abortion, nothing can prevent a sponsor from having the new-born babies delivered, even though his intention is to separate them immediately, offering up one or several babies for adoption! The infants belong to the buyer. The imbroglio reveals how absurd it is to separate pregnancy and maternity, leading the protagonists to fight in court for the future of unborn infants. Marie-Anne Frison Roche, Professor of Private Law, involved in the collective for the Respect of the Human Person (known as CoRP, in France) – which demands a ban on surrogacy, underlines the fact that it is the legalization of surrogacy that leads to prosecutions: « Some claim that if French law accepted to abandon the ban on surrogacy, a principle laid in article 16-7 of the French civil Code, trials would cease. Whereas when we look at it closely, we observe the reverse: court trials keep multiplying and they are particularly sordid. »

For further information on « The Era of Mankind » and to order the book