January 6th, 2008
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Categories: In the News


With the future of intercountry adoptions from Guatemala in serious jeopardy, it seems that a new “rage” has hit Guatemala: surrogacy for Americans. Yes, there is a company that will find you a Guatemalan woman to carry and give birth to your child.

This is written on their website:

Here at Surrogacy & Fertility Law Center, our goal is to enable those who cannot afford infertility options such as surrogacy, in vitro fertilization (IVF), artificial insemination, ICSI, and egg and sperm donation to connect them to some of the top infertility clinics throughout Guatemala and Central America, for a fraction of the cost.

And more about why Central America is the place to do it:

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“Why do people want to travel to Central America to undergo a surrogate pregnancy? The answer is simple. Incredible savings of tens of thousands of dollars. Complete anonymity. Not to mention a little leisure and peaceful retreat in a beautiful country.”

This is an area that I have not given a lot of thought to, so bear with me as I mull it over. First I must say that I truly believe that each person has the right to decide what they do with their own bodies. If someone wants to be a human incubator, that is their right. I’ve heard of women in this country doing it for up to fifty thousand dollars. I’ve also heard heart warming stories of women doing it for family and friends.

However, I look at it differently when people use women in third world countries like Guatemala. It’s obvious from this website that they will be able to “rent a womb” for a cheaper price, otherwise why take it offshore? In addition, there will probably not be any regulations guarding the rights of these women.

The women in Guatemala who sign on to this process probably do it out of desperation. Hunger, illness, poverty and a hopeless future can lead a woman to do whatever it takes to improve her family’s lot in life. People have been selling their body parts for years to make money.

When these women agree to this procedure, I doubt that they are aware of the physical dangers involved and the emotional toll it will take on them. With so many poor women being illiterate, they sign papers that they can’t read, using their thumb print, and basically sign away their rights. If for some reason the pregnancy doesn’t work out, they are probably given nothing for all they have gone through.

Many pregnancies resulting from IVF’s (purposely)involve multiple births, usually preceded by high risk pregnancies which can be dangerous to the mother (in this case the surrogate) and the infants. Consequences such as hysterectomies and even death are a possibility.

In addition to all the aforementioned problems, the social and cultural implications for the surrogate mother could be very damaging. Most of the extremely poor population is the indigenous people of Guatemala, and common sense tells me they would not be supportive of a woman who acts as a surrogate.

I’ve heard a rumor that one of the people involved in this company (Rivera) was involved in unethical adoptions from Guatemala. I strongly recommend that no one even consider using them.

Couples suffering from infertility do truly suffer, but I hope that they carefully consider their options before they choose a Guatemalan woman, or any third world woman, to carry their child. Going to “any length” to have a child can have terrible consequences for those involved.

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One Response to “Adoption Out – Surrogacy In?”

  1. carlabirnberg says:

    whoa.

    powerful post.

    I had n o idea this was even happening.

    C.

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