This situation is a hot mess. I am wondering what your thoughts are. See the following link first: HERE
Highlights from the article:
As a man, I wouldn't entrust to a surrogate to carry my child mostly because I think it's very difficult to predict what emotions and circumstances will arrive. I would consider having a child with a friend, but she would be the legal mother, not just a substitute womb.
I don't think there was a 'right' thing in this scenario. It's a difficult situation -- one in which I've never been and with which I cannot sympathize.
There are a lot of different issues on the table. Taking the story at face value:
Surrogacy: I don't have a major issue with it, though the whole "I have the money so I get to have a fourth child" mind set is a bit odd to me. If you are going to go the surrogate route, you have to accept there are going to be legal and practical limitations to how much control you can exert.
Abortion -- who has the right to decide: Crystal. We're back to her body; her choice. I don't agree with forcing someone to have an abortion or forcing them not to, regardless of legal contracts. If the tables were reversed, however, Crystal should owe the prospective their money back and then some (as there are other associated costs).
Abortion -- should it have been performed: I'd say 'yes' philosophically. That 'yes' isn't worth a whole lot as it wasn't my decision to make. Now that the child is born, I hope it has the best life possible, but based on what I know now, I would not willfully start a child off in life with such strong disadvantages. I hope I never have to test that out; wouldn't want that for anyone.
Crystal telling the parents that it isn't their decision to play God is weird. That's exactly how the fetus came to be in the first place.
Crystal's $15k counter offer to have the abortion: No opinion. If she says it was a mistake, I'm not questioning it.
Parents planning to give the child to foster care: Again, I'm not in their position, so it's not like I can pretend I'd have done better. Still, they took responsibility for creating that fetus and that sticks with them. As a man, if I get a woman pregnant and she decides to carry to term, it doesn't matter what I can and cannot do: what I have to do is look out for that child. If foster care was truly the best option for the baby because the mother and I were that incapable of caring for it, so be it. That said, two people who were fully prepared to care for the baby are suddenly an inferior option to foster care? I find that difficult to believe.
Fleeing to Michigan: I dunno. Crazy situation. The spirit of the surrogacy agreement had been violated ages ago, so why make a fuss about it at this point? Laws can't account for everything, and sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Once abortion was off the table, maybe this was the better bet. If the baby was adopted, perhaps she found loving parents who will provide her a good life in a caring home.
I can't get my gourd around her balking at $10K to terminate but would procede with another $5K. Huh?
If the fetus has abnormalities it should be the genetic parents right to terminate. This should of been covered in the legal agreement and agreed by both parties.
We have billions of earthlings on this little rock of ours. To bring unhealthy problematic offspring into the world has to be questioned. Is it fair to the new human?
As a gay man, Surrogacy is one of the only ways my fiancee and I will be able to have a child, if we want one. I believe that if you are going to have a baby in this way, then essentially, the actual parents of the child have 100% rights to the child, especially if the egg was implanted. The surrogate is basically renting her womb to the parents. That said, Abortion is a choice no one wants to make, but is often the lesser of two evils, preventing a poor, abnormal, or overly challenging life for the child and parents. However, In this case, I believe it would have been fair to negotiate a contract where, if there were anything wrong with the child, and the surrogate was as opposed to abortion as this woman seems to be, then she should be able to keep the child, but doesn't receive any of the money that was promised, as the service was not performed, and the product was not delivered. *Legal speech not intended to dehumanize anyone, just describing the series of events.
I considered surrogacy without much real interest in the job... in the same way that I "considered" joining the military and prostitution...because they pay when nothing else is there. All three things are highly undesirable outcomes for me. Surrogacy is not something I would want to put my body through. Birth is terrifying.
I honestly don't think there is any reason to opt for surrogacy over adoption. It's like going to a pure bred breeder for a 2,000 dollar pooch when your local shelter kills hundreds of unwanted pooches every year. Some parents want a child because they want to parent a child and others want one because they want to raise their genetic offspring. I am similarly put off by expensive fertility treatments.
The owners of the genetic material/fetus should have full control over it's viability and the owner of the womb should have full control over it, including the right to enter into an agreement where she cedes the right to decline abortion of the contents of her womb. They own the baby, she owns the womb, but she has rented it's use--termination of the womb-rental service should have been built into their surrogacy contract. The fetus is not the surrogate's child.
The surrogate decided to rent out her womb and the outcome was not one she had planned for. Instead of pointing fingers and blame, perhaps it would be a positive idea for a checklist to be created of things to consider before surrogacy commences.
In your example here, neither the surrogate mother nor the biological parents wanted to keep a handicapped child. As a result, the state has to pick up the tab. This doesn't feel right to me. it sounds like an experiment gone wrong, that everyone involved appears to be able to walk away from, dumping the problem on... who? the state? the taxpayer?
As far as the emotions of the surrogate are concerned, if she had delivered a healthy baby, would there not still have been emotions involved? Personally I think surrogation, if it takes place at all, should be done in tangent with the state, since illustratively from your example, it is the state that seems to have the biggest stake in the outcome.
Baby is flawed.
Surrogate mother fled.
Surrogate mother recognized as real mother.
I don't get the point here, what else do they want? Not only did they save money, but there aren't even any legal repercussions. They could basically just pretend they aborted and never take up contact again, and chuckle it off while Crystal, which I assume is her stripper name, has to wipe drool off of little Timmy's mouth for the rest of her life. It's like being upset at a burglar breaking into your house and stealing nothing but your garbage bags. Saves you the trouble of bringing them out. Lucky.
For some, to know that there is a human being with your DNA, that you have no relationship with, is a hard thing to come to terms with. Pretending has a way of wearing on the human psyche.
Yes, poor mommy and daddy clearly care a lot about their relationship with their child. Just not enough to actually raise the little waterhead themselves. You don't get to play the biological-parent-card when your first choice was to offer 10 grand to abort the kid, and the second choice is to ship it off to a foster home.
Unless aborting or handing away children is the new way of showing parental love, I think we can safely assume this couple does not want this particular baby.
I believe there are difficulties in everything. In adoption and surrogacy too there are complications which are often unexpected. However, people are adopting children and some are taking help of surrogacy to complete their family.
Surrogate carrying for total strangers is a very complicated concept. In this example, what would be the chances of the state claiming parental support money from the genetic parents?
In the UK it is incredibly hard to adopt a child - there are very rigorous rules that pretty much factor out anyone except young adults with jobs etc, and usually of the same genetic race of the child. We are awful at this - we have foster children desperate for permanent homes, and would-be adopters desperate for children, yet our system is antiquated and fails to achieve its purpose.
Here in the USA, where I understand adoption was first created, you seem to be much better at it, and it is something to be proud of.
What happens (financially) when biological parents have a special needs child that they feel they can't cope with? Does the state take legal responsibility? If foster parents come forward, do they get paid? How does the financial process work?
It seems to me that if you have a child, you are responsible for it. Can people just 'give it up' because they don't want the extra burden here?
So in the circumstances of the OP, who pays for the child?