My problem with the phrase rent-a-womb

I hate the phrase “rent-a-womb.”

Surrogacy is growing as a viable method for couples to grow their families and I know these families.
I know their stories.

I know the women who agree to carry children on behalf of these couples and that’s why the phrase “rent-a-womb” is so irksome.

I also keep up with surrogacy news and the latest stats.

I know babies born by gestational surrogates grew by 89 percent between 2004 and 2008. I know surrogacy is growing in India and am also concerned about the women who choose to become surrogates and their fair treatment. I’m also familiar with the “anecdotal evidence” that suggests wives of our military serviceman are “disproportionately hired as surrogates” due to difficult financial situations. I’m familiar with the traditional surrogate court cases and the negative attention it brings this industry.

I know.

I’m familiar with it all.

I know that as surrogacy continues to grow, increased legislation to protect all in involved is on the horizon. I think international laws may even be created to protect women in developing countries and I’m all for it. Truly I am.

My commitment to moms who choose to be surrogates and intended parents is reflected in how Shared Conception conducts business.

“Rent-a-womb” demeans what we do. It paints our intended parents in a bad light. Some intended parents have spent thousands of dollars trying to conceive on their own with no success. You can’t imagine how it feels to want a child, try for years to conceive and fail every time. In vitro treatements are costly and can be painful and the emotional rollercoaster tests the strongest of relationships. So when a couple finally chooses surrogacy, that rent-a-womb phrase doesn’t sit well.

I have no doubt that this industry will continue to see rapid growth and become regulated to some degree. But news analysts and experts need to abandon the rent-a-womb terminology. They need to meet the women who serve as surrogates through our agency and the families whose lives they bless. Then maybe they’ll call this loving process by its correct name and realize no catch phrase is needed.

Source: Council for Responsible Genetics: Surrogacy in America

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Rachel M wrote:
I'll start off by saying I am a surrogate, I have fulfilled the dreams of 3 families so far and intend to continue to do so.

I find two things irksome myself 'political correctness' and making myself and what I do sound like a science project with terms like 'gestational surrogates'. For some of us, myself included, we have to use terms like 'rent-a-womb' because it aids in relieving some of the emotional attachment that comes with carrying a baby. Women know, everyone else fails to realize that once a woman becomes pregnant a very heavy emotional bond develops, regardless of whether the child is our own or we are carrying that baby for someone else. For me that bond is lessened, albeit a little, by using such terms as rent-a-womb and a few others that I am sure the writer would take great offense to. Additionally I do not want to see or hold the baby once delivered. I made that mistake with the first that I carried and it was extremely difficult to get past it. It's a choice that I have made and for me it works.

Mon, April 15, 2013 @ 11:43 AM

2. Shared Conception LLC wrote:
Hi Rachel, we so appreciate your candid comment! What you described makes sense... It's a great point of view that needs to be shared. Thank you for what you have done for these three families. You're truly a blessing to them.

Sat, April 27, 2013 @ 9:32 PM

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