Washington aims to change surrogacy laws
Childbirth by means of a surrogate is facing changes in regulations. It’s a difficult task to locate a surrogate in the state of Washington. Sharon LaMothe, who works with infertile mothers, states in this week’s Inlander that:
Couples who have found surrogacy to be their last hope for a genetic child of their own, she wishes she could match them with a surrogate mother. Because of current state laws, however, the best she can tell them is either to find a friend or family member who’s willing to carry their child or to work with an agency in another state.
The house passes a beneficial new bill
This bill will allow women to be paid a fee for agreeing to be a surrogate for a couple who cannot conceive a child on their own. Having a baby is expensive, and some are forced to get an instant payday loan to get through it. This was considered a misdemeanor offense in the state of Washington before this new bill was passed by the house. This bill is now being looked at by the Senate for the final word on passing the bill. The catch is that only gestational surrogates would be allowed, which means that the surrogate can have no genetic ties to the implanted fetus that they are carrying.
Financial compensation for surrogates should be legal in Washington; wouldn’t you agree?
Not only do surrogates make desperate couples’ dreams of parenthood come true, they are some of the most selfless people in the world, whether they are paid or not. I couldn’t imagine a woman risking stretch marks and weight gain with no compensation. I suspect that many people in Washington would have paid any amount for this gift. Natalie Johnson, writer for the Inlander, reports that:
Rep. Lynn Kessler (D- Hoquiam), the bill’s chief sponsor, says the bill was prompted by stories of infertile parents in Washington who wished that current laws would give them more options. “It was really brought to us by the childless parents who wanted to have children,” she says. “Some couldn’t afford to travel, and some could but thought they shouldn’t have to.”
Money has nothing to do with it, but if it did, so what!
Melanie Mikkelsen, an infertility counselor at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health, says, “The handful of surrogate mothers she sees each year carry others’ children not for profit but as favors to friends, family members or acquaintances. Currently these surrogates can legally have their medical expenses covered by the parents but nothing more.”
It is pretty amazing that people were required to do this with no compensation. Of course ,you don’t want to create a meat market, but you have to have exceptions. Maybe a great piece of Italian art would make up for it. Although nice, it likely won’t make up for the lack of sleep, aches and pains, and all the other ailments of pregnancy. According to Johnson, Mikkelsen says that “finding an unpaid surrogate in Washington, rather than leaving the state, has proven to be difficult for many couples.” “Oftentimes people have to be creative in the way they go about finding someone and tap into resources they hadn’t thought about before,” said Mikkelsen.
Surrogacy as a career? Just kidding!
I highly doubt we will see a line of women who want to risk their bodies to carry another person’s offspring any time soon. I still think it will still mainly be family and friends who take the plunge, but to be compensated for it is great in my book.