Should biological parents force surrogate to abort?

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Sharon - posted on 10/10/2010

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That is one of those things they should have covered before getting into bed with one another.

No. At this point they cannot force her to abort. They have solution though. Adopt the baby out & start over. Callous I know& not my cuppa tea but its an option.

Isobel - posted on 10/12/2010

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It's absolutely her choice, but if it was a stipulation in the contract, then she is guilty of breaching the contract and is therefore no longer owed any money. She gets to keep the baby or put it up for adoption if she wants, but she doesn't get paid for doing it.

I know I'm a monster because I don't believe that an insentient being has rights...but that part of the equation doesn't bother me...sorry.

Jaime - posted on 10/11/2010

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I haven't read the article, but I think regardless of any kind of contract signed, the biological parents cannot force the surrogate to abort the fetus from her womb. I think both parties should have chosen more carefully, and perhaps if the biological parents are not willing to care for a mentally challenged child, they might consider adopting to avoid this in the future.

[deleted account]

I personally think that the couple should be banned from doing anymore surrogacy deals. They were supposedly desperate to have a baby yet they are quite happy to terminate one because it has downs. That is disgusting if you ask me.

Becky - posted on 10/10/2010

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First off, the idea of aborting a baby just because it may have Down's Syndrome disgusts me. Secondly, although it's not her child, it is her body, and she should not be forced to do anything to her body that she is unwilling to do. What if she were to suffer physical damage as a result of the abortion? Are the bio parents going to compensate her in any way for that?
That said, I do agree that she should not have signed the contract if she didn't agree with it. I would never sign a contract that mentioned abortion anywhere in it!

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[deleted account]

I don't think there was a clause in the contract that stipulated an abortion, but I do think there was one stating that the biological parents have the right to deny the child's existence. In other words, it would be all on the surrogate's shoulders if she continued to have the baby when the parents decided they didn't want it.

[deleted account]

I personally don't think that just because the child has DS that you should have an abortion, but surrogates sign the contract and should know the risks and stuff that should come with it. I don't agree personally, but she signed knowing that there is that small chance of something like that....

[deleted account]

In BC (where this took place) I believe they have up until 15weeks to abort. Here in SK, we have up until 12 weeks. Abortion is legal in Canada. As for the testing, mine was done within the 12weeks.



Now, I am pro-choice. That being said, I don't believe the surrogate should be forced to have an abortion, BUT if she is now not abiding by the contract (which has a clause in it), then she should be responsible in finding it a home or keeping it herself. I think Laura? and myself are in agreement on this one. She shouldn't be getting paid for being a surrogate if she's not going to abide by the stipulations of the contract, but she shouldn't be forced into having an abortion either.



@Laura ? - I don't think you're a monster for believing that; I'm kind of in the same boat. I don't think the fetus is really a baby until there's a chance it can survive on it's own outside of the uterus. So basically come the 28weeks, that's when I believe it goes from fetus to baby. Until then, it is essentially a parasite.



Edited to add: I think everyone should be considering that this is a Canadian case, and legalities are different than in the states.

[deleted account]

I completely agre with Laura ? I don't think any court in the states would force her to abort, but I think the bio-parents have the right to terminate the agreement on the financial terms anyhow...Ideally the surrogate would honor the bio-parent's wishes, but I don't think this will end ideal.

Becky - posted on 10/12/2010

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So sad, Tara! Unfortunately, being an adoption worker, I have seen this happen several times. In fact, I almost quit my job because I just couldn't handle it! One family gave back an absolutely adorable, beautiful little 2 year old girl just because they got pregnant with their own. Of course, they said that wasn't the reason, and said she had FAS (she didn't.) But I'm pretty sure it was. I was so angry at them. Seriously, this little girl was so sweet, I would've taken her myself! The story had a happy ending - she was adopted by the family who had adopted her baby brother at birth and did awesome with them. I"m sure she was much better off. But it still just broke my heart to the point where I almost quit!
Off topic, I know, but this is why, although I still don't agree with abortion, I can understand why some women would rather abort than have the baby and risk the uncertainty of the adoption system.

[deleted account]

My father was adopted too and when he was little his parents adopted another little boy for him to play with. Because my father and his new brother used to fight all the time they sent the other boy back. Its unbelievable really my kids fight all the time but i would never send one of them away. I wonder if it really is possible to truly love a child you havent given birth to as much as one you have.

[deleted account]

Okay, before I read ANY posts: I think it is STUPID to order a surrogate to get an abortion. What happened to "woman's body, woman's rights", or is that only in the case of genetic children? If she has no choice over her own body, then a husband or boyfriend should be able to tell a woman she is not allowed to abort his child. For the record, I am only pro choice in necessary instances, ie medical, etc. How ridiculous and cold it is to force a woman to do something to her body she would never have done otherwise. How little human life is valued, too. "Oh, he's imperfect? Throw him out."

Stifler's - posted on 10/11/2010

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And Tara that's horrible what if it was their bio kid would they just send it back and get a new one. They shouldn't have been given a different kid,

Stifler's - posted on 10/11/2010

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I agree with Susanne, they should be banned from doing any more surrogacy deals.

Tara - posted on 10/11/2010

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Horrible but really if the bio parents don't want the baby they should allow it to be born and adopted out. I think they are horrible for stipulation such things in a contract about the life of an unborn baby!!

My ex is adopted and so is his sister. He was the first and when he was about 2 they brought home a little girl who they had decided to adopt. She was 3 months old (back then you had to wait until they were 3 months). Well, when they got her she had eczema all over her tiny body, my ex mil tried to soothe her but when she found out that this baby would need special medicine and creams etc. and that she cried most of the day due to the pain and discomfort, they just sent her back to the Catholic Childrens Aid Society and ordered a new daughter who they received 6 months later. They kept her, she was pretty and not damaged goods. :(
My ex mil talks about this as if it were a dog they once adopted but returned cause it peed on the floor.
Sad.

[deleted account]

Just a question to you ladies would it say in the contract if the baby has any birth defects you must abort?



I feel for the parents because if it were her body she would abort and it will be hard if the baby is carried to full term and the dont want him/her and to think of the child forever were ever the go..adoption etc.



I understand the surrogates feelings to.You become a surrogate to give the gift of life not to destroy it.



Very hard and sad situation, i wish for it all to turn out well.

[deleted account]

No it would go against that woman's human rights.The cant force her and i doubt any judge etc will rule for that to happen.Its sad you want a chance to become a parent so you go through surrogacy and because the unborn has downs you want to abort..its sad.Especially when you know how precious life is and how hard is it to become pregnant let alone carry and deliver a heath baby..babys with special needs are PERFECT to me..there no less IMPERFECT .

Sherri - posted on 10/11/2010

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I think she entered into a contract and must abide by that contract!! The surrogate was aware of the stipulations when she entered into it and chose to do it anyways. So she should be forced to honor that!!

Personally if I found out something was wrong with my child I would abort as well not fair to the three normal children I have now.

[deleted account]

No court in the land can force a woman to have an abortion. If abortion goes against the surrogates personal conscience, it's something that should have been discussed before they did the deal. The biological parents can make decisions for their child, but they can't make decisions that force a third party to do something against her will.

Tracey - posted on 10/11/2010

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Don't knoiw about other parts of the world but in UK you can abort up to (I think) 22 weeks but if the baby is disabled then you can abort any time up until the birth.

Denikka - posted on 10/10/2010

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It was understood in the contract that was signed.
As horrible as it may be for the surrogate, she knew that there was this chance before they started the process. If the bioparents can dictate what a surrogate has to eat, how much she has to exercise, etc, then I honestly see this as an extension of that. She signed the contract with full knowledge, if she didn't agree with something in it, she should have found another couple whose morals she agreed with entirely.

Sal - posted on 10/10/2010

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i think many people have forgotten that babies are not made to order and can be returned if it turns out wrong, are they going to start asking for a refund if it is ugly, or when the child doesn't become a sports star, i read an artical recently where an adopted child (not a little baby either) was returned as the parents changed their mind....it is not a right to become a parent, it is a privilege, and just because there are surrogates, ivf, adoption doesn't nessersarliy mean everybody is meant to be a parent.
as for this case i think if the surrogant wants to keep the baby or knows of willing adoptive parents who will adopt under the circumstances she should be contiue the pregnacy, how ever if it turns out to be a misdiognosis and the baby is fine the biolgical parents should have no rights, they should also have to disclose this to any future surrogants they seek.

Hannah - posted on 10/10/2010

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This story absolutly sickens me....And this is exactly the reason that I am so against abortion...When I was pregnant with my son, we decided to get genetic testing done because we lost our first baby at 19 weeks(who when they did an autopsy was determined that he had trisomy 18)....Well, the test came back positive but just because it is positive doesnt mean that it is definate. It was a high percentage according to the results but within the #'s it was actually less than 1%....Our son turned out to be a perfectly healthy baby...So sad that this stuff happens :(

Jodi - posted on 10/10/2010

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Not necessarily. Depends on where you live. Also, even if it isn't "legal" there are states where it is decriminilised in the instance of medical purposes. Doctors can also seek court ordered approval. It isn't that difficult.

Jodi - posted on 10/10/2010

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I think the following comment is actually more interesting:

"need for government oversight of financial arrangements between mother and 'commissioning' parents."



As a result of such a moral dilemma, should there actually be government regulation over such contracts in order to ensure that such contracts are understood fully, and that a standard contract includes such possibilities or that there are implied terms, even if not in the written contract?

Stifler's - posted on 10/10/2010

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Wait, how far do you have to be into the pregnancy to find out whether it's downs syndrome? Isn't it like really far into the pregnancy?

Jodi - posted on 10/10/2010

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I don't think a court could order her to abort. Contract or no contract, what are they going to do? Hold her down and perform the abortion? However, if she decides NOT to abort, knowing full well the parents do not want the baby, then the surrogate needs to accept full responsibility for raising that child.

Stifler's - posted on 10/10/2010

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She's their surrogate. She has to do what the contract says and if she was going to object to an abortion why'd she sign it. I wouldn't sign a contract personally for someone who wanted a baby through surrogacy and then there was a chance they'd want to abort it. They can't have wanted a child too much if they were going to abort it on the chance it might be less than "perfect".

Charlie - posted on 10/10/2010

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Her body , her choice but i guess she kinda opted out of that when she signed the contract.

Cassie - posted on 10/10/2010

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I totally agree Dana!! That test really bothers me. I think it should be offered so that parents can educate themselves about Downs Syndrome and find assistance and support from families of children with it; I hate that parents can use the knowledge that there is a possibility of DS to terminate the pregnancy.... they are very likely terminating a very healthy, "normal" child.

Dana - posted on 10/10/2010

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I think it's awful to make someone abort a child that they're carrying, whether it's theirs or not. Choice works both ways, you know. Unfortunately in this case there was a contract. I can't even imagine how awful that had to be for the surrogate since she obviously was reluctant. What is also unfortunate is that it says the baby is "most likely to have Downs Syndrome" how often have people heard that and the baby turns out to be just fine. This has actually sickened me.

Jenny - posted on 10/10/2010

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I believe the final choice should lie with the surrogate. Her body, her choice. I don't care what the contract said.

[deleted account]

OK, after re-reading the article in more detail, there was a clause in the surrogacy contract. The parents of the egg & sperm were well within their right to madate the abortion.

In the example I gave above, the women's husband did eventually pass away. It was so devastating to this this once vibrant man wither away. You throw an infant into the mix, and I don't think it would have been an ideal situation. But like I said, their decision.

Alahnna - posted on 10/10/2010

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Well, since the baby is not the surrogate's baby to begin with, my thoughts would be that she has to follow the wishes of the parents regarding the baby. It's sad that they went through so much to have a child then when given one that is "less than perfect" so to speak, they don't want it :(

Cassie - posted on 10/10/2010

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That's an absolutely horrible situation.

I can honestly say that if I were that surrogate, I would go to jail (for whatever they would come up with to charge me) before I would abort the baby.

Rosie - posted on 10/10/2010

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no if she doesn't want to then she shouldn't have to, i am not for forcing ANY woman to do anything with her body that she doesn't want to do.

[deleted account]

Well this is interesting! Screwed up and definately something I've never heard about before. The surrogate went through with the abortion anyway. I am wondering about the wording of their original contract and if there was any kind of clause that allowed for pregnancy termination in the event of situations like this. Even thow I am pro-choice, I actually feel sad by this story. Raising a Down Syndrome child can be positive and rewarding, and there are so many resources out there these days. It's no longer seen as a stigma as maybe a generation ago. Down's kids can grow up to become productive memebrs of society, and the degree of mental retardation does vary. Couples can easily use that pregnancy time to learn how to raise a DS child. But on the other hand, there may be some couples that truly cannot handle raising a child with a developmental delay. I can't fault them for that feeling or belief. I actually DO know someone who had an ooops pregnancy at age 46, and the fetus tested positive for Down's. She did terminate the pregnancy and felt she could not even handle the pregnancy. At the time, she had 2 teenage kids and her hubby was recently diagnosed with cancer. Oh well. Their decision, not mine.

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