Listen to these two short clips from an interview with surrogacy profiteers in NYC, and tell me what you think:
As men own 99% of the world's wealth "our will" can mean anything to do with survival for a woman and her children. How come rich women don't do it if it's so wonderful?
But I would like to say that a baby is not zero when it is born. That's is a male take, because that's when he gets to be able to "own" it. A baby is nine months old when it is born. Nine months during which it has lived symbiotically with it's mother, being nourished by her food, watered by her drink, feeling what she feels, living as she lives and dying if she dies. To be born is traumatic in itself, as the safe, cosy place which is all they know is removed. Then it is held and soothed by it's mother (if the men and other authorities allow it) and it begins to feel safe again. To remove the baby from it's mother soon after birth is unbelievably cruel to both mother and child. They belong together, they are two halves of a whole, they need each other in a way that adult men just don't understand.
Surrogacy is a crime against women and children. How can it be that men are the only humans who count when they behave so cruelly, and create laws which are so inhumane?
I've been thinking about the effects this type of entitlement has not only the women being used as surrogates but the children as well. Whether it's explicitly communicated to the child or not, those expectations can be felt by the child and that's an enormous pressure. Children who are born without a surrogate often develop anxiety or depression from a vague sense of never being enough and while I'd say that US culture does a lot to instill that, the family can either mitigate that or exacerbate it with the expectations they impose on the child. If the child carries expectations that are impossible to meet like being the savior of their parents or carrying their parents wounding around race, they're always going to have that contingency inside of them ("If I make my parents happy and meet all their needs, then I'll be loved and safe.") which, in my view, makes for a very difficult life.
I listened to the full podcast yesterday and found it horrifying. Brazenly admitting surrogacy is used a route to citizenship. Denying or minimising the negative affects pregnancies, particularly multiples, can have on women.
Pretending surrogacy can empowering women, especially vulnerable women living on the breadline is abhorrent. At least the spokesman for the New York clinic was honest in the brutality of commercial surrogacy. Most of these women don’t have much of a choice.