The day after I saw them at the Golden Globes, I read that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban had welcomed a new baby into their family. My immediate thought was 'what designer was she wearing? She didn't look pregnant at all!'. Well, okay, maybe I didn't think that, I'm not that blonde, but for a split-second there was a confused frown on my face.
Kidman and Urban had the latest addition to their family via a surrogate which means someone else carried the baby for them. Until recently, Altruistic Surrogacy; the act of carrying someone else's baby for no money, was illegal in Australia. Furthermore, Commercial Surrogacy is still considered to be a criminal act in a lot of countries - but why?
There are plenty of others who have also gone down this path such as Elton John & David Furnish who had their son Zachary via an anonymous egg donor. This latest round of celebrity surrogate babies are nothing new though. Ricky Martin famously had twins via a surrogate mother prior to revealing the truth about his long speculated sexuality. The same thing happened with footballer Cristiano Ronaldo; before you get too excited I'm talking about the surrogacy part, not his sexuality.
Surrogacy as an option for having children is a very important one in my personal opinion. If a mother is unable to conceive through IVF or afford repeated rounds of the treatment which is extremely expensive, then having a child via surrogate may be their last hope of having a biological child of their own. It may not be as nature intended, but does that mean that we should deny those who long for children of their own the opportunity to become parents?
A recent story line in one of my favourite TV show "Brothers & Sisters" featured a surrogate mother when characters Kevin and Scotty had a friend impregnated. Aside from adopting children, surrogacy is the only means of two gay men or even a single gay man having a biological child of their own. This is certainly the case with Ricky Martin who is a single parent to his twins.
There are still people who think that those in same-sex relationships or those who wish to become single parents should not be allowed to do so. With so many single parents these days, these people are simply ignorant. Surrogacy does not have the same number of hoops to jump through and restraints that adoption does and is likely a much easier process than attempting adoption.
I read that a couple of states in the USA actually exclude gay couples from being allowed to have children via surrogacy. The law in Florida describes in a rather sneaky and underhanded way that qualifying couples are to be "a man and woman who are married where the woman has a medical need to seek a surrogate". I'm not sure if that is still the case now, but it was until recently.
I wouldn't say that surprises me, but the restrictions and objections to surrogacy all seem to be more about the interference with nature rather than whether hopeful parents should be allowed to fulfill their dreams of having biological children whether that be straight, gay, married or unmarried or even single parents. Surely the only question to be asked in that case is if they have the means to support a child and raise them?
Article: by Chaz Harris www.stuff.co.nz
Read more about gay parenting and surrogacyat www.prideangel.com