In a case that highlights the problems associated with contracted pregnancy, a surrogate mother in California reportedly faced a harrowing choice after being diagnosed with aggressive metastatic breast cancer. This woman, a married mother of four, had volunteered to carry a child for a loving gay couple, hoping to bring joy and happiness into their lives.
The troubles began when she reached the 24th week of her pregnancy, and she received news of her cancer diagnosis. The cancer had spread with alarming speed, leaving medical professionals with no choice but to advise her to terminate the pregnancy in order to begin potentially life-saving treatments that could not be safely administered during pregnancy.
The surrogate, however, refused to succumb to despair. Instead of killing the baby, she actively sought a hospital that would allow her to deliver the baby prematurely, thus enabling her to initiate her cancer treatment promptly. However, she was confronted with a legal roadblock.
Under California law, surrogate mothers are referred to as “gestational carriers,” and the “intended parents” are legally recognized as the child’s parents. The law explicitly states that the surrogate and her partner have no parental rights or obligations towards the child.
Regrettably, the “intended parents” in this particular case expressed their desire for the surrogate to undergo an abortion. Fearing the potential medical complications and the serious care their child might require if the child was born prematurely, the gay couple rejected the option of providing lifesaving care for the child, even if the baby were to be born alive.
Gay couple wanted surrogate mother with grim cancer diagnosis to abort their baby, demanded 'death certificate' if premature baby was born alive: Report https://t.co/KaYxjeK8y0
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When other people offered to adopt the child, they opposed the idea for fear of their genetic material being raised by someone else. Not even the surrogate was allowed to adopt the child, according to the surrogate mother’s aunt. Instead, they opted for a death certificate on the baby and asked the doctors not to perform any life-saving measures on the baby if he was born alive.
Because the baby would effectively become the “property” of the “intended parents” who had seemingly disavowed their parental responsibilities, the surrogate mother was not allowed to make certain decisions regarding the baby’s care, even if it meant saving his life.
Desperate for assistance, the surrogate’s family turned to various agencies, seeking aid from an attorney, Child Protective Services and law enforcement. Unfortunately, all parties involved claimed that their hands were tied, and they were unable to intervene due to the absence of applicable laws.
In the face of unimaginable adversity, the surrogate persisted in her search for a solution. Eventually, she found a hospital that agreed to induce labor and help her deliver the baby. Sadly, the baby passed away shortly after birth.
As for the surrogate’s current condition and prognosis, details remain unknown. Yet, the aunt’s email from earlier this year reveals the harrowing truth of her niece’s situation – she is “literally fighting for her life.”
In an email requesting help from Jennifer Lahl, the president and founder of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, the aunt passionately expressed her outrage. “These ‘parents’ are freaking despicable. They’d rather watch (or rather they probably won’t be around) their baby die than allow it to be saved as best as possible and given to a family,” she wrote.