…by the purchasers, of course. Because I’m sure I don’t know who else could believe this nonsense. Carrying, nay constructing, a future human being in one’s own body for nine months doesn’t involve anything other than money…just ask people who’ve never done it! (Shit, I’VE never done it, and I know better than this!)
Now, assuming any of you fine, fine parents-by-surrogacy out there really want to know, which you nigh universally do not, this purely commercial transaction bullshit is bullshit. I mean, was it “purely commercial” for you to finally get the baby you dreamed of all these years? No emotions involved at all? Oh, that’s right, you’re not “birth mothers” or “rental wombs”–you’re real live humans! How DO I keep forgetting such an obvious and vital distinction?
Anyway, this article tells the stories of three rental wombs who had the brazen (and fertile!) ovaries to Feel Things about their vending machine status and the products it produced. Who would have thought? And isn’t the progressive and compassionate BBC just swell to give these vessels a voice? I mean, otherwise, how would anyone who matters know that poor and/or Indian womanshapedthings have emotions?
These women’s stories sound eerily familiar to me, and there’s a reason for that. S. Sumati says
I was still under sedation when they removed the baby. I never set eyes on it. […]
When I gained consciousness, my first words to my husband were, ‘Did you see the baby? Is it a boy or a girl?’
He said he hadn’t seen it. I asked my doctor, but she didn’t answer my question.
‘You are a surrogate mother, you shouldn’t ask these questions,’ she said.
But I want to know about the baby. I want to know where he or she is and what it is studying.
The second interviewee, Anandi Chelappaun, describes being sent away:
While I was in the hostel, my family was allowed to visit only once a month and that was very hard for me.
I was warned that whatever happened, I couldn’t go home, but then thankfully nothing untoward happened which required me to visit [my family].
Jothi Lakshmi says
My mother and mother-in-law [..] didn’t speak to me during my pregnancy.
I never laid eyes on the baby and I think maybe it was for the best because if I had seen it, I would have felt very guilty giving it up.
But it was hard, I had felt the baby move in my belly, I had become attached to it, and I couldn’t see it. It just disappeared.
For about two-three years, I felt very bad and I lost a lot of weight.
But now I don’t want to see it. At home, we don’t talk about it. I even discourage my husband from talking about it because I know it belongs to someone else.
I have made peace with myself.
Tell me you can distinguish these three stories from the accounts of many BSE-era relinquishing mothers, because I can’t. Isn’t it wonderful how adoption has changed? Now you can purchase your child outright, without the least wisp of worry that you’re doing anything wrong (just like before, when you could tell yourself you were doing that slut a favor in helping her get on with her life). And you get to leave that incubator on the other side of the planet where she belongs and never worry think about her again (just like the good ol’ days when you could be sure that shame would keep your baby’s adoption delivery system-thingummy from ever looking for your child).
This is what parents-by-surrogacy want and what they pay for. The Baby Scoop Era, with its thousands of suffering women and confused children, remains the gold standard in *adoption. All these decades later, it is what almost anyone who hears the word “adoption” believes the word means. The average PAP will pay any amount of money to attain this experience, or one as close to it as they can get. (Some, of course, will do worse.)
Surrogacy is actually superior to gold standard adoption in that you may very well receive a baby who’s genetically your own. So here’s another BSE question for you parents: Are you going to tell him/her? Don’t you think it might confuse him/her to know s/he was purchased out of a brown womb on the other side of the planet?
Adoption will never change unless and until those who pump money into it and benefit from it want it to change, and they don’t seem to want that at all. Why aren’t more people ashamed of themselves?
* (or “reproductive choices,” or whatever we’re supposed to call the buffet of child-procuring methods rich white westerners get to choose from)