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Abortions and Special Needs – Surrogate Offered 10k to Abort Baby

I glanced through my CNN headlines today and came across this video:

When I was pregnant with my third, several tests came back that indicated my baby girl could have Down Syndrome.

I was quickly offered the option of an abortion. I was offered the option several more times before our state’s deadline to have an abortion. I had never even had an amnio to confirm the diagnosis at that point.

To be clear, I was given the option, not encouraged. But I wondered why it came up so often and so easily. I did a little looking and the abortion rates for a child with Down Syndrome range from 87-98% depending on the study that you read.

I was scared and knew it would change our life dramatically. I watched my own mother raise a child with special needs, and saw the impact it had on her life. Ultimately, I didn’t have to work through all of those things because I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. We opted to continue the pregnancy without confirmation of the diagnosis as it would ultimately have no affect on our decision to keep the child. We were nervous about any additional risks an early amniocentesis might pose to the pregnancy.

On the other hand, I have known people who’ve had abortions due to the diagnosis of multiple disorders and limited chances for basic survival. I understand their choice and it’s theirs to make.

Regardless of religion or personal ethics, this is a choice that parents have to make on their own within the limits of the law.

What about this situation? What would you have done as the genetic parent? As the surrogate?

Surrogate offered $10,000 to abort baby

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Full Story on CNN: Surrogate Offered $10,000 to Abort Baby

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I am a Surrogate Mother

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Comments (10)

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  2. Amber C 04/09/2013 at 12:46 pm

    She is very brave and I commend her for choosing to do what she knew was right in the face of tremendous pressure. The truth is NONE of us know what is going to happen to us in life and the whole point of life is to take the tough times and make them better. What if your spouse or child has a horrible accident and ends up quadriplegic and needs constant care? Is it right then to just kill them so you and they don’t need to “suffer”? No one is guaranteed an easy life. You suck it up and find a way to handle the hard things. Kudos to the adoptive parents willing to take on the health challenges of this beautiful little girl.

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  5. Katherine G 03/11/2013 at 1:54 pm

    Me personally I think they should give the surrogate the option of keeping the baby if she likes. Unfortunately because the baby being carried is their child they have final say so over what happens to that child. However I think it is unfair for them to risk the surrogates life because they don’t want a child with special needs because that is exactly what they are doing especially without a definite diagnosis that can’t be proven right or wrong until the child is born.

  6. Withheld 03/11/2013 at 12:38 pm

    How true it is that the comments are almost always more interesting than the article.

    I am the best mom that never was. Four pregnancies. The last one resulted in a still birth of my daughter at 27 weeks (about a month ago) after knowing for a month that not only was there no way my child would make it, but that due to my low fluid levels, my body was probably actually crushing her to death.

    All to say, we’re potentially on the adopt or surrogate or try, try again path. Each one of them wrought with really tough decisions and blind spots around every corner that make it an untenable situation to accept that someone else’s God has said that I’m just not worthy of being a mom.

    For this specific video (and much of life), we will end up regulating our morals and pushing people into far more difficult situations. I actually don’t think this is a difficult situation. When a surrogate chooses to carry another’s child (operative words being “chooses” and “another’s”), it seems like it would be a given that the parents (you might specify “genetic” and the inevitable regulations to come might well require my contract to do so as well) would get to make choices that impact their child. Even if it is the toughest, often most loving and selfless choice you could ever make.

    I know for a lot of folks, they can’t see any love in that choice. I never thought I would. Then I held my beautifully delicate, fragile, crushed daughter in my hands.

    I’ll never be so selfish ever again. And I’ll make sure if we go the surrogate route, that I ensure I, as my child’s mother, reserve every right in those regards. For my sanity and her’s.

  7. Lily 03/05/2013 at 4:05 pm

    Both the surrogate and the real parents are wrong. The surrogate is wrong because its unbelievable people are paying you to have a baby and you accept the offer. No matter what situation you are in, heartlessly giving up a baby that you know is YOUR child no matter who the donor was is just insane. There are so many orphans in the world who need help and spending money to have a baby because it sounds different than adoption is cruel. If a mother does not have a baby own her own she is not a mother, and if you pay for the baby you are not a mother or father. The couple is wrong because its true, they cannot play God, and they cannot make a decision because its someone elses body and they cannot possibly believe that they are the best candidates to chose a childs future. Only God and God alone chooses when a person is born and when they die,that is the only choice he does not allow us to make. America is at its lowest point, they have thrown away their morals and ethics. In God we trust, means nothing anymore, we have accepted eveyones differences in relegion and life but we threw away our own culture and relegion so that others wont feel bad.

    • Erica Fehrman 03/06/2013 at 8:35 am

      Lily, a surrogate is simply carrying someone else’s genetic baby to term. The baby has no genetic tie to that womb. It is a way for the biological parents to have a genetic child when the mother isn’t able to carry it on her own. This can be a great gift, but in this case it was complicated. Additionally, no one in this article asserts that they chose surrogacy because it was “different than adoption.” It is dangerous to assume such flippancy in others’ decisions. Last, your statement that, “If a mother does not have a baby own [sik] her own she is not a mother,” is downright heartless toward people who adopt or choose surrogacy.

      It is one thing to have religious morals, and another to invoke the name of God with an an apparent lack of compassion, empathy, or love toward anyone except the baby. God created each of the people in this story and they each get the gift of free will — and any consequences, blessings, and redemptions that follow.

  8. (Name Withheld By Commenter) 03/05/2013 at 7:43 am

    I’ll be honest, I never really considered this outcome. Several years ago, a sibling came to me & asked if I would be a surrogate. I was over-joyed. My husband said no, that he couldn’t allow the risks & potential emotional turmoil to affect our own family.

    I always kept my disappointment in him for putting his foot down to myself. I felt wronged by his totalitarian decision, but knew that I needed to tell my sibling no, because if my husband felt so strongly against it, I needed to listen.

    I don’t know for sure that my husband was thinking along the lines of what this woman went through, but I’m going to let go of what resentment in my husband telling me I couldn’t give that gift to my sibling lingers now. I don’t know if I could’ve gotten through being told to abort the baby growing inside of me & then being so crushingly disappointed in my sibling if that had come up. Not to mention what it would’ve put my husband & kids through.

    Man, what a lot to think about. I’m so glad that baby is in a loving home. I wish her all the best.

    • Amy 03/07/2013 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks for sharing your perspective here. So many sides to this issue..