You’ve probably already seen the recent New York Times article about surrogacy.
Like most such articles, it doesn’t focus on the usual happy ending, where a surrogate and intended parents work together to bring a much-wanted child into the world. Instead, it’s mostly about the outliers, the rare cases where surrogacy goes spectacularly wrong, resulting, to take one sad example, in a legal battle over twins who are genetically unrelated to either the surrogate or the intended parents, in a state where surrogacy is prohibited by law. Unsurprisingly, the overall tone is pretty negative and the comments are mostly variations on the theme of "just adopt."
It’s hard for me to get especially upset about it, though, because what really stood out was this: according to the article, there are about 750 babies born each year in the United States through gestational surrogacy. Now, I’m not sure where they came up with that number since whether or not a given birth is a surrogacy isn’t something that’s generally evident from public records. But, assuming that the calculation is more or less accurate, that’s a really, really tiny fraction of the over 4 million babies born each year in the US.
Which, I think explains a lot. Given my perspective, I tend to forget that surrogacy, and even things like donor eggs or IVF, are so far outside most people’s experience, that they must seem entirely theoretical, unreal, like fiction or, I suppose, science fiction. And I suppose I have to admit that this isn’t someplace I ever thought I’d be. But I also have to admit that, when I consider the alternatives, I’m awfully glad I’m here.