An American clinic promotes surrogacy in France

Publié le : 12 April 2013
In search of potential customers, a Fertility Centre in Illinois (United States) is currently canvassing for them in Paris. On Wednesday 10 April, it "was due to organise, jointly with the ‘aParent’ in vitro fertilization laboratory, an evening session called ‘Donating oocytes, surrogacy, genetic screening test on the embryo, review of procreation methods’, in the Hôtel Lutetia." But "faced with the controversy provoked by this promotional operation" publicized on the Internet, the hotel finally refused. Paul, a journalist aged 47 who has written for many years on this subject, obtained an appointment for himself and his friend Cécile, aged 46, to obtain information at the Hôtel Mélia Vendôme. Peter, a homosexual, was invited with his friend and their little boy of 4, born to a surrogate mother in Chicago, to talk about their experience. Lastly, Julie, a nurse in the Fertility Centre in Illinois and "coordinator for medically assisted procreation requiring a third party" was present at the meeting. 
During the meeting, Paul was intrigued: "We wanted to know more about the financial conditions, the way of getting around the law [surrogacy is prohibited in France], the temptation of eugenics and the impact on the child. We realised that ordering the perfect child is possible today. We keep on hearing about the merchandizing of women’s bodies; I was impressed by this merchandizing of the child." First of all, on the legal conditions, Julie from the Infertility Centre told Paul and Cécile, to reassure them: "everything is absolutely legal. There are contracts that specify clearly who will bear the child and who will raise it. Everything is settled before the start of the treatment." After giving them a list of five donors, all in Illinois, Peter told them that the waiting time is long: "six to twelve months. The women are aged between twenty and thirty. We have their profiles, their photos. We advise you to choose one who has already been a donor," and added, a bit uneasily: "to be sure that you’re getting, eh, the quality." The nurse went on to mention that the medical history of the donor is checked, "back to her grandparents," and "even her brothers and sisters." And she emphasised: "if she has inherited a genetic disease she is disqualified." Then Paul raised the question of "therapeutic abortion." On this subject, the nurse from the Infertility Centre replied that "it’s possible. […] But to reduce this risk we carry out a preimplantation diagnosis." According to the website of the ‘aParent’ laboratory, this diagnosis "is useful for the balance of the family." Peter explained to the couple that "if all goes well, [surrogacy costs] between $90,000 and $100,000" and mentioned that they "will have a birth certificate with [their] names on it. The child will be American,” and afterwards they can have it naturalised.         
Lastly, Cécile asked what Peter and his friend had explained to their little boy. Peter replied but gave the impression of not being very sure of himself: "
He is too young. He already knows that a woman bore him. He has no mom, he has two dads, and so he’s fine and we can say that he’s happy."

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