“Men having babies”, or the baby exhibition (parenting conference) organised with catalogues of surrogate mothers, womb hire and child trafficking is taking place for the fourth time in Brussels, on 22 and 23 September 2018. The organisation presents its suppliers, specialist clinics, comparative cost studies and surrogate mothers. Through conference sessions and meetings, it puts potential European clients in contact with American or Canadian companies “specialising in made-to-order babies”. Everything is provided, “psychological support, legal assistance, gamete provision (eggs and sperm) and the creation of the contract between the surrogate mother and sponsors, etc.”. The total cost ranges from $95,000 to $160,000.
With the promotion of this “decidedly commercial” surrogacy strategy, the child is “reduced to a commodity that is bought and sold”. The 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child states that, “as far as possible, every child has the right to know and be raised by their parents”. In this context, however, the mother signs a contract which, from the outset, obliges her to hand over the child to the sponsors. Nevertheless, the Convention requires States to take “all the appropriate measures at national, bilateral and multilateral level to prevent the abduction, sale or trafficking of children for any purpose and in any form, whatsoever”.
The mother, who is “reduced to nothing more than a biological instrument of procreation”, is meanwhile subjected to “degrading constraints” synonymous with “breeding techniques”. True, she signed a contract at the beginning of her pregnancy, “but this consent is often dictated by difficult financial circumstances. Is this actually freedom?”
Michel Ghins, joint leader of the Citizen’s Initiative for the Abolition of Surrogacy, is calling on politicians “to place an outright ban” on any surrogacy practices, whether commercial or so-called “ethical”, because the distinction between the two is “blurred and facts are impossible to verify”. A surrogacy contract “always violates the fundamental rights of women and children” because it inevitably treats them “as objects in a transaction” involving an exchange of money, “either in the form of wages or compensation for the surrogate mother”. Politicians must therefore summon up the courage to ban any event such as “Men having babies”, which is a genuine “stock market for women and children”.
La Libre, Michel Ghins (19/09/2018)
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