The English language press have highlighted another case where a child with a genetic disorder was left with its surrogate mother by the couple requesting surrogacy. The surrogate mother was implanted with two embryos and gave birth to twins.
At the birth, when the biological parents (the couple requesting surrogacy) discovered that the girl – Amy – had a congenital disorder, they refused to adopt her. Following a mediation session between both couples, organised by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, it was agreed that the surrogate mother and her partner would raise the little girl.
This affair reminds us of Gammy’s story – the Down syndrome child left with the surrogate mother after being abandoned by an Australian couple.
This latest case has occurred in England, a country which is often looked upon as a role model by those in favour of “ethical” surrogacy given the strict legislation in place. Surrogacy contracts have to provide answers to essential questions: “When can the mother abort? Can she oppose it if the parents request it? Who keeps the child?” (Gènéthique press review on August 21st, 2014).
In this case, mediation certainly took place but after the event. The undetected disorder and the sudden abandonment by the “intended parents” will inevitably have a considerable impact on the surrogate mother’s life, thereby challenging the existence of “ethical surrogacy”. In fact, the legal framework in place in Great Britain has not prevented a situation similar to that which occurred in Thailand – a country with virtually no surrogacy-related legislation to date.