Bronia Karniewicz: Longing for a family

27 Nov 2008

By The Record

The motivation of surrogacy has at its core an infertile couple longing for a family. They are inspired by love and a desire for what is good but surrogacy is not simply an answer to an infertile couple’s dreams.
It is important that human life does not become something that is bought and sold, reduced to a commodity.
A child is not something owed to us. Human life should never be treated as a product.
While surrogacy laws often negate this by making it illegal to make a profit from surrogacy, there still remains a series of difficult matters encompassed in the practice of surrogacy.
It is important that we consider all the impacts of surrogacy, particularly those often overlooked in the processes of having a surrogate child.
In recent times it has been noted that becoming a surrogate mother is a painful experience for the woman and her family. Only with ongoing counselling can a woman detach herself from the baby growing in her womb.  
There are a mounting number of women who, after being involved in surrogacy arrangements, are now speaking out about the negative impacts of the experience.
As Patricia Foster explains:
“Surrogacy may help take the heartache away for one family but it surely destroys another. Infertile women sometimes say they feel pain every time they see a baby, a child. I’m the one who now looks at a child that goes by, at every crying baby that I hear, to check if it is my child. I wonder every day what he looks like or what he is doing – is he healthy or could he be sick? Is he being taken care of? I look at his empty crib and live one day at a time until I see my child again.”
Not only is the surrogate mother profoundly affected, many children of adoption, IVF and surrogacy experience issues of identify and relate an unexplainable experience of confusion, abandonment and a loss of understanding “who am I?” 
This has been termed “genetic bewilderment.” The pain of infertility is immense but to forget the interest of the child is a regrettable step and the difficult realties created to ease the pain of infertility should not be ignored. 
Life is not a gift we can demand as a right!