Here is one for all to ponder.
(reported in the News Feb.16/2011 from the good old USofA)
A husband and wife couple try for years to have a baby but fail because the woman cannot carry to term.
The couple seek the help of a doctor who artifically fertilizes one of the woman's eggs with the sperm of her husband. So Far So Good!
The doctor then artificially inseminates the fertile egg into the biological mother of the woman who could not carry to term. It's getting hinky now.
The woman carrying the baby, carries to term and delivers. The woman giving birth to the baby, gives the baby to her daughter who was unable to carry a baby to term in her own womb.
Here comes the dillema.
The woman who who birthed the baby is she now mother or grandmother to the newborn baby?
The woman who was given the baby, is she mother or sister to the newborn baby?
Who is the mother the woman who produced the egg, or the woman who carried the egg and gave birth to the child?
First one: The woman that carried the baby is just a surrogate, so she is in reality just a vessel. After she delivers, gives the baby to the daughter, she becomes the grandmother.
Second one: the daughter will be known as the Mother
Third One; You got me on that one
Not so fast girlie! First one: The woman who carried the child and birthed it was the grandma the mother to the woman who's egg was used. That alone would make grandma mom and daughter and baby sisters, surrogate or not.
I am wondering how this would all play ot in a Court of Law if the grandma learned that her daughter was abusing the infant in question and petitioned the court for legal custody over the child?
I am sure it would be one heck of a battle, with every person from here to kingdom come getting involved.
I would definitely love to see a movie made out of this story for certain, and they could probably even get a sequel movie out of it when the child marries.
I can just see this story on OPRAH too.
Oh absolutely... It would be the movie of the week, talked about in every newspaper etc... The next thing you know is somehow in the courts, no family member would be able to carry a baby for any blood relative relative
I would love to be sitting in the courtroom and watch a judge try to sift through all of this, if the child in question was reported by the grandma as having been abused by her own daughter. Daaaaaaa! I'm confused even now.
In that case it wouldn't matter if the grandmother carried the child or not. Just because she carried the child, she does not have any legal rights to the child. However, if she could prove that the daughter and son-in-law are unfit parents she could gain emergency custody of the child.
There is a real fun thing to develop out of this whole mess, if the mom and dad so to speak are totally honest with the child one day down the road.
Explaining to this child at a later date; child, your grandma who you love, is really your biological birth mom. She gave birth to you, I was just sort of along for the ride cuz I can't make a baby. But your mommy and your daddy are your parents and we love you.
I'd love to see this in some movie down the road.
Whoa there think this through. The birth parent has every right to raise and rear this child until such time as a formal adoption agreement is agreed to and inked by all parties.
The woman carried this child in her womb for 9 months caring for it and nourishing it, so unless there are legal papers already, she the grandma is the true parent in any court in the land, and any state you choose.
I'm thinking you're confused on how being a surrogate mother works in the example you provided. There are no adoption agreements. The woman carries the child until birth and hands the child over to the parents. You think they don't figure all this out until the child is born? There are plans and documents throughout the entire pregnancy. There are pre-birth court documents that are signed before the baby is even born in the case of a woman carrying another woman and man's embryo. She signs over any rights to the child. If those documents are not signed and filed before the baby is born then the biological parents are idiots for not protecting themselves. If they use her egg and another man's sperm she has more rights.
You may be right but you are missing the point. What if the Grandma witnessed the father being constantly abusive to the child. The Grandma then applies for legal custody to protect the child. The court would have a difficult time establishing the Maternal parent, especially if DNA was used because the child would carry DNA from both adults as well as the daughter grandma would share the same DNA traits.
Okay. I'm not missing any point. Your original post had nothing to do with the father beating the child and the grand mother contesting maternity for the child. To address that issue it would not be any different than any other case where the grandparents are trying to gain custody of their grand child due to abuse or unfit living conditions. You are obviously putting more thought into that issue than necessary. You asked if the grandmother would be the mother-no. You asked if the biological mother would be the sister-no. At no point in time when a woman is carrying another woman and man's embryo is she considered the parent. Her uterus is only being used as a space to carry a fetus to term. She cannot contest paternity. She gave up that right during the pregnancy process. There are several legal obligations both parties have to attend to before even thinking about doing surragacy. Google some information you would be suprised at the result. The only circumstance would be if it was her egg and her son-in-law's sperm. Having some of the same DNA would not make you a parent. Everyone shares DNA with their biological grandparents but it's not the same DNA from the biological parents because there are two different sets of genes given from both parents not just one parent. Similar but not the same. If you want to try to make that argument with me then it would be the same circumstances if it was an aunt, cousin, or another blood relative. They all share some sort of the same genes which is why it is illegal to marry your cousin.
So what you are trying to tell me here is that a woman carries and delivers a baby as a surrogate but she is not biologically the birth mother of the child. Especially with this case where the grandmother is impregnated with her biological daughter's egg, That's crap. Papers or no papers, if she decided that she wanted to keep the child as her own, she gave birth, she's the mother, and the courts would see it this way too. Family court case law is on my side with this.
That is exactly what I'm telling you. It doesn't matter, it was not her egg that was implanted. The courts will not see it this way because she already signed the papers before she gave birth. It does not matter if she is the mother of the woman giving the egg. She volunteered her uterus to carry the baby. You can think what you want but you are wrong. She cannot keep someone else's baby just because she wants to. If she wanted custody she would have to petition it with the courts and it will be irrelevant if she carried the baby or not. Carrying the baby in her uterus gives her no rights. She would have to prove that both biological parents are not fit and that the child is in danger if it remains with the biological parents and she would gain emergency custody just as any other relative petitioning custody. If it was her egg that was inside and a donor sperm then she has any right of a woman carrying her own child. She could decide during the pregnancy that she did not want to give the child up after birth and therefore keep the child after delivery. When it is that case it works the same as a woman giving her child up for adoption and then deciding not to when she gives birth. If you want to see it your way then any grandparent could keep their daughter's babies because they share the same DNA with them.
I'm going to end my discussion of this with you now. What you're saying makes no sense. You may think my logic is crap but at least it makes sense and is supported with at least some form of research and not pulling it out of my rear end because I don't want to be proved wrong. Thank you for the debate although I learned nothing from your perspective. I hope you did.
In general, I believe the courts go by "legal parent", which (at least in my state) can be the husband of the child's mother, even if he's isn't the biological father.
A "legal" parent is either the parent shown on the birth certificate, the adoptive parent, or the husband of the birth mother. As far as I know, before anyone else can try to get a child, the legal parent(s) must first sign over, or lose (because of neglect, abuse, or abandonment) their parental rights.
When the courts remove children from their parent(s) state agencies often look for a "blood relative" before looking for a foster home. As far as I've seen, a "blood relative" can be a blood relative of an adoptive parent.
Personally, I think anyone who plans to enter into an arrangement that involves having to wait out another woman's carrying a baby to term needs to understand that there is the high risk the "carrier" (regardless of DNA) may want or need to change her mind. I'd think the grandmother should have "dibs" by virtue of having been the child's grandmother from birth (and only if her daughter were proven hopelessly unfit). I'd think that having carried the pregnancy would give the grandmother an edge on top of her role as the daughter's mother.
The one thing in this story that is constant is the fact that the husband is the dad and the biological birth father.
Lisa HW: I hear what you are saying about all of this and I agree with what you have said.
Two things worry me about all of this. One is the legal percussions that could arise for the child if this family ever has to end up in Family Court lets say for parental abuse or even child molestation. The other thing is Scientific, Genetic. It's called incestual inbreeding. This is why "First Cousins" in a family are not permitted to marry. It is believed by scientists that inbreeding tends to weaken the gene pool and can lead to medical problems.
As a biological mother and adoptive mother, my take on the matter is colored by my years of pondering this kind of stuff. Back by both what science knows about the role the nurturing mother from infancy through (especially) the fourth year, but also well beyond that (and the fact that the nurturer actually alters the physiological development of the brain, as as well as being someone mimicked by the child)..... Also, with laws that treat incest between, say, adopted siblings who have been raised as siblings in the same family, as siblings (regardless of the fact that they're not related through genes or blood).... I start approaching this from the standpoint that the mother is always the one who nurtures, bonds with, and raises the child (even if she doesn't do the best job of it).
Personally, I tend to say I don't care whose egg started any of my children. Had I donated any eggs, I wouldn't have seen my role in the child's life as anything more than DNA donor.
Then you get into the surrogate mother thing, with the woman who carries the child before birth often called "a vessel". I can't say I go with that. Prenatal environment has impact on the developing fetus. I'd have to call the person who gave birth to the child (regardless of whose egg it was) the "birth mother".
Establishing that the person who nurtures the child from birth on is the mother, I'd call her mother, the "grandmother". Personally, I'd call the mother of a woman who acted as a surrogate mother (someone else's egg)"nothing" If a birth mother gave birth to a child from her own egg, I'd call her mother "the biological grandmother". The mother of an adoptive mother: Grandmother. The mother of a child from her own egg, carried by someone else, and returned to her to nurture and raise: Grandmother (including biological). The mother of a child of someone else's egg and someone else's pregancy: Grandmother (on the same grounds as an adoptive grandmother is a grandmother).
Now, all that "intellectual" processing aside, here's where I become a possessive, inconsistent, hypocrite (and I can see the humor in my own inconsistency, possessive attitude, and maternal instinct ):
I've always thought how "in my book", here's how it works for me, personally:
If the egg is mine the child is mine.
If I carried the child from someone else's egg before birth, that child is mine.
If I carried the child from my own egg that child is mine.
If someone else had the child, and I adopted the child; that child is mine.
If I gave birth to the child (from my own or anybody else's egg) that child is mine.
There aren't many areas in life when I let my own maternal instinct and nature affect my usually logical thinking; but this particular thing is one in which I have my own maternal instinct is so strong and unrelenting, it's a good thing the only thing I had to work out was the adoptive-mother/stranger's DNA thing.
While I'll admit to my completely "off" and inconsistent beliefs here; I guess the point may be that all women (the one's with a certain type of maternal instinct) are not suitable to be either egg donors or surrogate mothers.
The daughter is the mother. Her egg together with her husbands sperm make them the parents. The grandmother is as Mrs JB says, a surrogate.
I guess the courtroom battle, if there ever was one, would depend on entirely what country and which state it was held in and if there were ever any legal agreements in the first place.
Well, thats my opinion anyway!
So, does this kind of scenario make it ethical to do surrogacy, or not?
These are very difficult issues to deal with. I'm glad I'm not a judge presiding over any legal cases arising from this very kind of thing.
My hat's off to anyone who is!!
aka-dj: I think you are seeing my point throughout this news story. Adoption is one thing done legally, but with this story we open up a brand new can of worms and dump it into a pond full of trout on a feeding frenzy. Where will it all end?
I can see it now, 20 years from now a woman, or a man, or, a couple, walk into a supermarket wanting a baby. The go to some computer kiosk type in the traits they want in a baby and within minutes a plastic bag appears with all the required ingredients. Simply pop the bag into an incubator machine or a microwave sort of machine and presto, instant baby.
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