The Perils of Assisted Reproductive Technology #3

Canadian surrogate eliminated baby from triplet pregnancy at urging of overseas couple

Kari Smith felt a real rapport with the overseas couple who commissioned her to have their child: they were about the same age, seemed to hold similar values and even shared a love of craft beer.

Then the Nova Scotia-based surrogate discovered she was pregnant with three babies, and things took a “horrible” turn.

Smith wanted to carry all three but, without hesitation, the would-be parents insisted the trio of fetuses be reduced surgically to just two. As non-citizens of their Caribbean home, they were all but barred from bringing home more than two children to the island nation.

The convenience of the would-be parents is more important than the life of one of their children.

A lawyer advised Smith that the couple could cut off expense payments if she insisted on keeping all the babies. Not wanting to upend the couple’s lives, the surrogate eventually agreed to the reduction, then one of the remaining two fetuses died, too. It was a traumatic experience. . . .

Weeks later, the 38-year-old says she now believes the reduction was for the best medically, given the risks around multiple births, and realizes the couple was not as coldly calculating about the decision as first appeared. They wept when the reduction occurred.

Why weep if you’ve done nothing wrong? And if you’re weeping because you’ve done something wrong, why not allow the child to continue living in the first place?

But the case underlines the moral dilemmas that surrogacy can unexpectedly impose on women who lend out their wombs, as foreign demand for Canadian “carriers” surges. . . .

But these “moral dilemmas” are not unexpected. They are entirely predictable to anyone with minimal foresight.

Sally Rhoads-Heinrich, who runs the Surrogacy in Canada agency, says the husband told her by telephone that he would rather end up with no infants than three. . . .

Here’s a predictable “moral dilemma”. If the “product” is not up to standard the surrogate might be left on her own.

With triplets, the couple apparently would lose their jobs and have to leave the island, and Smith says she didn’t want that on her conscience.

Note that the abortion is not on her conscience.


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