Another day, another celebrity surrogate birth story. The latest is Lucy Liu of Ally McBeal and Charlie’s Angels fame who at age 46 had a child born via gestational surrogate pregnancy. In an article over at Live Science, the news of Liu’s surrogate pregnancy was announced alongside “four reasons why couple’s use surrogacy.”

The reasons included in this list are primarily medical: the woman lacks a uterus, she has a dangerous medical condition, or a structural abnormality rendering childbirth impossible.

While these may be the case in some circumstances, the article fails to mention the fact that surrogacy is an enterprise built to cater to the desires of the elite. Wealthy celebrities and other high-income couples who choose to pursue surrogacy do so because they have the financial means to match their desires. In other words, it’s becoming a “right” that only the rich can access.

Missing in this discussion are the children conceived through surrogacy. What about their desires and needs? Many of them grow up to learn more about the practice that led to their birth and have a hard time separating it from human trafficking and the buying and selling of children. And the surrogate women who spend nine months carrying a child—and bonding with it—only to have that natural connection intentionally severed. Where is there mention of their plight?

Every celebrity surrogate birth glosses over these concerns. The shine of the spotlight leaves those trying to raise concerns about the dark sides of this practice in the shadows. But these are women and children with equal worth and value and their stories deserve to be heard. That’s what we’re committed to at the CBC and we hope you’ll help us to continue to provide a voice to those who would otherwise remain voiceless.

Image by Eva Rindaldi via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Author Profile

Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director