Why Anonynous Sperm Donation is Over, and Why That Matters by Emily Bazelon
Posted On December 5th, 2023
I have directed an egg donation and surrogacy program for many years. A law requiring disclosure of identifying information many years post-donation will have real (and perhaps unintended) negative practical consequences. To be sure, the number of willing sperm and egg donors will plummet and this will mean far fewer choices for parents and more pressure on New York clinics to accept candidates who may be on the margins of medical qualification (but who are open to releasing identity). We have seen in England the ramifications of forced identity release – lengthy waiting periods for donor gametes and egg donors who are still able to participate well into their 30s (which means more medical risk). Few intended parents appreciate the flip side of identity release. A donor who is required to share his or her name and contact information and who will then need to always know that because of a sperm or egg donation, a child or children could well appear years later to “reunite” might want some shared information in return. Donors are not birth parents providing children for adoption; they view their role as more of a DNA provider (not that they are giving a child away). How many intended parents are going to be OK with sharing their names and addresses with their sperm or egg donor?
What Makes Takes3 Different?
Posted On October 4th, 2023
They Were Surrogates. Now They Must Raise the Children (New York Times, November 26)
Posted On November 29th, 2022
The New York Times article on November 26, 2022 (“They Were Surrogates. Now They Must Raise the Children.”) Sunday edition included an article about the legal challenges for surrogacy in Cambodia, which have resulted in women being forced to raise children they expected would be raised by their biological parent(s), while the intended parents are in turn being prosecuted for using a surrogate.
Desperately Seeking Surrogates (New York Times, April 2)
Posted On April 2nd, 2022
The New York Times article on April 2, 2022 (“Desperately Seeking Surrogates”) has some accurate information contained within along with plenty of misguided and misleading statements. Some key points:
- Surrogate mother (gestational carrier) fees are NOT unregulated at all. What they are not is “pre-fixed” (antitrust litigation in the third party area of fertility has made sure that won’t happen). However, judges who issue parentage orders in surrogacy matters can and often do inquire as to the compensation and other costs which are paid. There is judicial oversight – not the “wild west” atmosphere which is implied in the story.
- When gestational carriers (“GC”) and intended parents (“IP”) are left to negotiate compensation on their own, it can often devolve into an unseemly and emotional exercise in bargaining. IP are beyond eager for a child and know GC are in demand and the GC is aware that she is a scarce resource and is venturing into a negotiation with generally well-heeled and anxious benefactors. Having set fees ahead of time – generous and known to all – eliminates this type of horse-trading and accomplishes the goals of both sides. IP want their GC to know she is appreciated and being treated well. GC wants to feel valued and respected for her vital contribution.
What is on the mark in this piece is the realization that there are fewer qualified carriers these days to go around. More couples and singles (single men and women are intended parents,
Surrogacy in Ukraine Worries Parents-to-Be
Posted On March 3rd, 2022
We feel for any parents-to-be who are fearful and frightened about the outcome of their pregnancy, but the situation in Ukraine right now is unique and particularly disturbing.
Ukraine effectively replaced India some years ago as a venue for low-cost surrogacy and intended parents from the US, Europe and other parts of the world have been gravitating to the country to be able to work with clinics, programs and gestational carriers at fees they can more easily afford. It is completely understandable that for aspiring parents of more modest means who also desire a genetic link with their child, the costs associated with a top-flight US-based IVF clinic, established surrogacy program and qualified and responsible surrogate mother are often prohibitive.
Sadly, there are trade-offs in the pursuit of lower cost surrogacy – quality of medical care, background of carrier and security of the legal proceedings had been the chief ones intended parents needed to understand and accept. Now political unrest and potential for violence/war have to be risks taken into consideration. We are hoping that every surrogate mom in Ukraine gets to complete her pregnancy in a safe environment and every intended parent ends up with a healthy baby.
Ellen Glazer Has Two Grandchildren with NAFG’s Help
Posted On February 14th, 2022
Sometimes in life we “know” something before we really “know” it. That is how it was for me with surrogacy. Over the years I have counseled countless people considering this path to parenthood. Many asked me why someone would want to become a gestational carrier. My answer has always been the same. “How often does one have the opportunity to change a family’s life in such a significant way? Being a surrogate doesn’t just mean bringing a child to parents who want one. It brings a niece, a nephew, a cousin, a grandchild, a son or daughter who may one day have children of their own who may one day have children of their own. Surrogacy is a gift that keeps on giving.”
Are IVF Babies Different?
Posted On October 11th, 2021
I’m going to split the question into two parts: one is easy to answer and one’s a little harder.
So first, are they better? Are they superhuman? The answer to that is absolutely NO.
No one does IVF to create a superhuman. People who use IVF do it as a last resort after many unsuccessful attempts to have children the natural way. So no one’s taking superhuman sperm and supermodel Ivy League eggs and putting them together to create some superhuman. That just doesn’t happen. The reason we want to procreate is to pass on our own DNA. That’s behind the sex drive and everything that makes us go. And so in IVF, when people want to have their own babies, they want their own zygotes. They want their own DNA. They don’t want some outside superhuman DNA. They want kids who are like them. And even when people look for donors, they look for donors who look like them. That’s the main search criterion for most recipients: to find a donor who looks like them because they want kids who are like them. They don’t want some superhuman. That’s the realm of science fiction when it comes to IVF that people were afraid of: that these super creatures would be created in the lab.
Now the other thing is: are IVF kids not as good? Are they defective in some way? Is there some problem with IVF children? Well, we know in general that IVF can have a risk of premature birth and low birth weight,
Instagram Live with Mama Glow
Posted On May 3rd, 2021
Here is the link to Kathy Benardo’s IG live interview with Mama Glow. We discussed many issues regarding third party reproduction. https://www.instagram.com/tv/COQjpkfpMBh/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Surrogacy law does little for would-be parents
Posted On August 11th, 2020
Sanford Benardo has an editorial in the Albany Times Union about NY’s new surrogacy legislation.
Read the article on the Times Union site
Surrogacy Finally Legal in New York!
Posted On April 14th, 2020
The Child-Parent Security Act has passed in New York, but the regulations for a New York surrogacy are so onerous, I suspect most New York residents will work out of state anyway. The law is applicable to situations where the carrier resides in and/or will deliver in New York State. If intended parents live in New York and work with an out of state gestational carrier, the additional burdens and expenses involved with satisfying New York’s statutory requirements will not apply. New York’s statutory framework in the CPSA has been promoted (by the legislators and lawyers involved in its creation, primarily) as ground-breaking. It is not. Many states and surrogacy programs have been protecting carriers and intended parents carefully and comprehensively for years.