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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Babies Born to Thai Surrogates in Legal Limbo



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Dozens of babies born to Thai surrogates from embryos involving Israeli fathers cannot leave the country. From The Times of Israel story:

Several dozen surrogate babies born, or about to be born, in Thailand — through the arrangements of Israeli couples — are unable to come to Israel because the Interior Ministry has not granted Israeli citizenship to the infants, according to an advocacy group formed around the issue…

There are currently some 65 babies stuck in Thailand that were conceived by homosexual Israeli couples, according to the group “Help Us Bring the Babies Home.” The group formed a Facebook page last week that has already garnered some 14,000 “Likes” and the support of Gal Uchovsky, a prominent Tel Aviv LGBTQ activist and journalist

Well, the “couple” didn’t conceive the child, but I quibble.

Question: Since I understand that Jewish identity is determined by the mother, are these children technically Jewish? I suppose if the egg donor/seller was Jewish, yes. But if the egg supplier was Thai? I doubt the writers of Talmud considered the subject.

That point aside, these babies are automatically Thai citizens:

According to a statement from the ministry issued to Channel 2, the issue is being jointly addressed with Thai authorities by the interior, justice and foreign ministries. “According to Thai law, the babies are Thai citizens,” the statement said. “The position of the authorities in Thailand, which was given to Israel in an official notice, is that mothers in Thailand who give birth to babies have full parental rights over those children, including custody.”

Caveat emptor.

The article seems premised on the notion that people are somehow entitled to other women’s bodies to get a baby:

Israel suffers from a shortage of surrogate mothers. According to a 2013 report on the news site Walla, from 2007 to 2012, 313 Israelis found surrogate mothers abroad, compared to only 228 in Israel. The imbalance has become even worse in recent years; in 2012, 126 went through the process abroad, while only 41 did so in Israel.

Suffers?” Why is it a a bad thing that more women won’t sell their gestational capacities?

International commercial surrogacy is growing problem for different reasons in differing locations. Women in who rent their uteri in India may be treated horribly. Here in the USA, we see American women hired as gestators so that a Chinese baby will have American citizenship.

Imagine the other possibilities to come as reproductive anarchy becomes the norm.

It’s long past time for tough regulations on IVF commercial transactions. I would start by outlawing international gestational serfdom.



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