Who's Your Mommy? A Surrogate Pregnancy Primer

Monday, July 14, 2014

A woman late in her pregnancy. (Shutterstock)

Over 2,000 couples from the United States and abroad use gestational surrogacy to have babies in the U.S. each year. Melissa Brisman, reproductive lawyer and owner of the surrogacy agency Reproductive Possibilities, explains the part that agencies play in the process, and weighs in on some of the legal and ethical issues of surrogacy.


Melissa Brisman

Comments [12]


As long as prostitution is illegal, surrogacy should be illegal.

Jul. 14 2014 03:17 PM
Bonnie Salza

This woman 's. attitude was so morally repugnant-she herself is an attorney-husband a doctor? and actually had the nerve to say that these surrogates make less than the minimum wage to carry a pregnancy to term with all it's attendant risks--AND THAT'S OK!! Just using an arbitrary attorney's fee of $200 an hour, that comes to $1,300,000.00! And that's a cheap lawyer. I would love to see this couple be so sanguine about those wages if they were the ones making it. This is typical liberal classist elitism disguised as humanitarianism to convince others that what is obviously unfair and wrong is right-leave it to lawyers who excel at that. It's a terrible thing that the educated class in our country has so perverted the ideals of truth, equality and justice for all.

Jul. 14 2014 01:07 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Best thing is to make babies in hatcheries. No mothers, no fathers, no marriage, no "families" and get rid of all that nonsense once and for all.

Jul. 14 2014 12:10 PM
Someone who's considered adoption

The wait to adopt for foster care is also very long. Surprising since there are many children who already have had their parental rights terminated. But even so, the wait for such children is usually over a year. And yes, for kids for whom the parental rights were already terminated, we're talking about older kids (who will be even older after the wait). Some people may be able to deal with the severe attachment issues that so often accompany kids with a history of abuse or neglect, but many prospective parents know that they are not equipped to provide those children with what they need. Yes, there are young kids and babies in foster care, but since the goal of foster care is to reunite bio families, that means someone looking to adopt a young child from foster care may have the child for years only to have to have the child go back to his/her bio child. Foster care agencies often warn people that looking to adopt out of foster care is fraught with difficulties.

Jul. 14 2014 12:07 PM
genejoke from Brooklyn

I caught something about "honoring a gay uncle," she sounds patronizing.
Everything this guest says has some kind of unpleasant, desperate, tunnel-vision undertone.

Jul. 14 2014 11:59 AM
Dancer123 from New York City

I am puzzled that she would say there are so few babies available for adoption here in the US, when there are so many kids languishing in foster care. Perhaps it's more of a question of the age and race of the child, and the age of the intended parents as well.

Jul. 14 2014 11:57 AM
Uncle Leo from Queens

"Elaine! Ya GOTTA have a BAY-BEE!"

Jul. 14 2014 11:56 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Didn't she say couples have to be "heterosexual" (presumably meaning the 2 people are of different sexes, not their sexual orientation)? & then that a surrogate might be carrying a couple's baby to "honor a gay uncle"? Sounds contradictory--& discriminatory.

Jul. 14 2014 11:54 AM
Elaine from Queens

It is profoundly abhorrent to hear someone speak of human persons (mothers) as commodities ("carriers"), or as burdens (defenseless human children).

Jul. 14 2014 11:52 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

She's very determined. But maybe she should have taken it as a sign that she wasn't able to carry a baby to term - what an incredibly annoying-sounding tw*t.

Jul. 14 2014 11:52 AM
Andrea from Philadelphia

I really dislike the use of the term "carrier"--as if the pregnant woman were an airline. I understand that the "genetic" mother doesn't want to share the "mother" honorific but I find the depersonalizing of the role of the woman who is basically sharing her body and making the pregnancy possible to this degree offensive.

Jul. 14 2014 11:52 AM

this is a morally disgusting discussion.. slavery was more moral than this... The woman actually said " I was the first couple to hav a baby "

Jul. 14 2014 11:47 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.