Womb for rent, a surrogate mother, children who do not know who their parents are any more or who, sometimes, find themselves to be disputed between two mothers and two fathers, as if they were an object. This is what happens when the nerve-racking need to have a baby overrides everything else. Charlie, the name is fictitious, is a newborn, just a few days old, who still does not know who his parents will be.
Everything has started in a closed group on Facebook, created for the purpose of facilitating encounters between buyers and sellers. Here, by writing to the administrator, one can find a young woman willing to rent her womb. Thus, Jennifer (we have used a fictitious name also for her), a young woman of little more than 20 who has a son and a partner, is introduced to a homosexual couple. The couple meets her in a fast food and half an hour proves to be enough for the contract to be stipulated: Jennifer is going to receive 9 thousand pounds for renting her womb where two embryos will be implanted.
During the first encounter Jennifer is given 99 pounds for a medical examination that will certify her uterine health. Then, they explain her that she will have to take some medicines that will help the embryos to root. Among those, there is a hormone called buserilin. Jennifer injects herself with the hormone without consulting a doctor, even if there is risk of an allergic reaction. Fortunately, nothing bad happens. This way, begins the journey towards the clinic and the transfer of the embryos’, that results in a twin pregnancy; yet, the couple does not keep their word and skips the first payment (500 pounds) they and Jennifer agreed upon.
Soon after, a woman contacts Jennifer through the same group on Facebook. She confides her that the same couple had asked her to carry twins in the past and that they did not pay her. In the meanwhile Jennifer feels sick, and after having been transported to the hospital, finds out she has miscarried one of the two twins. This experience affects her to the point of deciding that the baby who is still alive in her womb will grow up with her and her family. The woman who arranged the first encounter between Jennifer and the couple helps her to lie to the biological father of the baby, who is told that both twins have died.
But two weeks before giving birth, Jennifer is informed that the two men have formally accused her of lying. Thus, before even being born, Charlie transforms into a ‘‘case’’. According to British law, that allows womb rent, but only in cases when the surrogate mother receives no more than 15 thousand ponds, the young woman will have the baby in custody until she signs a disposition that recognizes the two men as the baby’s legal parents. A crossroads on which Charlie, whichever road is decided upon, will lose a parent: his mother, in case he is given into custody to the gay couple; and the father, in case he stays with Jennifer. A slap in the face of common sense.
Those are the malfunctions caused to human nature, that come into being due to reckless usage of medical science. More and more often wombs for rent and surrogate mothers are used, as if children were goods one can buy. Those who enjoy better economic conditions often find women in economic conditions that are difficult. A true contract is stipulated in order to guarantee both the rights of the future parents and those of the woman who has to carry the pregnancy. But what about the rights of the baby? Who guarantees them?
Translated by Ecaterina Severin