The facts of biology, refusing to bend to the political agenda of the five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court who created same-sex “marriage,” still pose an obstacle for same-sex duos who have a wedding and say they are a family.
No natural children.
They’ve been forced to adopt or find a donor or volunteer surrogate to provide them with a child. But adoptions are fraught with challenges, such as dealing with a birth mother, and surrogates must have a high level of altruism to bear a child and give it away.
Now lawmakers in the state of Washington are attempting to fix that by creating surrogacy rules that would allow wealthy same-sex duos to buy babies.
Their report on bill ESSB 6037, called the Uniform Parentage Act, asserts changes are needed “due to the lack of equal treatment for same sex couples.”
“Marital rights do not transfer into parental rights nationwide,” the bill’s summary of public testimony explains. “Currently, when a lesbian couple has a child through assisted reproduction, the nongenetic mother must go through an expensive and time-consuming second-parent adoption to establish parentage that will be recognized in other states.”
While the bill report states, “A person may not enter into a surrogate parentage contract for compensation, and any such contract is void as against public policy,” a few paragraphs lower it specifically allows that, “A surrogacy agreement may provide for payment of consideration.”
Also “reasonable expenses.”
Ken Vance, editor of Clark County Today, spoke with some of the GOP lawmakers who tried to defeat the plan approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature.
The bill still awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
Vance said state Reps. Liz Pike and Vicki Kraft recently “have had some tough days” concerning the Uniform Parentage Act.
Kraft told him: “It is literally the most disturbing bill I’ve seen come before the House Chamber since I’ve been in office. The bill essentially allows for the commercialization of a surrogate woman. In layman’s term, I call it ‘rent a womb.'”
She continued her explanation to Vance: “If you think about it, the parallel between the work I’m doing on sex trafficking and the women on this bill is the woman being bought. They are being commercialized and they are being purchased – just for different reasons.
“In my opinion, what the bill does is it opens up the potential for the exploitation of women who are economically disadvantaged. They could become people who are taken advantage of by people who have more resources than they do,” Kraft said.
Pike said: “I have never been more disgusted by such a sinister piece of legislation. Currently in [Washington] any woman can offer to be a surrogate mother for couples who want a baby. Today, it is done out of altruistic giving, love, compassion and caring on the part of the surrogate mother. Tonight, Democrats turned this beautiful altruistic act into a financial transaction.”
She explained the bill has no limits “on the amount people will be able to sell or purchase a human baby for.”
Pike added, “In its current form, as it passed out of the House, the bill even permits convicted felons to purchase human babies.”
Vance noted the bill is slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
Hanna Scott at MyNorthwest said that while the bill provides for establishing and continuing parental rights, critics charge it also allows for “baby selling.”
“Stacey Manning told lawmakers it’s led to devastating consequences in other states, including a case where two men had a son through surrogacy for the sole purpose of sexually abusing the child,” the report said.
Others are concerned low-income women would use it to make money.
The law itself cites the work of the Uniform Law Commission, a nationwide group of lawyers from all the states who revised their guidance to accommodate same-gender duos.
The Washington state bill states surrogacy agreements must address “payment of consideration,” which would be in addition to “reasonable expenses” and the like.