November 26, 2022

"Although Cambodia to this day has no law specifically limiting surrogacy, the government criminalized the practice by using existing laws against human trafficking..."

"... an offense that can carry a 20-year sentence. Dozens of surrogates have been arrested, accused of trafficking the babies they birthed. In a poor country long used as a playground by foreign predators — pedophiles, sex tourists, factory bosses, antique smugglers and, yes, human traffickers — the Cambodian authorities said they were on the lookout for exploitation....  Nearly all of those arrested in the 2018 raid gave birth while imprisoned in a military hospital, some chained to their beds. They, along with several surrogacy agency employees, were convicted of trafficking the babies. Their sentencings, two years later, came with a condition: In exchange for suspended prison terms, the surrogates would have to raise the children themselves. If the women secretly tried to deliver the children to the intended parents, the judge warned, they would be sent to prison for many years. This means that women whose financial precarity led them to surrogacy are now struggling with one more mouth to feed."

From "They Were Surrogates. Now They Must Raise the Children. In Cambodia’s weak legal system, surrogacy exists in a gray market, endangering all involved when political conditions suddenly shift and criminal charges follow" (NYT).

In one example discussed in the article, the surrogate was paid "$9,000 — about five times her annual base salary." 

Also: "Most of the Chinese babies carried by Cambodian surrogates are boys. Sex selection is banned in China, but not in Cambodia." And the agency spokesperson said: "Mixed-race children are popular with our clients." We're told "many of its egg donors came from Russia, Ukraine and South Africa. The intended fathers were Chinese, and many were gay." So the children the surrogates must raise look half-European, which the NYT says "can create additional strains."

A serious deficiency in this article: We are never give the text of the statute that Cambodia is enforcing. I see there's a quote from a sperm-donor's lawyer — "Are they serious that he is trafficking his own child?" — but it's impossible to analyze the legal question without seeing how the crime is defined in the statute. That's not about what the English words "human trafficking" seem to mean to us!

25 comments:

n.n said...

Transgender, trans/social, and transnational diversity. Wombs, banks, and social progress. We've come along way, baby, full circle.

Mr Wibble said...

Surrogacy is evil.

Mr Wibble said...

Surrogacy is about the industrialization of reproduction and exploitation of poor women for the benefit of the left wing classes. It's dehumanizing.

Joe Smith said...

Doesn't sound like the legal system is 'weak.'

n.n said...

Transnational diversitists painting with the indelible paint of social progress is an artifact of State's Choice, then her Choice, and transgender desire to remain viable.

Joe Smith said...

Pass a law that allows only trans-women to be surrogates.

You can still have surrogacy but no babies.

Problem solved...

dwshelf said...

It's dehumanizing.

What's dehumanizing is when one seeks invoke government authority to prevent a human being from making a free choice.

wendybar said...

Oh those poor, poor rich women. Where are they going to be able to buy their designer babies now??

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

Why didn’t the government just ask the women to abort?

Caroline said...

@Mr Wibble beat me to it. This, x 100.
I’m seeing billboards for surrogacy in university towns.
It is human trafficking. Full stop.

who-knew said...

Surrogacy is one of the more egregious examples of treating children as a luxury good and, in my opinion, it's general social acceptance a sign of our moral rot.

Owen said...

What would Dickens have done with this material?!?

Birches said...

The 9k should help feed the extra mouth, no?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Babies are intended for a man and woman who are committed to each other and the child for the rest of their lives.

That's not how it always works in practice -- I am the product of sperm donation and am the mother of an adopted child -- but trying to make new rules based on the desires of adults is causing tremendous damage.

Narayanan said...

imagine if the 1619 wipeepo culture had access to surrogacy and outsource par·tu·ri·tion
[ˌpärCHo͝oˈriSH(ə)n]
NOUN FORMAL TECHNICAL
the action of giving birth to young; childbirth:

at the time they could only use slaves as wet nurseing resource?!

n.n said...

The "patriarchy", transgender/homosexual males, working with feminists working with masculinists to subjugate the "sisterhood" with promises of abortion, surrogacy, and redistributive change ("trickle-down economics") for social progress. There are precedents. Good for the nationalists to protect the people: women, men, and children from transnational exploitation revisited.

Kate said...

Renting a womb is, as Wibble says, evil. Designer babies, none of them Cambodian, are created with no connection to the natural suffering of a pregnancy and taken home after the delivery like a bespoke suit.

I'm unclear on Narayanan's point, but if it's to compare surrogate pregnancy to wet nursing, no. They're very different things.

Spiros said...

Radical feminists and the Catholic Church both oppose surrogacy for similar, paternalistic reasons. These people believe that the practice is inherently degrading to women -- the surrogates are too stupid or poor or whatever to fully consent and in any case don’t know what they are doing. It is obvious that these people are terrible and they suck. Thankfully, most Americans believe it is illegitimate to limit access to these techniques.

There are close to 1 million frozen embryos in the U.S.A. There is massive demand for surrogacy. It is time to liberalize surrogacy laws and bring them into conformity with the desires of most Americans. Radical feminists and the super religious types can head over to Twitter and just rage over there. The rest of us with will file surrogacy under it's none of your business (i.e., right to privacy) and the right to contract.

Dave Begley said...

Par for the course in this century.

tommyesq said...

Pregnant women handcuffed to beds - thus is literally the Handmaid's Tale. I am sure Hulu will update their show to absolve Whiite America accordingly.

Nice said...

I'm not a radical feminist, or religious, but there are problems in trying to contract and monetize babies. Surrogacy is great when everyone's happy, and expectations are met. But as in life, things inevitably go wrong. Financial issues that crop up, surprise illnesses that were never disclosed. Many disclosure issues---when I worked in Family Court years ago. Parties seemed to feel entitled to unlimited recourse, but it always seemed bizarre, to me, to apply the Uniform Commerce Code to a human life.

We've essentially legalized a glorified Black-market Baby system. That might be ok, if parties accepted the consequences, and not look to Judges to fix inherent hiccups.

JAORE said...

Wait for the transplant organ markets to be exposed.

A few babies? Feh. That is nuttin...

Tom T. said...

We apply financial value to human life all the time. Suppose one of the commenters here conceives a child during a drunken hookup in the back of a car - you know, the way God intended. If the worst happened and that baby was harmed or killed by someone else's negligence, we can be quite sure that they would monetize that baby and seek compensation. No one would look askance at that transaction; indeed, it would be seen as right and expected.

Yes, surrogacy can go wrong sometimes and lead to legal complications. So can conventional pregnancy. Paternity suits are as old as time.

"Designer" babies is nonsense -- an indication of how little thought has gone into this animosity. Every parent in the world designed their baby to the exact same extent as a surrogate, when they chose a partner. No one has sex at random.

n.n said...

Wait for the transplant organ markets to be exposed.

Whether State's Choice or her Choice, Human rites are performed for social, redistributive, clinical (e.g. cannibalism), political, and fair weather causes.

n.n said...

the Handmaid's Tale.

Keep women affordable, available, and taxable, and the "burden" of evidence aborted, perhaps cannibalized, and sequestered in darkness, most recently observed after an underage girl was raped, then crossed state lines to reach an abortion clinic in a sanctuary state, and through federal governments services to facilitate [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] immigration reform policy.