Monetizing Surrogates

Report by

Katherine Bussard

Ex. Director & COO

Lawmakers in Lansing, MI are considering sweeping changes to Michigan’s surrogacy laws. Currently, individuals may utilize altruistic surrogacy, where someone carries and births a child for another as a selfless act of kindness. Similar to laws governing organ donation, prohibiting the exchange of money helps prevent human trafficking and other crimes. When the child is born, a legal adoptive process ensures that the child is, in fact, being paced in a fit home.

In contrast, the proposed bills would allow surrogates to be paid for their services and would allow the children resulting from surrogacy to effectually be sold through legally binding contracts.  The “intended parents” would no longer participate the adoptive process; the contract would legally make the child theirs from conception. Intended parents could take the child from the surrogate mother at birth and raise them anywhere in the world without the State ensuring their ability to provide and care for the child.

Scripture teaches that “Children are a heritage from the LORD (Psalm 127:3),” but the joy of parenting is a great blessing that should never be considered a right to which one is entitled. While expanding access to parenting to those who struggle with fertility remains a noble and compassionate aspiration, government has a duty to think about more than just the desires of adults who wish to become parents. The proposed law does not allow a birth mother to have her own legal counsel; she must rely on an attorney paid for by the intended parents, which creates an inherent conflict of interest. Monetizing surrogacy also presents multiple human rights concerns, including how to protect disadvantaged women from selling the rights to their bodies and how to protect children when no party of the contract negotiations represents their interests. Perhaps of greater concern, paid surrogacy legalizes selling children as the principal property of a contract, a practice outlawed with the abolition of the slave trade and the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

 House Bills 5207-5215 have been passed by the House of Representatives and are now before the Michigan Senate.  The SLG Sentinel Policy Center will continue to monitor and report on this important legislation.           

About the Author

Katherine Bussard
Ex. Director & COO
As Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Salt & Light Global, Katherine works to disciple servant-leaders in all walks of life, equipping them to share the redemptive love and truth of Jesus. She facilitates training in good governance for communities around the state, mentors other Christian women in leadership, and champions sound public policy. In speaking, writing, and serving, Katherine seeks to encourage the body of Christ to see all of who they are what they do through God’s Word. Katherine resides with her husband and partner in Kingdom service, Jeff.

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