Eugenics by surrogacy – Australian style

It was an Australian couple in this case but of course there are many who use surrogacy in Thailand and other poor countries to carry out procedures they cannot in their own countries. In nearly all cases of surrogacy the mother is required to abort if a serious medical problem is detected.

In the Sydney Morning Herald:

Gammy, a six-month-old baby abandoned by his Australian parents, could die because his impoverished Thai surrogate mother cannot pay for medical treatment for his congenital heart condition.

The child will never know his twin sister, who was born healthy with him in a Bangkok hospital and has been taken away by their parents, who are living anonymously in Australia.

The story of how 21-year-old Pattharamon Janbua was cheated by a surrogacy agent in Bangkok and left to try to save the life of her critically unwell baby has emerged as Thai authorities move to crack down on IVF clinics, …… 

Ms Pattharamon says three months after a doctor injected the Australian woman’s fertilised egg into her uterus, she discovered she was having twins. The agent promised her an additional $1673 to have the second baby.

The couple asked the Thai mother to abort the Downs syndrome twin which she was not prepared to do.

Four months into the pregnancy, doctors doing routine checks discovered one of the babies had Down syndrome. They told the Australian parents, who said they did not want to take the boy, according to a source familiar with the case.  

“They told me to have an abortion but I didn’t agree because I am afraid of sin,” Ms Pattharamon says, referring to her Buddhist beliefs. 

This couple probably should be barred from being parents but their genes are being carried forward.

How many surrogate conceptions are aborted is not known but they happen –  it is thought – mainly because a medical defect in the fetus has been detected.  However, it is known that many surrogate clinics do select for the sex of the child and babies of the undesired gender are also aborted. Many of the Thai surrogacies for Australians are for same-sex couples. I don’t believe that any child – if given and capable of an informed choice – would prefer to do without a father or a mother.

Currently around 25-30% of all “normal “human conceptions are aborted. But most of these are abortions for convenience rather than for defects in the fetus. If being a reluctant mother has a genetic component then every abortion is also a genetic deselection of reluctant mothers.

Related: On birth rates, abortions and “eugenics by default”

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