Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What is your opinion on this one?

You have probably read or heard about this story in the news. But what I want to know is, do you agree with what Dr. Laura had to say about it? Read what she wrote below. (Thank you to my friend Darlene for sending this to me.)

Remember, this is Dr. Laura speaking now:

Unintentional Surrogate Motherhood

October 7, 2009 on 11:21 am

"A short time into her pregnancy, a married woman in Ohio was told by her husband that he had just received a call from the fertility clinic which helped them attain this pregnancy. The clinic “goofed,” and the baby in her belly was the product of the embryo of some other couple, who now expected her to go through childbirth and hand over the baby.

This couple is quite religious and they don’t believe in abortion, so in spite of their immense personal pain, they planned to hand over the baby after it was born (they did so at the end of September, when the woman delivered a healthy baby boy).Their only request was to see and hold the baby first, as they had already formed a bond.

Shame on the clinic for making that phone call! You may be shocked at that response, but since strangers meet, fall in love, marry and spend their lives together, it’s obvious that genetics is not the prime criterion for love, or no one would be able to adopt a child.

Having been pregnant, I’ll tell you that at the absolute instant of fertilization, an intense relationship starts (and continues, in spite of morning sickness, and inevitable heartburn and constipation). This actual “birth mother” is traumatized, as is her whole family. And for what? Ownership of an embryo?

I remember a Law and Order episode where the “punch line” was that the father who raised the now-teenage boy was revealed NOT to be the biological father, and he lost custody. Shameful and cruel, I thought.

Some people think that because something is “the truth,” that it should be revealed. Not necessarily, and especially not when terrible human suffering ensues.

The “embryo” family simply could have kept trying, and there is no proof that this particular embryo would have thrived until birth in the genetic mother.

I think everyone was better off with this truth not being spoken."

Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Laura?


Anonymous said...



Lisa said...

I think the truth should be known, BUT DO NOT THINK the Birth Mother should have given up the baby! I'm with Dr. Laura saying that the other mother who wanted to bear a child should have had to bear her own child that took, not the one that someone else's despite the error. That absolutely STINKS for the birth mother & the father. Stuff like that makes me sick.

That's my gut response.

Logan said...

Let's remember now who made the error. It was the the doctor/lab error, not the women. I feel it was probably hard for both women involved, especially the mother who carried this child. The mother who carried this child created a bond, got to feel the baby move. The biological Mom missed out on all that she hoped to experience when one gets pregnant, the morning sickness, the belly getting bigger, baby moving for the first time, ultrasounds, etc.

I feel the clinic did the right thing by letting these women know and I admire the woman who carried this baby to term and handed the baby over to the biological parents. That must have been so hard but she will be blessed for it.

So, No, I don't agree with Doctor Laura!

Grandmotherfairy said...

I agree with Dr. Laura on this one...the mistake should not have been made..but it was...the heartache that was caused to both families by making that phone call could have been prevented.

Luke and Nat said...

I am SO TORN...I actually watched this story on the Today Show and was like, really? How could this happen in today's world of tech and med advances? What a huge error on someone's part and look at the heartache it is causing both families. They never really talked about if the biological family wanted more children at that time or what their status was in family life. You could just see the pain this couple had knowing that they could not keep the baby...there was a lot of underlying anger too...I don't know who's right in this scenario, I think whoever made this mistake with the embryos should really be held accountable somehow...and the birth mother was saying (i think) how she only has a certain amount left and the odds of her getting prego now were slim after this birth...or something...so tragic! Bottom line would be where would the child want to be? With an adopted family or biological family...both of which appear healthy, happy and capable of taking care of him and raising him well.

Mary said...

I greatly admire the birth mother who bravely gave the baby up without a fight. That said, in general I do agree with Dr. Laura. It doesn't really matter whose mistake it was, the woman who carried the child should have been given total choice. I suspect this very religious mom may have chosen as she did anyway, but no one has the right to require a good woman to hand over a baby she carried and delivered!

Anonymous said...

Only God could know the answer to this one. I hope everyone involved sought His opinion.

Heidi Garvin said...

I disagree with Dr. Laura. The truth should be known. Wouldn't the couple suspect it someday, anyway? However, what stood out to me was when she said "the baby in her belly was the product of the embryo of some other couple, who now EXPECTED her to go through childbirth and hand over the baby." If I was the mother of the baby, I would be so GRATEFUL to this woman who decided to carry MY child. I would offer to do the same for her, since she could not continue to try to conceive her own baby while carrying mine. Furthermore, I would offer to pay all hospital and doctor's bills and try to bond with this woman and express my gratitude. Perhaps I would even be strong enough to view that child as a donated embryo to a couple who wanted a baby (should they want that) and continue to try to have my own child. Dr. Laura does not say much as to how the biological parents responded, but I only hope they were gracious and supportive of the women carrying not her own, but their child, due to a clinic error.

Brock said...

I agree with Amy (I think it was Amy under Logan's name). The point here is that neither the birth mother nor the biological mother caused this to happen. It was outside human error.

However, one of the mothers is going to have to pay the price for the mistake and how in the world that could ever be the one to whom the child actually belongs is beyond me. I understand that there's a bond that forms in the womb, but that does not compare to the bond that's formed in the years and years outside of it.

Yes, adoption proves that bonds can form when there is not biological relationship, but that doesn't even factor in here. Adoption is a choice that a couple makes, here there is no such choice. My heart breaks for the couple that had to endure nine months of caring for a child they could not keep, but my heart would break even more for a couple with a child they would miss for decades to come.

Now, of course in Dr. Laura's mind that's not the issue. The real issue is whether or not the truth should have been told in the first place. If it hadn't, she reasons, then such discussions wouldn't have been necessary and no one would have known the difference. I think that's an incredibly naive and evil way of thinking. Truth comes out eventually, whether we want it to or not. Whether in this life or the next, someone would discover what had happened. Imagine the hurt then.

But let's set that aside. Let's say no one would have found out. It's still WRONG. It's lying. Hiding the truth when it deserves to be told is lying. Our responsibility as God's children (or, if you prefer, as members of the human race) is not to judge when we should and should not do the right thing, it is simply do it. "Do what is right, let the consequence follow." Whatever temporary inconveniences doing the right thing causes, it is a principle of righteousness (or, if you prefer, the universe) that doing the RIGHT thing will produce the best long term results.

The key is the first two words of Dr. Laura's last sentence: "I think..." Well, thank goodness we don't have to rely on that.

Anonymous said...

I think well enough should have been left alone, but I admire this womens faith to say its your baby and I will give him to you even though my greif is long.

I think the lad and clinic owe this couple who gave the baby to the biological parents free services int he future to get a baby of there own although I would be leray after this mess up as to what might happen again.

I oray for the man and women who gave this baby to its mother and hope there god can comfort and bring them peace in there lives.

grandmapeg said...

The lab shouldn't have made a mistake in the first place, but since it did, the truth needed to come out. I feel bad for both sets of parents. I disagree with Dr. Laura. So Jill, the question I'm sure everyone that reads your blog is wondering..."do you agree or disagree?"

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I don't know what to say. I have been thinking about this all day. You know what "a can of worms" this is for me. I don't really agree with Dr. Laura. I have always believed in tell it all. I think things are better that way. I am glad they found the error before the kid was 2 or more. It the baby would have been older I don't think the people should give it back. It is too late then. I think this place should be shut down and I think the mother who had to give the baby back should get free services from this place until she has as many babies as she wants. I hope the family will keep in contact and be good friends and I hope they are very grateful to this wonderful woman.

Anonymous said...

First let me that the most compelling argument in my opinion has come from Brock. I was totally leaning the other direction until I read his comment, I too was concerned about the truth being found out in later years. But this type of thing happens when we "Play God"!

Eileen said...

I enjoy Dr. Laura and I agree with her opinion on a great many subjects BUT I totally DISAGREE on this matter. She's gone batty on this subject.
I've read many articles on these couples.
Both couples involved WANTED TO KNOW THE TRUTH! They weren't happy that this mistake happened but they were happy to be told the truth of the situation, AND THAT'S WHAT MATTERS! (I'm sorry for the CAPS, I'm not yelling, I just don't know how to make the letters bold or italicized in comments to show my emphasis).
Paul and Shannon Morell said they will be eternally grateful to Carolyn Savage for her decision to give birth and hand over the baby to them.
Carolyn said she and her husband were told about the mistake ten days after she found out she was pregnant. The Morell's found out the day after that, they were shocked to hear that Carolyn would carry the baby and give it up without question. Carolyn said there was no other decision to be made, she and her husband were adamant that they would bring this pregnancy to term. Carolyn said, "This was someone else's child, there was no question about giving the child to it's rightful parents."

I admire both couples, and my heart goes out to them.
The Savages asked for privacy as they go through this very difficult time.
I'm sure that even though they felt they were doing the right thing, in no way was it easy for them.

What a sad situation. But this sad, sick situation was made less complicated by two very good people. It really bolsters my faith in human nature.
All the best,

Jill said...

Thank you so much for all your comments!! Very interesting.

I disagree with Dr. Laura. I think instead she should have honored the couple who were so willing to give that baby to the correct parents. It was a terribly tragic mistake but this couple was willing "to do the right thing." Sure it was hard, but since when is Dr.Laura afraid of hard things? To me this was character in its finest form...doing what was right in spite of her broken heart.

Having said all of that, when it really came down to it, would I be able to give back a baby I carried for 9 months??

As far as the couple Carolyn Savage gave the baby back to...all I know is they have 2 year old twins. Until Eileen mentioned her name, I had no idea. They are doing well to stay out of the news.

Carolyn, I read, is no longer able to go through another pregnancy due to her age and medical issues.

Sue said...

I agree with the clinic, and I think the birth mother did the right thing. Painful as it would have been, that's what I would have done. And I sincerely believe she will be blessed for her goodness.


kelly said...

I disagree with her. Thinking from the biological standpoint that IS my baby. How sad for the birthmother though. There really is no perfect answer to a mistake like that one.