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'The Case of Baby M'

February 09, 1987

Your editorial raises a question of whether society should permit a surrogate-parenting arrangement. In response to that question, I should like to share with your readers the following statement adopted by the California Assn. of Adoption Agencies.

This association was organized in 1963 to promote sound adoption practices and to serve the best interests of children. Comprised of members, both lay and professional, with extensive experience in adoption, the association has taken a position opposing any action that might sanction the practice of surrogate parenting. The association believes conception with the intent of abandoning maternal responsibility should not be consecrated by the laws of any state.

Professional adoption practice has long recognized the "best interests of the child" as paramount. Existing child welfare law is structured to reflect this. Current debate regarding surrogate parenting is devoid of discussion concerning the needs and the rights of the children. Our association believes the concept of surrogate parenting has not incorporated the "best interests of the child" and therefore, any steps endorsing this practice would facilitate a brokering industry that would exercise wholesale disregard for the children involved.

Legislation is needed to oppose the concept of surrogate parenting and the contracts that have been created in an effort to legitimize the process. The same custody, paternity, and adoption laws should apply to all children, regardless of how they are conceived. The California Assn. of Adoption Agencies is against any actions, including legislated protection, contrived to minimize the risks related to the custody of children, the support of children, the responsibility of children, and the rights of children. The California Assn. of Adoption Agencies is strongly opposed to the concept of surrogate parenting, thereby discouraging profiteering and the exploitation of those who are searching for solutions not easily found.

REUBEN PANNOR

Vice Chairman

California Assn.

of Adoption Agencies

Fresno

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