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Surrogate Motherhood

September 17, 1987

Re "Surrogate Mothers: 'Let's Stop This' " by Elizabeth Mehren, Sept. 1: Elizabeth Kane's reflections on her experience as a surrogate mother have brought another issue to the forefront of the controversy surrounding the practice of surrogacy. The rights of the children involved--not only the children born as a result of surrogacy contracts, but their half-brothers and half-sisters as well, must be considered.

Can a child feel secure when he learns that his sister or brother was "sold" to another family? How will Baby Sara-Melissa ("Baby M") reconcile the undoubtedly conflicting emotions that will arise when she is old enough to understand the extraordinary circumstances of her birth, and the historic battle between all of her parents for her custody?

Since the consequences of "wombs for hire" cannot be measured in terms of these children, we cannot permit the practice of surrogacy to continue for the sole gratification (and renumeration) of the adults involved.

Although my parents would never have considered it, I am grateful, as the oldest of three children, to have been born before it was possible for either my brother or sister to have been "exchanged for a $10,000 check."

KAREN LAWSON

Los Angeles

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