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Surrogate Motherhood

September 17, 1987

The question of surrogate motherhood, from a legal standpoint, is merely one of a contractual relationship--at least, without getting into the doubtless many different moral and personal opinions, this would be the case. Therefore, surrogate mothers who have signed a contract are legally obliged to give up the baby. I cannot imagine that these women, each with their own children, did not know what it would be like to carry a child and give birth. Knowing what they did about pregnancy and childbirth, they willingly signed a contract, fully aware of what it entailed.

Reneging on that contract after the birth, such as Mary Beth Whitehead in the "Baby M" case, is selfish, illegal and extremely unprofessional. For that is what these women have opted to become: professional childbearers. And then they suddenly decide they cannot handle it--that should have been something they thought of before they signed the contracts.

MANYA S. CHYLINSKI

Pomona

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