either cannot — or is unwilling to — gonthrough nine months of pregnancy:nhence surrogate motherhood contracts.nAlthough most Western nationsnhave outlawed this practice, surrogacyncontracts have become a thriving businessnin the United States. Very fewnstates have regulated surrogacy, andnonly a handful, such asMichigan, havenoutlawed it. Virginia recently passed anlaw (with a 1993 enactment date)nlegitimizing the practice. Nationwide,nthe absence of laws and the lack ofnregulation have resulted in a practicenwhere a paid mediator, also known as anbaby “broker,” brings a couple togethernwith a woman who agrees to conceivenand carry a child for them for anfee or other compensation. No state ornfederal laws require that the broker bencredentialed, although Virginia’s newnlaw uniquely eliminates the broker innthe transaction.nThe surrogate mother is usually, butnnot always, artificially inseminated sonthat the adopting father will be thenbiological father. However, there arenalso cases where the surrogate is impregnatednusing in vitro fertilizationntechniques, so that the adopHng mothernwill be the biological mother. Undernterms of the contract, the surrogatenmother is paid to surrender completelynthe child at birth. But as in the infamousncase of Mary Beth Whitehead,nmany surrogate mothers have foundnthat they developed a strong maternalnbond and do not want to surrender thenbaby. Diane Rothberg, a surrogatenmother from Massachusetts, tesHfiednof her grief after being forced to surrendernthe child:nThe pain that comes from thesenmoments is not the same painnthat comes with the loss of anvision or a right, but the loss ofna real human being . . . the lossnof a mother to a child, and anchild to a mother. As I gonthrough the everyday paces ofnparenthood, the pain of the lossndoes not ease. I realize what Inam missing and the loss I suffer.nAn increasing number of surrogatenmothers have gone to court — wherenjudges are expected to make Solomonicndecisions — to gain custody of theirnchild or even visiting rights. One recentncase involved the birth of fraternal twinsnwho were separated because the adopt­ning parents already had boys and did notnwant another one, and a celebratedndivorce case in California involved thensurrogate, the biological father, and thenadoptive mother all vying for custody.nOther tragedies have occurred. PatnMounce, a Virginian, had a daughternwho was a surrogate under a commercialncontract. Both the daughter and thenbaby she carried died. As Pat testifiednbefore a Virginia legislative committee:nShe had been ill and very tirednmost of the eight months shencarried the baby, whom shennamed Jackie. And by the way,nshe bought baby clothes; Denisenwas changing her mind. Shencalled her obstetrician’s officenseveral times in September ofn1987. She was six and one-halfnmonths pregnant. She wasncomplaining of chest pains andnher racing heartbeat. Thenrecords show she was in annabsolute panic. And the onlyntreatment Denise received wasnfrom a nurse who told her tontake slow, deep breaths. Sixnweeks later she died of acutenheart failure.nAlthough infertility is the primary reasonngiven for commercial childbearing,nsingles, homosexual couples, and thosenwho are not infertile also participate.nOpponents of commercial surrogacyncharge that the practice is not in the bestninterest of the child, and exploits womennand the poor. Andrew Kimbrell, annattorney with the Foundation on EconomicnTrends, describes a typical contract:n”The very first provision says thatnthe woman agrees not to perform anparental bond with the child that shenbears — by contract, for ten thousandndollars. The other provisions includenforced amniocentesis (forced geneticntesting) and then abortion on demandnof the customer.”nKimbrell adds that it is not thenwealthy who become paid surrogatenmothers: “Women who are often economicallyndisenfranchised or who arenin adverse emoHonal states are beingnvictimized by these businessmen [thenbrokers], and who are being enticed bynthe ten thousand dollar fee or by somenpersonal circumstance.” Pat Mouncenadds that one never sees, for example,n”a Beverly Hills socialite carrying anchild for a New Jersey garbage collec­nnntor.” Kimbrell concludes, “What wenreally risk here is forming — and I putnthis in quotations — a ‘breeder class’ ofnwomen who, for a fee, will act in thisnrole.”nThe search for the perfect andnplanned child now extends to planningnthe perfect sex of the child. The practicenof sex-selection abortions — thosenperformed when the unborn child isnnot the “preferred” gender — is nonlonger the exclusive domain of foreignncountries, such as India and China.nReports indicate that the practice isnspreading throughout the UnitednStates.nWhen prenatal genetic testing began,nsex-determination was madenthrough amniocentesis performed betweenn15 and 18 weeks of pregnancy.nAbortions resulting from such testingnwere performed in the second or thirdntrimester. But with the increased use ofna new procedure, chorionic villi samplingn(CVS), sex-determination can benmade as early in the pregnancy asnseven to nine weeks. A woman cannnow choose an abortion in the firstntrimester when it is emotionally lessndifficult to abort—before she feelsnmovement or bonds with the child.nAccording to Dr. Wayne Miller, directornof the prenatal diagnostic laboratorynof Massachusetts General HospitalnSchool of Medicine, the chorionic biopsiesncan be performed before “anynidentification of pregnancy in thenmother’s mind or the minds of hernfriends and family. The urge to use itnfor fetal sex determination is going tonbe much higher.”nIncidents of sex-selection abortionsnare not just isolated cases. The FortnWorth Star Telegram (March 12,n1989) reports: “Dr. Michael Roth, anDetroit obstetrician, says he will do annabortion for the purpose of sex selection.n’You have a million abortionsndone every year. The majority arenhealthy. The reason they are terminatednis because the woman has a reasonnand in most cases it is not because ofnthe baby’s health — so why shouldn’tna . . . woman who . . . wants an abortionnfor fetal sexing have that option?'”nThe Lancaster Sunday News (Januaryn22, 1989) quoted the administrator ofnHarrisburg Reproductive Health Servicesnof Pennsylvania as saying of sexselectionnabortions: “It’s okay.with us.nWe are not here to judge their rea-nMARCH 1992/49n