Controversy: Couple Pushed Surrogate To Abort Their Fetus Because It Had Down Syndrome

Sun, October 10, 2010 8:32am EDT by 80 Comments

When a Canadian couple learned that the baby their surrogate was carrying had Down syndrome, they urged her to get an abortion. What would you do in that situation, HollyMoms?

Stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick aren’t the only parents expanding their families with the aid of a surrogate mother. When a couple in British Columbia couldn’t conceive a baby on their own, they turned to a surrogate to carry their child. Like most people who decide to go the surrogate route, they got lawyers and wrote up a contract. Everything was going just fine until the couple learned that the fetus, which was still in its first trimester, would most likely be born with Down syndrome, reports the National Post. “They were certainly quite shocked,” says their fertility specialist, Dr. Seethram of the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine. The parents-to-be felt that it was in the best interest of everyone involved to terminate the pregnancy. Unfortunately the surrogate mother disagreed.

Sarah Jessica Parker is the proud mom to twins – thanks to a surrogate!

She was determined to carry the baby to term. “The baby that’s being carried is their baby. It’s usually their genetic offspring,” says Sally Rhoads, a former surrogate who helps parents and mothers make arrangements through SurrogacyInCanada.ca. “Why should the intended party be forced to raise a child they didn’t want? It’s not fair.” Yet, because of the legal contract they all signed, the surrogate’s decision to keep the baby would mean that the biological parents would no longer be responsible for raising the child, and she’d be free to raise the child as her own.

Neil Patrick Harris is going to be a dad to twin girls this fall via a surrogate

Eventually the surrogate, who has two biological children of her own, did agree to get an abortion. While it’s a shame that the surrogate had to go through a procedure that she wasn’t in favor of, it’s hard to imagine a way to resolve this situation where everyone would have been OK with the outcome. What would you have done if you were the surrogate or the couple involved?

–Amy L. Harper

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Kasandra

Posted at 7:06 PM on January 31, 2012  

I would have kept the baby and raised it myself. Abortion is murder and i would not have signed anything that said abortion wold be nessesary for any reason.

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Shawn

Posted at 12:01 PM on September 1, 2011  

If there were down syndrome babies in the world, or people with AIDS, or ADHD etc… How would doctors research and bother to find a cure. That stuff creates jobs too

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Anna

Posted at 3:14 AM on September 1, 2011  

I get so angry that so many people feel that it is ok to take anyone’s life. If a person with downs syndrome is murdered, is the murderer less guilty? Do they serve less time for “doing society a favor”? I was adopted and I thank God that my birth mother had enough love to live with me those months while she was pregnant so that I could fulfill my own purpose in life. I mean really, if college students put up with roomates they don’t like for a year, a woman should be able to “sacrifice” just a little and take responsibility for her “mistake” for 40 weeks! And if you have a surrogate carrying the baby for you it is wrong to put the surrogate in that decision making position after the fact – especially if they know the truth – that abortion is MURDER!

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wolfcat87

Posted at 11:21 PM on August 31, 2011  

I would have carried it to term and the baby would have been adopted out.

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Shannon

Posted at 8:28 PM on August 31, 2011  

That early on in the pregnancy, it’s only a test you can take that tells you there is a high probability the child will have down syndrome. A family member of mine was told she would have a child w/ down syndrome, the beautiful baby girl was born completely healthy w/ out down syndrome. Wouldn’t it be a shame if this baby in the article was aborted for no rhyme or reason b/c a test showed high probabilities for this/that. I don’t agree with these tests at all, I chose not to test during my second pregnancy b/c I would never have aborted my children (twins) no matter the outcome of any test.

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irene

Posted at 8:35 PM on October 24, 2012  

Yes, something like a triple sec test? Mine also came out positve, so I did nothing but tons of reading on Downs so I knew what I was in for. Well months later I had my 9 pound healthy baby girl, it comes to find out the test is worth nothing. Years later my neighbor got the same news as I did, I told her what happend to me, and also told her to please read about the test, Thank God she did, another healthy baby girl.

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None

Posted at 11:17 AM on August 31, 2011  

If everyone thinks logically instead of emotionally, the world would be a much better place. What right does anyone have to burden society with a disabled person, for tax payers to pay the person’s medical and education expenses for life. What right does society have to force parents to watch a disabled child never reaching their potential, never having their own children and die before the parents will. The burden to society and the child is too great to keep a disabled embryo.

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Mom of child with DS

Posted at 11:51 AM on August 31, 2011  

I rarely read stories like this and I don’t know how I got to this one. Fate I think. Children with disabilities certainly are born with differing levels of ability, but the greatest threat to their ABILITY is people who assume they can’t learn, can’t be self-sufficient and stereotype them all. My daughter who has Down Syndrome does not receive money from any of your tax dollars and she receives very little help from the school system either. If I want her to learn to read I have to teach her how. And she can read by the way. She is going to grow up strong, independent and able to take care of herself. You have NO IDEA what you are talking about. God help anyone in your life who might ever have a problem. A stroke can happen to anyone at any age and render them “disabled”. Pray your parents, your wife and your children (if you have any) never have a medical problem or become disabled in any way. They certainly won’t get any help from you.

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Okie

Posted at 12:17 PM on August 31, 2011  

Thank you for your spot on comment. You said the things I was feeling, but unqualified to say. God bless you for your courage and obvious love. Thanks again.

 
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"Burden To Society"

Posted at 3:50 PM on August 31, 2011  

I suffer from at least seven (i haven’t counted) different chronic medical conditions. I cannot work, i cannot drive a car, and i cannot go to school. My high school kicked me out when i was a junior because i was “a liability”…. By your logic, if my parents could have forseen this when i was just an embryo, they should have aborted me? I have no right to live, and you do? you cannot separate logic and emotion. or you’re going to end up with a world full of bigots like you.

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Tomayto

Posted at 5:59 PM on August 31, 2011  

So thinking logically is the only way to think? Children born with DS only know how to love, their beings exude it. How crass and uncaring to view them as a burden to society; you are less human than they are, you disgraceful piece of garbage.

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Ker

Posted at 11:26 AM on March 25, 2011  

I have a family member with down’s syndrome. He is sweet and I love him very much. But if I were expecting and was told the fetus had down’s syndrome, I would seriously consider an abortion.

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Jules

Posted at 4:39 PM on January 16, 2011  

Abortion may be legal but that doesn’t stop it from being murder and it also ruins the life of the mother forever as well.

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Anna

Posted at 11:20 AM on December 14, 2010  

Years — many years — ago, Diane Sawyer did a piece on Down’s where the woman gave a ‘cocktail’ of every known treatment for Down’s known to help Down’s syndrome children and administered it daily. Her child’s face lost the ‘flat’ appearance and by the time she was school age, went to a normal school and made average grades. This story has been buried in the year’s since — but many people help these children and they are fine. For those that aren’t treated to become ‘normal,’ they are the sweetest, kindest, most precious beings on this planet. To Dan who is masquerading as a spokesman for God, I have this to say to you — and these words are straight from the Bible:
“Be not forgetful to entertain angels for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” Hebrews 13:2. You may also recognize this as the title of a book written by Dale Evans, wife of Roy Rogers, who chose it as the title of her book about their adopted child who had — you guessed it — Down’s Syndrome. P.S. Dan — the Bible CONDEMNS ABORTION. Further, it says that any woman who doesn’t love her own children is broken. Do us a favor, Dan, don’t try to help. Go study your Bible, instead.

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Anna

Posted at 11:25 AM on December 14, 2010  

That should read BE NOT FORGETFUL TO ENTERTAIN STRANGERS for THEREBY MANY HAVE ENTERTAINED ANGELS UNAWARE. Sorry for the typo.

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Barbara

Posted at 12:32 AM on August 31, 2011  

Robin was Roy Rogers and Dale Evans’ only biological child, not adopted.

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Serena

Posted at 9:57 AM on December 3, 2010  

Why do Liberals preach “tolerence and diversity” and “being accepting of people who are born different” and then tell me that people with Down Syndrome are just a WASTE OF SPACE?

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Sarah

Posted at 11:18 AM on October 20, 2010  

It says the baby would most likely be born with down syndrome. It didnt say the baby DID have down syndrome. Im against abortion and the baby should not have been killed but everyone has their own opinion…

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