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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 “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