WA Surrogates Are Not For Sale: More News on HB 1267
Posted Mar 18 2011 10:01am
Another trip to Olympia on March 15th for the public hearing on HB 1267 to legalize surrogacy in the great state of WA. This time there were many people and groups in opposition to the bill...some wearing bright orange NOT FOR SALE stickers (men as well as women). I wanted to stand up and say that no one is for sale here but that would have landed on ears attached to a mind that was already made up. I learned first hand by trying to have a conversation with Senator Pam Roach. She is the mother of 5 and I believe has 13 grandchildren and has no intention, it seems, to vote yes on HB 1267 . Upon hearing the little "vignettes" (her words) she seemed to be an active listener but those true experiences, as told from the Intended Parents point of view, didn't seem as important as her own agenda. One of many statements she made was that because heterosexual couples are required to have a medical reason to "pay" a surrogate then so should homosexuals. (Even the NOT FOR SALE people around me snickered at this for obvious reasons.) She also asked if the bill covered the carrying of "cloned embryos". Yes, we really went there...briefly.
There was also a mother and her son testifying, Jennifer and Jon, and they both did a wonderful job of explaining why a surrogate was needed to bring Jon into the world. I was really impressed by Jon's willingness to speak up for surrogacy and I know from previous testimony that this family has a loving friendship with their surrogate and family in CA.
Some of the people featured in this Seattle Times report from Monday March 14th were at this public hearing. Although this article states that I think the bill "goes overboard" that isn't the case. There are quite a few provisions in this HB 1267 that you would see in a very well written contract between surrogates and intended parents. Those same issues are simply reiterated here, however the one thing I would remove from this bill is the entire section pertaining to Traditional Surrogacy. (Where a woman uses her own eggs.) I just feel that the state is borrowing trouble with the way it is worded here. Traditional Surrogacy, in my opinion belongs under the adoption laws. (But that's just me...)
I am hoping that this bill at least makes it to the senate floor for a vote...that didn't happen last year. And if it doesn't pass this year there is always next but that is cold comfort to those who need surrogates now and really don't have the means to travel out of state.