Jennifer Lahl, president of CBC (The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network) reported a fundraising campaign on GoFundme created by Ashlee Hammonds, president of Family Makers Surrogacy. Below is the request:
“In May 2021, an amazing three-time surrogate lost her life in childbirth due to a rare, but serious delivery complication called amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). She leaves behind her children, mom, siblings, coworkers, a large, supportive extended family, and countless friends.
In her words, she had described her experience as a gestational carrier as “one of the most important, rewarding experiences” of her life. (…) For now, the family asks that all details of her identity (and theirs) remain anonymous, and ask that their privacy be respected (….)”.
The details of this woman’s death are limited. We know that she was supposed to deliver the baby on the day of her death. We do not know if she was carrying one or more babies, or the fate of them once they were born. It is said that her daughter is about to turn 16 and that she has had children, although we are not told how many.
We also know that the lack of information regarding this story is no accident. There is no monitoring and traceability of deaths caused by surrogacy. This woman will simply end up among the deaths from childbirth complications: it is in the interest of surrogacy companies not to disclose the “hitches” of these “very rewarding” experiences.
One study (Perinatal outcomes after natural conception versus in vitro fertilization (IVF) in gestational surrogates: a model to evaluate IVF treatment versus maternal effects) pointed out that when comparing a woman’s pregnancy with her children with her surrogate pregnancies, these women have higher rates of hypertension, gestational diabetes, and placenta previa. These put both mother and baby in a high-risk category.
Jennifer Lahl tried in vain to get more information about the case, but in a flash a censorship disguised as the right to privacy of the people involved was activated. We share the doubts raised by Jennifer and, like her, we reiterate the questions to Ashlee Hammonds that have not yet been fully answered:
– Why when you set up the GoFundMe account were you trying to raise $45,000 and within a few hours, you dropped that amount to $25,000?
– How do you set the price for your GoFundMe account, what exactly is the value of her life and how did you determine that?
– What is your agency’s policy around informing surrogates of the serious health risks, especially in the case of a woman who has had at least three of her own children and is embarking upon her third surrogacy pregnancy, compounding these risks to her poor body?
– Does your agency or did the intended parents carry a life insurance policy, and if not, why not? And if so, for how much?
– What is your obligation to the orphans left behind?
Yes, orphans who received 21,000 dollars for the death of their mother. Here is the value of a mom for these companies!