While I am not sure Dr. Phil is even a real doctor, nor am I completely sure I care - today's episode caught my attention this evening as I flip...flip...flipped for something to watch. The Enquirer-esque caption exploited "Criminal, Kidnapper and 100% Wrong - Surrogate Mom Faces Her Critics".
Well, THIS I gotta hear!
I should have kept flipping.
I say this, because it was truly the first time I had put any serious thought into the matter. The practice of a surrogacy is; however, quite literally as old as the hills. The original "Baby Mama" can be found nowhere else but in the Bible itself! I think they skipped over that part in Sunday school.
Wikipedia describes it as a "method of reproduction". I had to stop and think about that one. Not because I didn't understand the words, but there was no adjective describing the method as being "alternative". It struck me as an unfamiliar and uncomfortable realty. How very sheltered and naive of me.
Wiki goes on to describe the different kinds of surrogacy. Dr. Phil's lucky guest of honor was a gestational surrogate whereas she was not the biological mother. Egg and sperm were both from a 3rd party donation service. Again, I had to stop and think; putting two and two together just wasn't adding up for me.
I get why a person (an intended parent) would want to share the entire journey from conception to birth with and/or through another (a surrogate parent) as the closest thing to their own experience when the hope of that is gone. Believe me, I get it so much. I get why sometimes one of the intended may not physically be able to be a part of either the conception or the birth - in which case the intended's partner could at least be a part in the conception of a surrogate. I have no problem with that. What I don't get is having zero biological connection for either intended parent in the case where one of them IS physically capable regardless of how desperately one or the other wants the experience. It is selfish to the world. There are just way too many children who simply need a loving home.
There are just too many legal and moral debate topics brought up in the show to cover in one sitting. My brain stopped at the above and is now hurting from the rest. What I did get from the drama was some of my own insight, albeit personal and some good resources for more information.
Now on to some REAL reality: High School Reunion on TV Land!
The Dr. Phil Show
Center for Surrogate Parenting