While Jennifer Lahl is promoting her highly criticized documentary, “Breeders: A Sub-Class of Women,” in her attempt to outlaw surrogacy, there is a long line of couples and women who are insulted by her film and comments.
Susan Donaldson James of ABC News reported, “Lahl explores the issue of third-party reproduction, focusing on several women whose experiences point to what she sees as flaws in the surrogacy process. She argues that surrogacy has become a baby-buying operation that allows wealthy couples to exploit vulnerable women, often those of lesser means.”
James went on to quote Lahl who told ABC News, “It’s obviously expensive technology and people with financial means want what they want.”
This statement, among others, has sparked controversy.
A couple from Chesterfield County in VA, decided to speak out regarding Lahl’s documentary and her attempt to outlaw surrogacy. Jenn and Brad Nixon have undergone a seven-year fight with infertility. The heartbreak of failed pregnancy attempts rendered them defeated until they chose the surrogate pathway. Now, their dreams of parenthood are coming true.
The WRIC reported, “The Nixon’s chose to use a surrogate, or gestational carrier, after they learned Jenn’s heart problems would make it dangerous for her to get pregnant.”
Jenn told 8News that she disagreed with the recent Lahl claims, one of which was that the process of surrogacy to help a couple become parents was a “baby-buying operation” which took advantage of and exploited women.
In the interview, Jenn told 8News, “It isn’t fair to generalize and make it seem like every surrogacy situation is that way. My experience and the people I know, they’re doing it because that’s the only way they can have a biological child and I think it’s a wonderful thing.”
Jenn, excited about becoming a mother through surrogacy, has blogged about her experiences, and ultimately, her pure gratitude after finding a woman to help. Also weaved within the blog, are the couples’ anguish during their years of infertility.
While Lahl highlights how affluent couples are using and exploiting surrogate services, more objections are raised from couples who have experienced infertility who are not in this income bracket.
Infertility is a disease affecting more than 7 million Americans.
Couples like the Nixon family don’t have the luxury of a padded bank account. They are crunching numbers to have a surrogate.
Jenn told 8News, “We are budgeting it out and I’m estimating it’s going to cost $40,000 for us to do this. With my husband being a police officer and me on a small salary, this is going to be loans. But we’re gonna make it happen.”
Couples facing infertility who use a surrogate should not be confused with “Social Surrogacy,” a term used to describe women capable of pregnancy and carrying to full term, but choose not to.
The couples who need a surrogate because of a fertility disease strongly outweigh this group.
8News went on to say that the $40,000 estimation will pay for medical care, only. Jenn and Brad are not paying their surrogate –she does not want the money.
“She’s [surrogate] helping the couple because she believes it’s the right thing to do,” the article stated.
Jenn went on to say in her interview that rather than focusing on the negative comments regarding surrogacy, she and her husband have another focus in mind: to be a family once and for all.
Lahl, who is also a pediatric critical care nurse, voices concerns of a “primal wound” when a baby is taken away from its gestational surrogate.
Much criticism has also surfaced regarding this claim, including the view on adoptions. While Lahl reinforces her religious beliefs, some of familiar faiths argue at the same side of the table. Their question is what is the difference between “this separation scenario” when a woman decides to give her baby up for adoption or that of a surrogate?
Once a baby ends up in the arms of its parents, the nurturing love continues.