I have been uncharacteristically silent on the news that two attorneys and another individual have plead guilty to charges that they were operating a baby selling ring. However, I just got off the phone with someone I respect who reminded me that professionals in this industry have an obligation to speak out and highlight the distinction between lawful surrogacy arrangements and the illegal manufacturing of babies for sale, lest those suffering from infertility lose the ability to access these technologies.
I will share my reasons for my initial silence in subsequent posts. For now, I would encourage any Surrogate and Intended Parent who had a child through the assistance of Theresa Erickson, Carla Chambers and Hillary Nieman to immediately speak to an independent attorney regarding the validity of any pre-birth order obtained on your behalf. It is now public knowledge that these orders were obtained through the use of materially false representations to the San Diego Superior Court. As such, the underlying legitimacy of these judgments conferring parental rights might be compromised.
While I will speak out further about these issues over the next week, it is important to remember that what transpired over the past decade with respect to this baby trafficking ring was not remotely related to the field of surrogacy. This was a criminal enterprise designed to profit from the sale of human life and was accomplished by abusing legitimate legal procedures to sanitize an illegal act. There will be many that will try to conflate the two to advance an ulterior agenda. Professionals in this field, dedicated to family creation, need to speak out in a unified voice to condemn what occurred and highlight the aberrational nature of this event.