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Cuomo’s Surrogacy Law Ignores the Rights of Children

February 22, 2021

For Immediate Release

For More Information: media@ruthinstitute.org 

Cuomo’s Surrogacy Law Ignores the Rights of Children

“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Surrogacy law legalizes commercial, gestational surrogacy --- the buying and selling of newborns,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “We unequivocally deplore this law.”

Already in hot water over his alleged responsibility for COVID deaths in nursing homes, Cuomo refused to have the bill considered as stand-alone legislation. Instead, he had it buried in the state budget last April to avoid a debate. The new law took effect February 15.


“Gestational surrogacy is all about the rights of adults. The Governor’s self-congratulatory press release makes this very clear: he talks more about insurance than about the bonds between mothers and fathers and children,” Morse charged. “The announcement states that the surrogate has a right to health insurance provided by those renting her womb. The ‘parents’ have the right to purchase insurance to cover their financial losses in the event that the surrogate ‘fails to perform under the surrogacy contract.’ What exactly does ‘fail to perform’ mean? I suppose it means the mother wants to keep the baby.”

Morse continued, “The worst part of this bill is that rights of the child aren’t even alluded to. The child has no right to a relationship with his or her biological parents, whom the law callously refers to as ‘gamete providers.’ Let’s be clear: the ‘egg provider’ is the child’s genetic mother. The ‘sperm provider’ is the child’s genetic father. The child has no right to know his or her genetic identity and cultural heritage,” Morse observed. “The law specifically separates the child from these people.”

“And let’s be even more clear,” Morse continued. “The ‘surrogate’ is the child’s gestational mother, who carried the child in her womb for nine months. Civilized people believe it is a good thing for mothers to bond with their children in utero. The surrogacy industry, aided by the law, assures the ‘intended parents’ that the surrogate will not bond with the baby and will surrender the baby at birth.”

Morse further stated: “Supporters of surrogacy include the LGBT lobby, who refer to this law as providing ‘Family Equality.’ They want undisputed parental rights to the children they contract for, rights which can only be provided by government intervention. But Cuomo’s law creates inequalities among children: some children have a legally recognized right to know their genetic parents and others do not. The Ruth Institute categorically deplores surrogacy.”

For further background on the Cuomo surrogacy law, see:

Babies For Sale | Jennifer Lahl | First Things

Governor Cuomo passes legislation to ensure that children are legally denied rights to their mothers and fathers | Them Before Us

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact media@ruthinstitute.org.


Ruth Inst: Tragedy of Ukrainian Babies Should Make Us Seriously Question Surrogacy

May 19, 2020

For Immediate Release

For More Information: media@ruthinstitute.org

“It’s heartrending to see pictures of babies stuck in a nursery in Ukraine,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. “These children were born to surrogate mothers. But due to a ban on foreign travel, caused by the coronavirus, foreign families aren’t able to claim the babies for which they contracted.”

Surrogacy is a thriving business in Ukraine. It’s estimated that each year between 2,000 and 2,500 surrogates produce babies for foreign families. For this, they receive between $15,000 and $17,000. The companies that act as go-betweens get twice that amount.


“What should be the result of love between two people becomes a commercial transaction, where money is paid and a product delivered,” said Morse. “The child will likely never know the identity of his birth mother. He’ll never know his heritage.”

“The surrogate mother is paid to rent her womb for nine months. In poor countries like Ukraine, $15,000 to $17,000 is hard to resist. The companies that facilitate the transaction are exploiting these women,” Morse said.

She continued: “The most important immediate problem is finding a way to get these children out. If they remain institutionalized in Ukraine, who can say what will become of them.”

“After that, the public – in both the United States and Europe, where the market exists -- must begin to face the hard questions about surrogacy, which is now a $30-billion global business. Surrogacy should be banned, though the Ukrainian company is in full compliance with its government’s regulations. The buying and selling of babies is so egregious, however, you can’t put enough regulatory band-aids on it. This business does not belong in a humane society,” Morse said.

~~~

See the Ruth Institute’s May 6 release on Anderson Cooper and surrogacy.

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

See The Ruth Institute pamphlet, “Children and Donor Conception and Assisted Reproduction.”

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact media@ruthinstitute.org.


Ruth Institute Urges Public to Seriously Question Surrogacy

May 7, 2020

For Immediate Release

For More Information media@ruthinstitute.org

Commenting on the recently announced birth of a child to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., called for a serious discussion of the dangers of surrogacy.

Cooper had his son by an unnamed surrogate. In his announcement of the birth, the son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt said he was “eternally grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, watched over him lovingly, tenderly and gave birth to him.”


Morse responded, “It’s likely this woman who ‘lovingly’ carried Wyatt will have no future contact with him. That’s the way surrogacy works. A woman, often one who’s disadvantaged, is paid to carry a child to term. After birth, she is contractually obligated to surrender the child to the individual or couple who paid for him. Often the rich and powerful use the process to exploit women who are neither.”

Author Joyce Carol Oates faced backlash from an angry Twitter mob for saying, “Coverage of this good news focuses so exclusively on Anderson Cooper, you'd think that somehow dear Anderson was both father & mother. (how strange for the mother who'd been pregnant for 9 months, delivered a baby, presented Anderson w/ the baby & is now--gone.)”

Morse stated in no uncertain terms, “I agree with Joyce Carol Oates. This is female erasure. Where is the Feminist Establishment?”

Among the many problems connected with surrogacy, Morse noted, “If the doctor implants multiple eggs, hoping some of them will survive, the surrogate is sometimes contractually required to do ‘selective abortion’ on some of the babies. And what happens to the extra embryos that are created but not implanted? Some are frozen indefinitely, destroyed immediately or donated for research. There are no good alternatives here.”

Morse went on to say that the procedure objectifies women. “The gestational mother’s womb is in effect rented. Following birth, she is legally deprived of the child she carried for as long as nine months. If she changes her mind at the end of the process – well, too bad. The use of her body was paid for. She has no rights to the child, even if she becomes emotionally attached to him or her.”

There are also medical risks involved, Morse explained. “Babies conceived through In-vitro fertilization are at increased risk of premature birth, low birth weight, cerebral palsy and other problems. In some cases, those who contracted for the child, abandon him, leaving him with the surrogate, when he didn’t meet their expectations.”

These are just a few of the problems involved with surrogacy. “Introducing the profit motive into baby-making – which should be about love – has created a $30-billion business worldwide that’s largely unregulated,” Morse said.

~~~~~~~

See the Ruth Institute pamphlet, “Children and Donor Conception and Assisted Reproduction.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact media@ruthinstitute.org.


Milestone Reached: State Dept. Commission Receives Petition to Make the Family Great Again

February 25, 2020

For Immediate Release

For more information, contact media@ruthinstitute.org.

Ruth Institute Founder and President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., announced: “February 21st we reached a milestone when we presented our Make the Family Great Again petition to Mary Ann Glendon, Chairman of the State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights and former US Ambassador to the Holy See. Ambassador Glendon was grateful for our interest in the Commission's work and said our petition would be permanently stored in the State Department’s archives.”

Morse continued: “As the Beatles song goes, it’s been a ‘long and winding road’ from when we launched our petition last September, in partnership with LifePetitions, to the presentation at the State Department on Friday.”

The Commission on Unalienable Rights was appointed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to advise his department on how to incorporate an understanding of authentic human rights into its dealings with international bodies and foreign governments.

“Our petition urges the Commission to make the family its focus by acknowledging that human rights start with the family,” Morse said. It also declares that the Commission should work for an understanding of the rights which undergird the family, including:


  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents
  • The right to life from conception to natural death
  • The right of parents to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values without being undermined by the state

In addition to the 8,000+ online signers at LifePetitions.com, the petition was signed by an illustrious array of pro-family leaders in the U.S. and from around the world, including Nigeria, Malawi, Italy, Kenya, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Canada, Uganda, Trinidad, and the Republic of Georgia.

Leadership signers include:Gary Bauer (President, American Values), Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (Author, Columnist and Speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute) Jor-El Godsey (President, Heartbeat International), Governor Mike Huckabee (former Governorof Arkansas and commentator), Alveda King (Author and Activist), Michael Pakaluk (Professor, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America), Tom Morrison (Representative, Ill. District 54), Steven W, Mosher (President and Founder, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International), Steven Smoot (President, Family First Foundation), Mathew D. Staver, Esq.(Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel), and Michael Voris (Founder and President, St. Michael’s Media).

Signers from outside the United States include: Rebekah Ali-Gouveia (Pro-Family Leader, Trinidad), Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (Former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Silvio Dalla Valle (Executive Director, Association for the Defense of Christian Values, Italy), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (Board Member, Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Gwen Landolt (First Vice President, REAL Women of Canada), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Dr. Theresa Okafor (Director, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage, FACH, Nigeria), Fr. Boniface Ssenteza, (Youth Chaplain for the Kasana-Luweero Diocese, and National Scouting Chaplain, Uganda), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom) and Levan Vasadez (Pro-Life Activist, Republic of Georgia).

Here is the complete text of Dr. Morse’s testimony to the State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights.

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love. Find more information here.

Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact media@ruthinstitute.org.

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