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A visit to a baby market in Brussels

Oct 04, 2016

A donor-conceived Belgian woman visits a fair for same-sex couples who want to be dads

Oct. 4, 2016 - Stephanie Raeymaekers

MercatorNet

BRUSSELS -- For the second time around a surrogacy fair organised by the American company Men Having Babies landed on Belgian soil. This time it took place in a slightly more upscale venue. The ground floor at The Brussels Hilton became a stage where 220 potential customers from 12 European countries were welcomed.

Like last year, I was present. Me: the first in our generation to provide adults with a semi-biological child. It was the start of a lucrative business when fertility doctors discovered that the techniques used on a pig farm could also be useful for infertile heterosexual couples.

From the 1950s Belgian wombs were being filled with the sperm of unknown men. Fertility techniques improved and not much later they tapped into new target groups: single women and lesbian couples.

Branding unwanted childlessness as discrimination and injustice, several branches of the LGBT community are lobbying for gay men and transgender women to have biological children of their own.

Last Sunday almost everything was on offer: interpreters, gadgets, price lists, different formulas, the dos and the don’ts… But most of all, straight-to-your-heart-and-into-our-wallet sales pitches from companies which are able to connect anyone directly with eggs, surrogacy agencies and lawyers to make “a dream come true”. Lawyers handed out the metaphorical road map with instructions on how to by-pass laws to get your purchased child(ren) “legally” in your own country.

Towards an ethical framework...

Click here to read the article online (be sure that you do): MercatorNet

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