Showing posts with label Embryo Surrogacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Embryo Surrogacy. Show all posts

April 3, 2019

61 Year Old Mom Serves As Gestational Surrogate For Her Son and His Husband

By Gwen Aviles

A 61-year-old woman serving as the gestational surrogate for her son and his husband gave birth to her own granddaughter last week.
The woman, Cecile Eledge, delivered the nearly 6-pound baby, Uma Louise Dougherty-Eledge, at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha at 6:06 a.m. last Monday.
After her son, Matthew Eledge, and his husband, Elliot Dougherty, decided to expand their family, Dougherty’s sister, Lea Yribe, offered to donate her eggs. The couple planned to find another surrogate to deliver the child, but they found the process confusing and weren’t completely confident about navigating in vitro fertilization as gay men.

Image: Matthew Eledge, left, his mother Cecile Eledge, center, and Matthew's husband Elliot Dougherty, right, greet baby Uma
Matthew Eledge, left, his mother, Cecile, and his husband, Elliot Dougherty, greet baby Uma last week.Ariel Panowicz / via AP

“Nebraska is a bit more conservative, and we were hesitant to go into agencies, and had a bit of fear that maybe some things would hold us back being a gay couple,” Matthew Eledge said.
That’s when Cecile offered to be the couple’s gestational carrier.
“I just never hesitated,” she said. “I was just so excited to be able to be part of this adventure with them. … It was just unconditional love.” At first, her son was skeptical. Was a 61-year-old woman in a position to deliver a baby?
“I put my foot in my mouth,” Matthew Eledge recalled. “I told her, ‘Mom, you’re postmenopausal. … You can’t do that, right?’”
But according to doctors, she could. After they gave her a clean bill of health and the go-ahead, the whole family prepared for the pregnancy.
“It was really exciting to know that my mom and dad and whole ancestry and family lineage were going to be a part of her,” Dougherty said of his baby daughter.

Image: Elliot Dougherty holds his daughter Uma after her delivery at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, with husband Matthew Eledge
Elliot Dougherty holds his newborn daughter, Uma, at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, with husband, Matthew Eledge, last week. Matthew's mother, Cecile, was the surrogate mother to her grandchild, which was conceived with sperm from Matthew Eledge and an egg from Dougherty's sister, Lea Yribe.Ariel Panowicz / via AP

Dougherty lost his own mother recently, but he’s found comfort in seeing how much Uma resembles his family.
“I was feeding her, and it was early, and she wasn't eating very fast, and I just looked at her face, and I saw my mom's face there,” Dougherty said. “In a way, it just felt like I was taking care of my sweet mom.”
Dougherty and Matthew Eledge said they anticipate difficult conversations and narrow-minded reactions over Uma’s unconventional birth story, but the couple is prepared to explain the circumstances to Uma when she gets older.
“I’ll tell her Aunt Lea gave a piece of her,” Matthew Eledge said. “She gave a seed to start the gift of life, and her grandmother provided the loving garden for her to bloom, and I think that’s gorgeous.”

July 16, 2018

Israel Knesset New Surrogacy Bill Excludes Gays

 Thousands Protest Knesset's surrogacy bill on Saturday night in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: SHIRA LEVRON)

Several thousand people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against a looming bill on surrogacy that, if passed, would exclude gay couples.

The bill, which is expected to pass into law in its final readings at the Knesset on Monday, updates current legislation that only grants state-supported surrogacy for married heterosexual couples, by expanding the eligibility to single women. 

But it still leaves out gay couples.

Hen Arieli, the chairman of the LGBTQ Association opened her speech with a message to the South, at the end of a day in which Gaza border communities had been pounded by projectiles from Gaza.
“Our heart is with our LGBTQ sisters and brothers in the Gaza perimeter and in the IDF,” she said. “We are holding the demonstration to make our voices heard because the discrimination applies equally to all of us, and now that they are carrying the security burden, it is our duty to bear the burden of protest and struggle for them.”

“According to the prime minister’s fluent English we are in an LGBTQ paradise, but in reality, our lives do not allow us to marry, we are not allowed to have children, and if we have already succeeded, we are overwhelmed by unnecessary difficulties. There is a limit to how much ‘no’ we can hear and we will not remain silent until the discrimination ends,” Arieli added.

Oded Fried, the LGBTQ community’s representative in the Knesset, said: “If there was a law that states that only women born in Israel can be mothers or a law that couples of settlers are forbidden to establish a family, no one would remain silent and hide behind excuses like coalition discipline. Whoever votes in favor of the surrogacy law this week – this is a vote against us. And we will not sit quietly while legislators make laws against us and trample on our basic rights."

Appeared on the Jerusalem Post

November 19, 2017

Surrogate Changes Mind But Judge Rules She Must Hand Over Baby to Gay Couple

 The child is a product of a donor egg and the sperm of one of the men  CREDIT: CC STUDIO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RM 

A surrogate mother has lost custody of her child after a court ruled he would be better placed with the gay couple who arranged for her to have the baby. 
A senior judge said that the child's "identity needs as a child of gay intended parents" would be better fulfilled if he lived with the couple. 
The woman signed a surrogacy agreement with the men, who she had she met online and traveled to Cyprus in September 2015 to have an embryo transferred.
But the two families fell out and the woman and her husband changed their minds about giving the child up.  
She did not tell the men about the birth for more than a week after it took place last April. 
The male same-sex partners began legal proceedings and last year a High Court judge ruled that the child, now 18 months old, should live with them. 
The decision came to light after the surrogate mother and father appealed and a new judgment was published on Friday. None of the people involved can be named. 
Court of Appeal judges ruled that the original decision to give custody to the gay couple with limited contact six times a year with the surrogate mother and father was correct. 
Lord Justice McFarlane said that while surrogacy arrangements had no legal standing, the child's genetic relationships and welfare were the most important factors for deciding where he or she should live.         
While the legal mother and father had the right "to change their minds" this did not necessarily mean that they had the right to keep the child, he said. 
The child was conceived using sperm from one of the men and an egg from a Spanish donor, meaning one of the gay couple is a genetic relative of the child, but the birth mother and father are not. 
Despite this they remain the child's legal mother and father, because no adoption or parental order has been made. 
In the original ruling High Court judge Mrs Justice Theis had decided that "H's identity needs as a child of gay intended parents would be best met by living with a genetic parent". 
Lord Justice McFarlane said the judge had been "critical of [the birth parents] for the way in which they had behaved in the later stages of the pregnancy and immediately after H's birth. 
"She described them as having embarked on a deliberate and calculated course of conduct and as having continued to put obstacles in the way of [the same-sex couple] in seeking to establish a relationship with [the child]. 
"She referred to them as being rigid, taking a position and sticking to it, and as having little or no capacity to resolve disputes or negotiate their way through difficulties." 
She also found that the birth parents were "less able to look at matters from the child's point of view". 
However, the Court of Appeal also criticised the gay couple for "unwisely and unaccountably" generating publicity about the case, and made an order preventing them from speaking to the press.
The judge added that the case "demonstrates the risks involved when parties reach an agreement to conceive a child which, if it goes wrong, can cause huge distress to all concerned".
Lord Justice McFarlane said the subject is being examined by the Law Commission which could reform the law to create a proper legal basis for surrogacy agreements. 
The case follows another ruling made in 2015 where Justice Alison Russell said that a mother who had a baby for a gay couple and then refused them access had to hand the child over as she had entered into an informal surrogacy arrangement with them. 
That ruling led to calls for the law to be reformed.

June 3, 2014

Israel Amends Law Benefitting LGBT Embryo Surrogate Services


The amendment to the Surrogacy Law (Law Concerning Agreements to Carry Embryos), which was approved by the government on Sunday, June 1, with a large majority, is more than just an important landmark in Israel’s gay revolution.  

The amendment, which was initiated by Health Minister Yael German (Yesh Atid party), would allow gays and lesbians to use surrogacy services in Israel to become parents. It received the support of all ministers from the Likud party, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the ministers from Yesh Atid and HaTenua.
It was ministers representing HaBayit HaYehudi party, headed by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who tried to torpedo this amendment. In March, Ariel filed an appeal with the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which had approved the law two weeks earlier, thereby delaying its approval by the entire Cabinet.
Ariel, who is known for his homophobic attitudes (he once asserted that recruiting openly gay people would interfere with the Israel Defense Forces' ability to fight), explained at the time that the amendment to the law imposes a moral and ethical question on what an Israeli family should look like. Rabbis associated with HaBayit HaYehudi were stirring the pot behind the scenes, calling on religious Knesset members to oppose the bill.
Nevertheless, despite efforts by HaBayit HaYehudi to sabotage it, this important amendment to the law did receive the cabinet’s approval. It will be brought before the Knesset for final approval in the coming months, and it is expected to pass with the support of Knesset members from the Labor Party and Meretz.
Health Minister German deserves to be lauded for refusing to surrender to the political maneuvers of HaBayit HaYehudi. She promises to fight to ensure that the new law is passed by the Knesset. “There’s this feeling that the eggs have thawed out, and now we are preparing to make a baby and see it born in the Knesset,” the media quoted her as saying. She was right in adding, “This is an auspicious day. The proposed law balances the desire and right of each and every person to be a parent, while protecting the surrogate and her rights.”
This time, ultra-Orthodox Knesset members such as the former Chairman of the Shas Party, Eli Yishai, avoided attacking or hurling insults at the decision, as they had been prone to do in the past in all matters involving the gay community. Yishai will always be remembered for his diagnosis, “Gays and lesbians are sick people,” while in 2008, another member of Shas, Knesset member Nissim Zeev, tried to incite people against the gay community by saying that they should be treated like the avian flu.
It is not as if ultra-Orthodox Knesset members suddenly changed their minds about the LGBT community. They simply realize that with the current public atmosphere of openness and acceptance, they must tone down their rhetoric. The murder of two young members of the community at a youth LGBT community center in Tel Aviv in August 2009 also helped to moderate the rhetoric of ultra-Orthodox politicians regarding the gay community. One of the first directions investigated was that the murder was a hate crime, and an accusatory finger was pointed, first and foremost at the ultra-Orthodox for fanning the flames of incitement. One immediate effect of this shocking murder was a wave of empathy toward the community among the general public. At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even paid a well-publicized visit to the site of the incident, accompanied by then-Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar.
At the same time, mainstream politicians in Israel have been courting the gay community for a few years now, especially after the community proved its electoral strength and given the many power bases it has in the media. Following the precedent set by the veteran gay group of Meretz members, gay groups have formed in the Labor, Likud, Kadima, and Yesh Atid parties.
At the last Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv in June 2013, ministers and Knesset members competed over the right to address the community. Ministers Yair Lapid, Yael German, Limor Livnat and Tzipi Livni received the honor, along with the chairwoman of the Meretz Party, Zehava Gal-On, and the then-chairwoman of the Labor Party, Shelly Yachimovich. But many other Knesset members, including members of the Likud such as Knesset member Miri Regev, were also seen at the event, and made sure to publicize the fact that they were there.
In this atmosphere, even the head of the HaBayit HaYehudi party, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, was forced to show openness, especially given his efforts to promote a progressive, young image for himself. In the last election, Bennett managed to persuade moderate, secular young people to vote for HaBayit HaYehudi, despite the party’s nationalist bent. He even gave the false impression that he planned to advance the rights of the gay community.
Particularly memorable was his well-publicized meeting with the “Prince of Prime Time,” Asi Azar, at a kosher Tel Aviv restaurant. Azar, who is openly gay and has been at the forefront of the community’s most prominent struggles for the past few years, came away with the impression that Bennett was on the “good side” of the equation. Only a few months later, he realized that he was the victim of a carefully orchestrated ploy for the media, when HaBayit HaYehudi torpedoed a law proposed by Knesset member Adi Kol of Yesh Atid to make the tax benefits enjoyed by same-sex parents the same as those received by straight couples. Later, HaBayit HaYehudi, led by Uri Ariel, struck again by fighting against the amendment to the Surrogacy Law.
But Bennett’s duplicitous attitude toward the community also proves that he recognizes the strength that the community has among the general public, and the influence that a Facebook and Twitter personality like Azar has on hundreds of thousands of followers. This duplicity is infuriating and worthy of condemnation, but it is also proof that a positive change in attitude toward the LGBT community is underway, both among the public and the politicians. It was important for Bennett to be photographed with Azar.
There is still a long way to go before gays and lesbians obtain equal rights in Israel, but the country’s political system is on the right track. HaBayit HaYehudi continues to be part of a government that supports a progressive law such as the Surrogacy Law. And this very fact shows that even the national religious community could live with granting gays and lesbians the legal right to become parents right here in Israel. 
by Mazal Mualemedited adamfoxie blog 

Featured Posts

Staten Island and The US Looses One of Its Fighters to COVID-19 {Jim Smith}

                             Jim Smith helped organize Staten Island's first pride parade in 2005. He served as its...