With tenderness, the media distills the news of celebrities who have bought surrogacy services abroad. However, it would be naive to think that surrogacy comes down to beautiful images of newborns. For during this time the propaganda business is more flourishing than ever. Surrogacy acquisitions to circumvent adoption, international embryo trading and mergers and acquisitions are the reverse of these glamorous images.
party political media
A few days ago, the host of TF1 Christophe Beaugrand posted on Instagram photos of Valentin, born from the GPA in Las Vegas, on the occasion of his 1-year birthday. Thus, he joins other French audiovisual celebrities who have bought – and made it known – GPA services in the United States, such as the comedian Alex Goude or the daily manager of BFM TV Marc-Olivier Fogiel. . The popular press rushed every time to forward pictures of newborns born of a surrogate mother.
“The presence of many French audiovisual actors among GPA’s customers could partly explain the party’s political discourse”
If it is allowed in advance to reveal the private and intimate lives of these children (born of GPA) on social networks and in the press, there are still questions. For example, is it really in the interest of these children that their mode of conception and the images of their birth be forever available to the public? The approach is all the more delicate as it serves commercial interests here, which, with the help of touching individual stories, make us forget that surrogacy is, above all, a business.
The presence of many French audiovisual actors among GPA’s clients could partly explain the media’s party political discourse. The feminist association CoRP filed a complaint this summer against France Television for its one-sided and systematically complacent discourse on surrogacy, which is banned and punished in France. Unfortunately, the recent selection of programs for France Television only confirms this analysis.
Buy GPAs to get around lengthy adoption procedures
Surrogacy is a service that is expensive and will never be available to everyone. It takes at least € 40,000 / baby in low-cost countries like Ukraine, and prices are rising to more than € 160,000 / baby in premium clinics in the United States. Why resort to surrogacy when adoption is open to the largest number, and in particular to gay couples?
The main reason is that adoption is a cumbersome and time consuming process. The process is cumbersome because it seeks to determine the child’s interest in adopting. The result can therefore be disappointing for the candidates. Above all, adoption is a long process because there will be 5 to 10 times more candidates for adoption than adoptable minors.
“With money, uncertainty and expectation are simply eliminated”
In return for a large sum of money, surrogacy makes it possible to circumvent all these difficulties. In his 2019 interview with the magazine GalaChristophe Beaugrand transparently explained his choice in favor of surrogacy because “Adoption is already complicated for a heterosexual couple, it’s almost impossible for homosexuals. I’m 42 years old, sometimes you have to wait six years, even eight, and often in vain.” The choice of who should be the parents or not is, however, governed by the child’s interest in the adoption, whereas in surrogacy it is the laws of the market that decide. With money, uncertainty and expectation are simply eliminated.
If the original motivation seems to be to circumvent adoption whims, surrogacy is unique in that it replaces clients’ powerlessness to breed in an overpower to create, not just a child, but a child similar to them, similar to them, exists competitions and are “guaranteed” to them by a contract. Because they pay because every stage of reproduction and birth is medicated and controlled, surrogacy clients are necessarily led to choose the child as indicated.
This overwhelm is manifested, for example, in the process of selecting the embryo, in the restrictions imposed on the surrogate mother during pregnancy or even in the choice of the seller of oocytes. In his book, Marc-Oliver Fogiel tells how he and his husband went in for the choice of egg seller “traits related to intelligence, academic and social success” (What’s wrong with my family?, Marc-Olivier Fogiel, ed. Grasset, p.24) because they wanted to be “proud of the genetic heritage” (p. 24) chosen for their children born of surrogacy.
They discarded the eggs of a first-time candidate, a young female medical student, at the last minute on the grounds that “His family history showed genetic predispositions for various cancers” (p.24). They therefore had to find another, then even a third candidate, there “met all criteria” they had set themselves (p.25).
Surrogacy capitalism: sperm and egg market, embryo trade and acquisition operations
Quality embryos, that is, from donors with good health and with a good CV, do not come from the same countries as the surrogate mothers. The newspaper The cross published on November 7, 2020 a comprehensive study of the global trade in embryos, brought from rich countries to surrogacy-producing countries. Specialized companies, mainly based in London, offer this service from Europe to Ukraine or India. Illegally and at the convenience of clinics, their staff transports cryogenic embryos into their personal belongings.
Many intermediaries make money on this business and the connections between clients and surrogacy providers can sometimes be maintained. Romain Tallandier, ex-husband of comedian Alex Goude, works for the American Surrogacy Clinic Fertility Center of Las Vegas (FCLV). His mission? Recruit French-speaking clients as “French fertility coordinator”. Other clinics are also active in France, such as the Ukrainian clinic Feskov and the American San Diego Fertility Center, which were present in Paris in September at the Désir d’enfant show.
“This situation is not without attracting greed and financial interests”
The surrogacy industry is flourishing and taking advantage of globalization to enable more and more customers to circumvent their national legislation. This situation is not without attracting greed and financial interests. The Israeli personal service company Danel Nursing and Medical Services Group has announced its intention to buy 51% of the surrogacy and egg sales specialists Manor Medical Group for about $ 24 million.
Another sign of the globalization of the sector: the acquired company Manor Medical Group specializes in performing surrogacy in Ukraine … by Israeli doctors.