New Research Raises Surrogacy Concerns

In 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a budget bill that legalized paid surrogacy. In paid surrogacy, a woman is paid to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth, and to relinquish custody of the baby to someone else once the baby is born. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms opposed the passage of paid surrogacy for a variety of reasons, including our concern that it would lead to the exploitation of women.

Recently, researchers from the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC) published a scholarly article on surrogate mothers. The article is based on the CBC’s interviews of 96 women who had experienced both traditional pregnancies and surrogate pregnancies. Their research indicates that surrogate moms are more likely to have high-risk pregnancies than other mothers. According to the CBC’s summary, the research revealed the following information:

  • Surrogate mothers were three times more likely than other moms to undergo cesarean sections;
  • Surrogate mothers were five times more likely than other moms to experience early deliveries;
  • Surrogate moms were more likely than other moms to report that they experienced postpartum depression; and
  • Surrogate moms were more likely than other moms to experience health complications during their pregnancies.

The CBC also noted that a 2018 study by Irene Woo “demonstrated that surrogate pregnancies were, in fact, different (read: worse for the mother and infant), than spontaneous (or biological) pregnancies. Specifically, they found that infants carried by gestational surrogates have increased risks for preterm birth and low birth weight and surrogate mothers were found to have increased risks for hypertension, maternal gestational diabetes, and placenta previa.”

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks the CBC for conducting this illuminating research. We hope that the CBC will continue to provide honest analysis of the impact of paid surrogacy on women, children, and families.