Renting the womb to pay for life: we need legislation

A week ago I wrote “belly for rent in Chile” in the Facebook search engine. They seemed to me at least 50 posts that they shared features worrying: migrant women, between 21 and 23 years old. They all offered their bellies for carry out surrogacy accompanying the offer with phrases such as: “I have no vices and I have already had a natural childbirth”, “I am ready to help you because I am 22 years old, I have good genetics, I don’t smoke or drink” or “I’m abandoning the child at all costs because I need money to pay for my university studies.

What was read there left the feeling that lend the uterus for nine months To make money, it seemed like an easy, accessible, self-directed business. Comments to get in touch in these publications there were at least 100 . I took the test and wrote internally to a 23-year-old woman, Sofía Galviz (this is the pseudonym she chose to protect her identity). I asked her for her cell phone to call him and she told me that the one she had belonged to her husband, so we had better call him. cat call from Facebook.

When we spoke in an interview, Sofía told me that He arrived in Chile a year ago from Colombia. and that at that moment he was sleeping in the floor of a house in Vina del Mar. “The first time I heard about surrogacy was in Colombia, because my son’s uncle he asked me so that he could be a father with his partner who was also a man. At that moment I said no, because I knew it I was going to feel uncomfortable watching my nephew grow up knowing I was his mother. But when we arrived in Chile with my husband, my son and my father-in-law, I changed my mind,” she says.

“I went to Facebook and found many women from different countries from Latin America who did it,” he continues. “I realized that as a surrogate mother I could have the health, regularization, clothes and food that I have had since we arrived a year ago, we could not get . But there was also a risk: there is no law that regulates the fact that they pay you, and I think they could fine us or go to prison. Also, they told me that it was very painful and that I was very scared to do it, but I already decided that it was something I would try to do.

Wombs for rent or women for sale?

Margarita Bernales is a psychologist at the Catholic University School of Nursing and an expert in migrant health and gender. Ha witnessed vulnerability and loneliness to which a pregnant migrant woman is exposed in our country, and for the same reason, explains that carrying a child that is not yours in these conditions is more difficult. “Body intervention for a surrogate mother It’s brutal. You are experiencing a depersonalization of the body in terms of becoming an instrument to generate resources and protect the family with this money, because when a migrant is pregnant, immediately go to the office social worker they give him a provisional RUT, he begins to have an identity card, he begins to benefit from health benefits, frequent monitoring, they have a GES basket and the Chile Crece Contigo program for the protection of minors”, he said.

Sofia is ready to do it for payment, but it didn’t go well . “A first girl wrote to me to rent her belly. She said she was going to come see me from San Felipe because the clinic she likes is here in Viña, and in the end she told me that not because he found another woman who lived closer of her, and that this allowed her to see the growth of the unborn baby. A week ago he told me that he had been lied to, that he had lost his money and, once again, he asked me if I was ready to collaborate with her. The national holidays have passed and so far he hasn’t told me if he’s coming, he hasn’t called me, or anything. “It all ended there.”

In Chile, rent the uterus it’s not legal. “The rental of the body would have the same validity as sell a kidney, or a finger, and on this basis there is no valid and solemn contract which guarantees that the woman can demand payment if she is not paid, or that the person who rents the uterus could receive the child if it is not his or hers l,” says Carolina Salas, attorney and director of the UC Family Center.

Sofía says she tried to do business, but it didn’t go well because “customers find that it is very expensive. At first, I charged 20 million pesos, 25 if I had twins and 30 if I had a complication during delivery. They complained to me because They said they also had to pay for the clinic and the lawyers, so I had to lower it to 10 million pesos, 15 if it was a twin and 20 if there was a complication. Nobody is looking how much is it worth for me to intervene in the body or take care of myself if I have complications as a pregnant mother,” she says.

In Chile there have been cases of uterine surrogacy due to altruism, i.e. They are family among those involved in the process: grandmothers who gave birth to their grandchildren, sisters or aunts who lend their wombs. “The only way is do in vitro fertilization so you have to have these kinds of possibilities in a fertility clinic. Among those I know, I cannot guarantee that no one openly says they do it, and legally, whoever is born the same will be registered as the child of the mother who conceived him. It’s the most complicated thing,” explains Abril Salinas.

This is one of the reasons that complicated the search for a surrogate mother for Elena González (37), who following cancer required removal of her uterus ovaries and tubes, she cannot be a mother. “Since the law is so ambiguous here in Chile, the only certain thing I saw was that it could be done altruistically, but I know my family and maybe the surrogate mother might want more late keep the baby. I looked for information in other countries where it was regulated, but it is very expensive . It costs about 60 million Chilean pesos,” he says. In Chile, one of the rare epidemiological studies on infertility carried out by IDIMI indicates that infertility in women is 10.14% after 12 months of exposure.

But in the legislation there are no options for women who cannot become mothers through fertilization treatments. In each of the options for registering a daughter or son in the civil registry (with a mother, with a father, with a marriage, being a third party of the family or an external third party), proof of birth is required, or whatever, that There is no legal way to recognize a daughter or son in Chile if it is not proven that it was their mother who gave birth. Carolina Salas explains that “article 183 of the Civil Code which says that ‘the mother is the one who gives birth to the child’, therefore “We would have to obtain a falsified birth certificate indicating that it was not the mother who gave birth.”

Carolina also addresses the most serious aspect of this affair: “The child I would be a victim of this contract , their right to filial identity is violated. The child is a subject of law, not object of law which completely and completely invalidates the possibility of selling or buying a child, because he has special human rights and needs at birth: nail a nationality, a maternity determined to defend their rights, and this cannot be achieved with a figure like the one we are looking at.

Meanwhile, on the networks, business continues to insist. “What will happen if the woman gives this child up for adoption?” asks Margarita Bernales. “If you have already realized that what generates the most income in Chile is being pregnant. How much sometimes more you will be able to do it To survive?” Legislation becomes urgent in this context, where each of the participants in this scenario can violate their rights.

Source: Latercera

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