When a Canadian couple learned their surrogate mother was carrying a fetus that was likely to be born with Down syndrome, they demanded an abortion.
The surrogate didn’t want to abort the child, according to the National Post, and so the child’s fate became about the surrogacy contract.
As more people turn to a third party to carry their babies, sticky situations like this are challenging the ethics of surrogacy. When all three people involved in a surrogacy aren’t on the same page, what should happen?
The ethics of surrogacy: What happens when the fetus has a defect?
According to the couple’s agreement with the surrogate, if the surrogate birthed the child, the biological parents wouldn’t have any legal responsibility for the child.
But many legal experts are saying that if this situation had been brought to court the surrogacy contract would have been disregarded. Instead the court would draw from family law requiring the biological parents to support the child.
It’s hard to know what would have happened because a surrogacy contract has never been contested in a Canadian court, according to the National Post, and the surrogate in this case never filed a lawsuit and decided to have an abortion in the end.
Virginia Ironside must be so proud.