Abortion is a thorny issue, and it got even more thorny in one Canadian case: A couple working with a surrogate mother pushed for her to abort their fetus when they found it was likely to be born with Down syndrome. The surrogate didn’t want to abort, but the agreement signed by all three parties stipulated that if she went through with the pregnancy against the parents’ wishes, the couple would be absolved of any responsibility for the child, the National Post reports.
In this situation, the surrogate ended up deciding to abort, but the case highlights the inherent complexity of surrogacy agreements. “Should the rules of commerce apply to the creation of children? No, because children get hurt,” says one bioethicist, but a former surrogate raises the question, “Why should the intended parents be forced to raise a child they didn’t want? It’s not fair.” The bottom line: It’s important to agree on issues like this before going through with a surrogacy—in three other Canadian cases, the biological parents divorced and backed out, leaving the surrogates to raise the babies.