Anderson Cooper, Abandoned Ukraine Babies, and the Problem with Surrogacy

Anderson Cooper, Abandoned Ukraine Babies, and the Problem with Surrogacy

Earlier this month, CNN journalist Anderson Cooper made a surprise on-air announcement: “On Monday, I became a father,” announced a visibly moved Cooper.

Every new life is a miracle and a gift. Wyatt Morgan Cooper (the newborn baby) is a miracle and a gift. His life is a thing to be celebrated. But celebrating Wyatt’s life does not mean that we avoid asking some pertinent questions, for there’s an odd thing about this birth announcement. Anderson Cooper is an openly active homosexual. At the risk of stating the obvious, having a baby involves certain biological processes in which a woman plays an irreplaceable role. Cooper’s announcement came just days after we celebrated Mother’s Day. Where, then, is Wyatt’s mother?

Erased, it would seem. Or rather, defined out of existence. Yes, there is a woman involved. In fact, likely two, but they are not mothers. One, yes, is genetically related to the child. A genetic test would declare that she is the mother, since 50% of the child’s DNA would match her DNA. But genetic tests don’t pay attention to progressive linguistic engineering. They don’t know that this woman with the perfect genetic match is merely an “egg donor”—a provider of necessary raw biological materials—but not a mother.

The other woman grew this child in her own womb. She nurtured him with her own body and with her own blood; she felt him grow and kick; she suffered labor pains or underwent a C-section; and she brought this child into the world in pain with her own body. Her body and the baby’s body intermingled, so that even still she bears cells from her baby in her body. But she is not a mother. She is a “surrogate.”

Cooper says he is “eternally grateful” to the surrogate. But despite having done all the things that a mother does in bringing about the miracle of new life, she has no rights over the child she bore. She may never even see the child again. The child will not know the warmth of his mother’s body, will not nurse and sleep in her arms, and may never again hear the soothing sound of her voice, which he would have learned to recognize in her womb.

Brave New World

The story gets stranger, however. Cooper has announced that, for reasons unclear, he will be “co-parenting” Wyatt with his former homosexual partner. Though Cooper publicly broke up with Benjamin Maisani in 2018, he said of him a few days ago: “He’s my family and I want him to be Wyatt’s family, as well.”

Last week, I wrote about the way progressives are actively redefining family. This, however, is a new definition of family, new even to me: two men, no longer romantically involved or (presumably) living in the same house, in some vague sense “co-parenting” a child to which one of them is not genetically related, and who was brought into the world through the Brave New World process involving labs, technicians, multiple women, and legal contracts.

Meanwhile, Cooper has said that he won’t be taking paternity leave to care for the child, as he is too busy covering the coronavirus pandemic on CNN. So we must wonder, who is caring for the child?

It never fails to amaze me that liberals still accuse pro-lifers of viewing women as just “incubators” for babies when their ideology has quite literally reduced women to incubators—as biological machines necessary only to attain their sought-for product. Wombs for rent. Meanwhile, breathe a word of criticism against the surrogacy process, and the online mob will accuse you of not truly being “pro-life” (after all, there is a baby involved!) and of being a “bigot” and a “hater” to boot.

But pro-lifers are not against surrogacy because we are against babies. We are against surrogacy because we believe that babies aren’t commodities to be bought and sold. We are against surrogacy because we believe babies deserve to be conceived, “begotten” through the loving union of their parents, and to know their mother and father. And we are against surrogacy because we are against the degradation and enslavement of women.

COVID Surrogacy Disaster in the Ukraine

We don’t know the details of Cooper’s arrangement with his surrogate. It may be that she was what is called an “altruistic surrogate.” In other words, she volunteered for the role, as opposed to being paid.

Even many progressives recognize that there is something disturbing about allowing rich and powerful westerners (often homosexual men) to pay (often poor) women large sums of money to offer up their bodies for nine months, going through the deeply intimate process of pregnancy, only to hand over the resulting child at the end. And so, they advocate for “altruistic surrogacy.”

Unsurprisingly, however, finding women willing to voluntarily shoulder such a burden is impossible for most individuals. Thus, when all else fails, there’s always money and power.

Earlier this month, a number of startling photos began circulating on the Internet. These photos show dozens of newborn babies in bassinets in a hotel room in Kiev, Ukraine. BioTexCom, a Ukrainian surrogacy company, released the photos to raise awareness about the fact that some 100 babies in the Ukraine born to surrogates are stranded due to the coronavirus, with their adoptive parents unable to travel to the country to collect the babies they purchased.

It seems that in the Ukraine there are “hundreds” of babies born every month via commercial surrogacy. For the present, the Ukraine allows this practice, just like many other poor countries, and there are many poor women willing to take the risk in exchange for pay. These are women like 28-year-old “Arina” profiled in a Marie Claire article. Before becoming a surrogate, Arina was making $300 a month as a taxi caller and selling clothing online. As a surrogate, she will earn $15,000.

But the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into the works and into her life. Arina has a partner and two other children. With the spread of coronavirus, and with her approaching her due date, the Israeli surrogacy company wanted to monitor her pregnancy closely, so she had to travel 12 hours away from home, where she is currently staying in an apartment. She hasn’t seen her two children in over two months. Meanwhile, even when she has the baby, the French couple purchasing her baby will not be able to pick him/her up due to the closed border.

Ukrainian Bishops Urge Commercial Surrogacy Ban

The photos of the babies in the hotel have sparked an international controversy. Some Ukrainian politicians are looking at banning commercial surrogacy. Meanwhile, two Ukrainian bishops put out a strongly worded statement urging a ban. The bishops decried the photos of the crying babies “deprived of maternal touch, parental warmth, selfless care, much-needed love.” Politicians, they said, must do what is necessary to “ensure that Ukrainian mothers do not have to trade their bodies and their children for their own and their families’ survival.”

While even “altruistic surrogacy” is morally unacceptable, they said, “commercial surrogacy, ‘from a moral point of view, deserves an even harsher assessment because it adds the moral evil of buying and selling the functions of the body and the person of the newborn child. No circumstances or consequences can justify the practice of surrogacy.’”

“So-called surrogate motherhood, which should not be called ‘motherhood,’ entails not only the horrible phenomena now manifested,” they continued, “but, at its core, is a moral evil and brings countless sufferings and hardships to all participants in this deal, including the child, surrogate mother, members of her family, and, finally, the people who order and ‘produce’ children.”

“Every child is a gift of God that should be gratefully accepted in the marriage of a man and a woman,” they said. “Every child has the right to be conceived naturally, and every child has the right to be born into a family and to be brought up in an atmosphere of love by its father and its mother.”

Read that last paragraph again. That’s what it means to be pro-life.

It is good for us to be reminded as we discuss these issues that every human life, no matter how it may have been engendered, is precious and good and of incalculable value. The desire—within the marriage of man and woman—to beget a baby is a powerful one, and when properly ordered, a good desire. However, we see that desire can tragically lead to a belief that one has a right to a child and a right to use any means to obtain one, thus rendering a child a commodity. The child, having been rendered a “product” not of equal dignity to his or her parents, can then be sold, bartered, or in some cases when deemed unworthy, destroyed.

We should be appalled and angered by the situations we have addressed in this column. We must defend and state unambiguously that a human child, a being of intrinsic worth and dignity—a person—has the right to be engendered through the fruitful union of his parents and is not a product to be bought or sold. Furthermore, it is time to end surrogacy—this form of modern-day slavery—and its blatant assault upon women, children, and the goods of marriage as designed by God.

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About the Author:

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet
Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing hli@hli.org.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Evangeline May 25, 2020 at 1:52 PM - Reply

    Thank you Fr. Bouquet. When Anderson Cooper had posted the manipulative photos of he and the baby he purchased, of course people oohed and aahed, and congratulated. No one considered this child will forever be denied a mother. The children of homosexuals are permanently denied either mother or father. They will never know what it is like to have one. For thinking people, that should be enough to convince them it is an immoral and senseless act, to bring a baby into that situation. To further the damage, to raise that child in a home where disordered sexuality is the model, is further evidence, but people are so selfish, and they treasure virtue signaling far more than the needs of one small baby or child. Anderson Cooper is perhaps responding to a biological inclination to be a father, but he can’t be a proper one. He has denied his baby everything, by denying the baby a mother. Now he has created an opportunity where a man not blood related to the baby will “share” parenting. Studies have shown that the most dangerous person to a small boy is a man in the home not blood-related. These children are often harmed. Anderson Cooper has found a way to be a “parent”, but a part-time one, as baby is shuttled off to the man he is not even in a relationship with! Sweet gig Anderson, there’s your time to party and travel!
    This baby will likely be raised by a series of nanny’s, probably gay ones, and trotted out for PC photo shoots during Christmas and Easter. The public will be delighted.
    It’s disgusting that the Ukraine thinks so little of their babies and women they are allowing a prostitution ring be set up under it’s nose. Babies are bought and sold. How do they know what happens to these babies? Are they unaware that there are vile and vicious predators out there who would “enjoy” having a baby? Does no one care about these children? Surrogacy is nothing but prostitution, and babies are a product exactly as is a toaster or a car, available to people with the means to pay a prostitute to provide them.
    God help these children, and God help women who lives in countries that provide no means of sustaining themselves besides selling the one thing they have the world wants, their bodies.

  2. Avatar
    Trg May 25, 2020 at 7:45 PM - Reply

    I totally agree with you Father. Sodomy cannot produce life. I feel sorry for these babies homosexuals raise.

  3. Avatar
    Lauren May 26, 2020 at 7:13 AM - Reply

    As we move away from God we move away from good. Science gives us the power to do what we want. and so, we do. Our desire becomes our god.The Church has told the true but the world does not care to hear it. We will move quickly to our destruction. I am devastated that all I can do is advocate and pray. Do I want to know the truths that HLI brings me? No! But, I am grateful for it. Funny, this article makes me think of a discarded pair of shoes I have in the back of my closet. They too are a product.

  4. Avatar
    mike May 26, 2020 at 10:41 PM - Reply

    Sickening. But a technical comment, it’s not “The” Ukraine, it’s Ukraine. And it’s capital transliterated to English, is spelled KYIV. This is not a quibble, the renderings you used are Russian and a political statement justifying Putin’s invasion and partial occupation of Ukraine..

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