Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Intimidation, Harassment, and threats

International surrogacy is generally presented a cost effective and safe alternative to domestic surrogacy.

One of the reasons that intended parents often buy into this myth is that when they go out to "research" it, they generally find blogs from parents who have had good experiences.   Pictures of healthy babies and beaming parents are extremely reassuring to people who are about to send thousands of dollars to a clinic thousands of miles away.

What these parents do not know is that parents whose experiences did not turn out positively are routinely harassed, intimidated and threatened for sharing their stories and opinions.   In the past year, I have been:

•Threatened with a lawsuit by a well known surrogacy facilitator for even implying that her behavior was less than professional.   This despite the fact that my assertion was clearly labeled as my opinion and that it linked to a press release that SHE published.  (She has also repeatedly tried to tell people that this press release went out on the AP wire, which would imply some sort of vetting. This is not accurate.  The press release is clearly on a public relations website.

•Threatened with lawsuits for sharing the reality of our experience in India and my opinion about it.

•Had my family's private medical information (and not all of the information shared was accurate) in an attempt to discredit my concerns about the care my son received in India.

•I've been called horrible names, been told that I deserved to lose a child, had my mental health questioned, been attacked in both public and private forums more times than I can even count.

•Despite me publishing my daughter's medical records substantiating the fact that the very serious health issues she faced after coming home to the US were caused by chlamydia and serious nutritional deficiencies in her surrogate, I have been called a liar.

Standing up to this kind of harassment while attempting to grieve for my son and care for my surviving children has been draining and extremely painful.   I understand why so many people take down their blogs and walk away from this community.

Talking about how John Patrick Hayden died will not bring him back.  However, while I could not prevent my son from being disposed of like garbage, I will not allow him to be forgotten.  If sharing his story means even one family is prevented from suffering the horror that we have, then I feel like we've made the right decision.  

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