Over the past several years, the number of pregnancies via surrogacy has grown rapidly. After recent legislative discussions, it has become a prevalent topic of debate in South Dakota. Natural law and statistics show us, however, that allowing commercial surrogacy in our state would be detrimental to the health and well-being of children and society as a whole.

Commercial surrogacy is a form of artificial reproductive technology. In a surrogate pregnancy, eggs from a donor or from the woman who will carry the child are fertilized with sperm from a male donor to form an embryo. The artificially conceived child is then implanted in the uterus of the surrogate mother, who will ultimately give birth to the child. The child is intentionally separated from one or both of his or her parents.

Katy Faust, Director of Them Before Us, argues that “surrogacy is, by its very nature, an injustice to the child. Birth is intended to be a continuation of the mother/child bond, not the moment at which the child suffers an intentional, primal wound. It’s the day when a baby should see the mother she already loves for the first time… not the last.”

After surrogate children are born, they are left with many questions as they suffer from genealogical bewilderment. They wonder who their real mother or father is and if they even know their child exists. As Faust explained in a recent presentation, these children may love the people that raise them, but they are left with a lifelong gaping wound and a desperate drive to find their mother or father. Every child has the right to their mother and father, as God intended. Both a mother and father provide different and necessary things for children, and they suffer immensely without either of their parents.

Nearly every issue that plagues our society today, including homelessness, suicide, teen pregnancy, poverty, obesity and others are tied to whether or not the natural right of a child to their mother and father are protected. Children without a present father or mother are left with major deficiencies and wounds that impact all other aspects of their life. Further, one’s biological parents are statistically the most protective, caring, and connected to the child.

“If we can defend children’s rights to their mother and father, we will decimate nearly every social issue that we’re facing today,” explained Faust. We must protect children’s rights through legislation. In order for society to flourish, all policy must first and foremost respect a child’s right to their mother and father.

Through artificial reproduction, we have claimed a role that was never meant for us, and we are now seeing the consequences. Ultimately, we’ve stripped children of one of their most basic rights and caused them unnecessary suffering. We must advocate for the rights of children and urge our representatives to protect those rights through policy.

Faust will be in Pierre meeting with legislators this week. Please pray for the wisdom of our legislators as they contemplate action to protect children in South Dakota.

On February 3rd, we will be hosting a day at the Capitol where you can learn more about our state government. The day will include a short policy briefing, guided tours of the Capitol, and a chance to meet your legislators. This is an excellent opportunity to get more involved in local government so that you can advocate for issues like children’s rights. We hope to see you there!

To learn more about commercial surrogacy, watch the event recording below: The Risks & Harms of Commercial Surrogacy