Surrogacy has been praised as a blessing and condemned as a sex crime in different parts of the world this week.
In Texas, a 54 year-old woman gave birth to her own granddaughter. Tracey Thompson had agreed to act as a surrogate for her adult daughter, Kelley McKissack, who had been struggling to have a child of her own.
The 28 year-old and her husband had been trying for three years. Even with specialist medical treatment, each pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Doctors “ran a ton of tests and couldn’t figure out why it was happening”, Ms McKissack explained to local media.
Her mother then offered to be a surrogate. As she had already gone through menopause, she had to undergo a series of medical treatments, including hormone therapy, in order to become pregnant.
Ms Thompson said it was “such a blessing that I can do this for my daughter”. Despite a rather tough pregnancy, she gave birth early on 6 January to a girl named ‘Kelcey’, which is a combination of Kelley and Tracey. Ms McKissack called her mother’s actions “the greatest gift I could ever have in my life”.
Meanwhile, Italy’s Interior Minister has labelled the whole practice of surrogacy a “sex crime”.
Speaking to Roman Catholic newspaper Avvenire, Angelino Alfano said that surrogacy was “the most vile, illegal trade that man has invented” and that anyone who participates in it should be treated as a sex criminal and prosecuted.
Alfano is the leader of ‘Nuovo Centrodestra’ (NCD), the New Centre-Right Party, which claims any form of surrogacy represents a subversion of traditional family values. The NCD wants “wombs-for-rent to become a universal crime, which is punished with a jail term”, he explained.
The NCD leader is also staunchly opposed to any move that would grant same sex relationships legal recognition or protection. Italy is one of the few remaining European countries which does not legally recognise gay marriage or relationships. However, left-leaning Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised to introduce civil unions this year, the BBC reports.