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MHB board members, surrogate and gay fathers confront counter protesters in Brussels

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For too long we let lies and distortions about surrogacy go unchallenged! There are some small groups of anti-surrogacy zealots in Europe, one of them had about a dozen protesters in front of our conference in Brussels on September 25, 2016. They held signs of pregnant women with barcodes on their bellies, and others with crossed-out babies that were supposedly sold.
It is all too easy to dismiss them as lunatics, but especially in Europe they sometimes get disproportionate media coverage. And besides that, it is tempting to hear what drives these people to wake up early on a Sunday and hold these offensive signs.

So this time we decided to approach them and ask. Rachelle, a surrogate mother who is a member of our advisory committee, asked them why they think that becoming a surrogate was not her autonomous and fully informed decision. Surrogacy dads and MHB board members Ron Poole-Dayan and Georges Sylvestre asked the protesters why they think that they exploited their surrogates. And Davide and Mirco from Italy came along with their twins and challenged the protesters to explain why they think these babies were “bought.”

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We are pleased that the heated exchange was still civil, and that at several points they were forced to say that Rachelle may be a "rare exception" and that they were actually speaking about Indian surrogates. We then stated that if they concede that at least some surrogacy is okay, it follows that we are in agreement that the only thing left is to clearly define the parameters for ethical surrogacy. Needless to say they may still not see it this way, but we certainly felt this gave them some pause.

But at least the media now got a more balanced view, instead of simply quoting the group’s press release (which falsely claimed there were 40-50 people there). We contrasted their presence with the presence of well over 200 Europeans inside the building who think surrogacy is a terrific path to parenthood, and used to the opportunity to call again for ethical and effective surrogacy legislation.

Watch this fascinating TV report below of the exchange. It was one of many reports, debates / talk shows that featured our representatives during the days we were in Brussels (see full report here).






Original article (view here):

In Brussel verhit een beurs voor homokoppels die een draagmoeder zoeken de gemoederen. Conservatieve tegenstanders protesteren voor de deur van het hotel waar de Amerikaanse organisatie de beurs organiseert. Dat leidde vanmorgen tot heftige discussies tussen voor- en tegenstanders.
"We kopen geen baby", vertelt een wensouder. "We vergoeden enkel de draagmoeders voor hun inspanningen en hun lijden. Het is de schuld van de wetgeving dat mensen verplicht worden om naar het buitenland te gaan om beroep te kunnen doen op een draagmoeder."

Translation:

In Brussels, a heated exchange developed of gay couples seeking a surrogacy parenting. Conservative opponents protest in front of the hotel where the American organization held the conference. This morning led to confrontations between supporters and opponents.
"We do not buy baby," says a prospective parent. "We only reimburse the surrogate mothers for their efforts and their sacrifice. It is the fault of the law that people are forced to go abroad in order to find surrogate mothers."