"We feel that the creation of the SEEDS Standards will serve to codify and even improve upon prevailing best practices that already set the US and Canada apart among other countries where surrogacy is practiced."
NEW YORK (PRWEB) November 02, 2022
Men Having Babies (MHB) is pleased to announce its board’s formal endorsement of The Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy’s (SEEDS) new Standards of Ethical Conduct for Member Agencies. These new standards constitute the first time that professionals involved in gestational surrogacy and egg donation in the United States have created self-binding standards, as compared to the longstanding ethical frameworks that apply to medical, legal, and mental health providers involved in surrogacy and egg donation. “We feel that the creation of the SEEDS Standards will serve to codify and even improve upon prevailing best practices that already set the US and Canada apart among other countries where surrogacy is practiced,” said Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB’s founder and executive director. “Some differences still exist between the positions of SEEDS and those of MHB, and the terminology we use is sometimes different. However, the new SEEDS Standards reflect many of the values we share, and they are a testament to the professionalism of those working in this field.”
In addition to the board’s endorsement of these Standards, Men Having Babies is proud to announce that beginning in 2024 all US based surrogacy agencies that participate in MHB events and the Gay Parenting Assistance Program will be asked to demonstrate adherence to these new SEEDS Standards. MHB hopes that this will be another step in the direction of making these Standards widespread and promoting the United States as a place dedicated to the ethical operation of agencies that provide gestational surrogacy and egg donation services.
Men Having Babies is proud to have played a unique, supporting role in the development of these groundbreaking standards. Lisa Schuster, MHB’s director of programming and a former gestational surrogate, has been invited as an observer to SEEDS’s Standards Committee, and provided input and observation through the lens of MHB’s mission of promoting ethical surrogacy practices that minimize the risks and maximize the potential short and long-term benefits to all involved.
Not only do the Standards address professional aspects related to the business and operational conduct of member agencies, Men Having Babies is especially proud to highlight details of the Standards that, in line with MHB’s Framework for Ethical Surrogacy for Intended Parents, address issues related to the rights and wellbe- ing of all parties involved.
Men Having Babies applauds SEEDS’ use of the LGBTQ+ inclusive definition of infertility to be used in screening intended parents for surrogacy. This language comes from the inclusive definition of infertility, which MHB helped to draft, used by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association in their model legislation, and which has already been passed in new legislation in Illinois last year. The Standards embrace the concept of ‘status’ as it relates to infertility, in addition to the medical condition and disease, prohibiting agencies from providing services to those who do not “demonstrate a need for surrogacy associated with a disease, condition, or status characterized by [...] a person’s inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with their partner without medical intervention”. This position corresponds to MHB’s Ethical Framework which advocates that surrogacy should be legally allowed as a parenting option to individuals, single or coupled, that lack the reproductive capacity to become parents without the help of a surrogate or have a medical reason for needing the help of a surrogate, but not to women who simply do not desire to become pregnant – sometimes referred to as “social surrogacy”.
Also, in the spirit of MHB’s Ethical Framework are SEEDS’s efforts to curb the over-commercialization of the field by detailing acceptable practices relating to advertising, and prohibition of the use of inaccurate, misleading, or coercive information, or placing undue emphasis on monetary incentives and compensation to potential donors or surrogates. With respect to compensation, Men Having Babies is pleased that, given the unique and unexpected circumstances that can arise in any surrogacy journey, the Standards prohibit the bundling of the recompense for the personal sacrifice and risks associated with the surrogacy process into a “flat rate” along with reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses and compensation associated with specific contingencies.
Men Having Babies applauds the hard work and dedication of the professionals involved in surrogacy and egg donation and, in line with our policies related to ethical surrogacy, is proud to endorse these new Standards.
About Men Having Babies
The international nonprofit Men Having Babies (MHB) is dedicated to providing current and future gay fathers with unbiased advice, support, and financial assistance. The organization’s Membership Benefits Program (MBP) offers a wide range of exclusive guidance resources, including MHB's unique Peer Advice Parent Network, and access to discounts from over 160 surrogacy providers. Among the benefits of membership is the ability to apply to the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), which annually provides hundreds of individuals or couples with over a million dollars worth of cash grants, discounts, and free services from leading service providers. MHB’s annual conferences offer unbiased guidance and access to a wide range of relevant service providers. Their extensive online resources include FAQs, a video library, Ask the Expert articles, and a comprehensive surrogacy and gay parenting research library. The organization also offers a comprehensive Surrogacy Providers Directory, including ratings and reviews of agencies, clinics and law firms. MHB’s Advisory Board of distinguished surrogacy professionals leads the provision of expert advice to members, and our framework for Ethical Surrogacy has received endorsements from LGBT parenting organizations worldwide.
For more information about Men Having Babies, visit menhavingbabies.org
About The Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy’s (SEEDS)
SEEDS is a nonprofit organization founded by a group of egg donation and surrogacy agencies, whose purpose is to define and promote ethical behavior by all parties involved in third party reproduction. SEEDS, which stands for the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy, carries out its mission by working with ART professionals to create a unified voice and develop and issue ethical standards for the various aspects of third party reproduction. We have currently developed several standards, and many more are planned. Our goal is to reach a wide audience of agencies and ART professionals and hear their opinions and input about industry standards. Ideally we will come to industry-wide agreement on the standards.
For more information about SEEDS: https://seedsethics.org/