One of our readers at "Adoption Under One Roof" (thank you Lisa K) recommended an excellent article written about older parenting. I enjoyed it immensely and have posted it on face book and forwarded it to friends who are also older parents.
Curiously enough I was recently talking to a friend and mentioned that I had the impression that there has been an increase in the number of older parents, even in our small city which is not exactly a trendy place. After reading this article, I found out that it was true! Take a look at this information:
The age of first motherhood is rising all over the West. In Italy, Germany, and Great Britain, it’s 30. In the U.S., it’s gone up to 25 from 21 since 1970, and in New York State, it’s even higher, at 27. But among the extremely middle-aged, births aren’t just inching up. They are booming. In 2008, the most recent year for which detailed data are available, about 8,000 babies were born to women 45 or older, more than double the number in 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Five hundred and forty-one of these were born to women age 50 or older—a 375 percent increase. In adoption, the story is the same. Nearly a quarter of adopted children in the U.S. have parents more than 45 years older than they are.
I recently read an article about Adrienne Arieff, who has written a book about her and her husband’s experience bringing twin daughters into the world through foreign gestational surrogacy. Unable to carry a child herself, a woman in India carried their babies to term. The book is called: "The Sacred Thread: A True Story of Becoming a Mother and Finding a Family—Half a World Away."
Arieff used a clinic in a city in Western India nicknamed the capital of the “rent a womb” industry, and that is where she met Vaina, the 26 year old married woman who would carry the twins to term. Arieff feels strongly that she was not exploiting this woman but describes this surrogacy as a win-win situation: The money Vaina received would change her family’s life substantially, while Arieff of course would have children.
California lawyer Theresa Erickson will serve five months in federal prison and nine months in home confinement after facilitating an international baby-selling scheme. She must pay a $70,000 fine and may ultimately (and justifiably) be required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution to the families involved.
Erickson hired surrogates to carry embryos to term and then arranged for the infants to be adopted, often for more than $100,000. Laws require an agreement between surrogates and “intended parents” to be drawn up before an embryo is implanted. However, Erickson created a large inventory of babies she could offer to clients, then claimed that the original surrogacy agreements had fallen through and placed the babies with other families. Post- pregnancy arrangements among strangers has to be approved as an adoption, because it is an adoption and not a surrogacy.
Planet Hospital, run by a 41 year old Canadian called Ruby Rupak is a California company that creates “babies.” As distasteful as this sounds to me personally it is one option people are choosing to create families. With both intercountry and domestic adoption far from easy solutions for becoming a parent, modern medicine and willing donors are providing alternatives.
For example, a Bulgarian woman is the surrogate mother to a baby whose biological mother is an anonymous European egg donor, and the father is Italian. The baby will be born on the Greek island of Crete. This pregnancy was orchestrated by Planet Hospital which handles the logistics of finding all the components necessary for the creation of a child. Rupak describes his business as a concierge service.
This is the second guest blog from the DDC, don't forget to read their first, DNA Testing: What the Adoptive Community Should Know
DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) is the world’s largest private DNA testing laboratory. DDC is fully accredited by the AABB and other industry-regulating bodies, and has achieved 13 perfect inspection ratings by these organizations. While DDC is best known for its leading position in the paternity testing industry, performing 3 out of every 4 private DNA paternity tests, DDC also performs DNA testing for immigration, adoption, forensic cases, and government contracts. DDC routinely works with adoption agencies and attorneys on behalf of adoptive parents who are seeking to establish a child’s paternity, and occasionally maternity, for the completion of the legal process of the child’s adoption. These DNA family relationship testing services have also proven to be very helpful to adoptees seeking to confirm their relationship with biological relatives. No matter the circumstance, agencies and attorneys representing adoptees and their families—biological and adoptive– can count on DDC for 100 percent accurate, confidential and discreet DNA testing for any of their adoption needs.