Op-ed by Haika Mrema
“It is such a transactional experience," said Khloe Kardashian during an episode of "The Kardashians."
This is what reality star Khloé Kardashian confessed regarding her son’s birth via surrogate. What usually is an experience filled with elation and excitement for mothers was not for Khloé.
Khloé shared her thoughts on the season three premiere of Hulu’s “The Kardashians,” where she expressed guilt and a struggle to connect with her surrogate-born son. “I felt really guilty that this woman just had my baby,” Khloé said. “I take the baby and I go to another room, and you’re sort of separated. It’s such a transactional experience ’cause it’s not about him.”
“I wish someone was honest about surrogacy and the difference of it,” she continues. “It’s still great, it’s just very different.”
Khloé was correct to call the surrogacy experience “transactional” because that is exactly what it is. While babies are treated as commodities to be produced and exchanged amongst individuals, women’s bodies are reduced to a rental service utilized at their biological expense.
There is a reason God designed pregnancy the way He did: to establish the lifelong physical, emotional, and spiritual bond a mother will have with her child. From feeling every inch of the child grow in the womb to the oxytocin release that intentionally reinforces the mother-child bond during labor and breastfeeding.
To deliver via surrogate is to sever that natural and vital process, possibly causing trauma to the surrogate and the baby she carried for nine months.
What was designed to be a remedy for families struggling with infertility has become a multi-billion dollar industry where humans are diminished into products bought and sold for convenience. Vulnerable women continue to be exploited for their bodies while the parents' desires override the needs of a child. Surrogacy suppresses the intrinsic value of human life for selfish gain, and this problem will only worsen as surrogacy continues to be commercialized within our culture.
I won’t pretend to know what pregnancy and birth feels like as I do not have children yet. However, I trust the Bible when it says in John 16:21, "she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world" (NIV). Such a profound experience ought to be reserved between a mother and her child, as it is an inexplicable feeling vital to their relationship.
Khloé Kardashian did what more women ought to do – share the reality of surrogacy, which is an experience that reduces a natural process. It must not continue to become accepted as normal in our society.