fact check

Everyone Keeps Saying Gay Surrogacy ‘Is Growing.’ Prove It

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“More and more, gay couples are choosing the surrogacy route,” claims Miami Herald‘s everything-gay scribe Steve Rothaus. It’s in a piece titled “A growing number of gay couples are using surrogacy clinics to become fathers,” and probably got the okay from his editors because CNN is out promoting its gay In America series “Gary and Tony Have a Baby,” premiering June 24 at 8pm, about Gary Spino and Tony Brown’s $150,000 journey to have a son, and it puts gay parenting back in the news. In that same program, host Soledad O’Brien wonders aloud, “Why is this happening now?” Except Rothaus doesn’t cite a single piece of evidence — whether from a scientific study or even a quote from a single fertility doctor — to prove true his thesis about the “growing number of gay couples” going the surrogacy route.

At least this 2008 AFP story cites one surrogacy clinic reporting an increase in business from gay couples all over the world. But is that because another clinic in town shut down, or are gay couples suddenly finding themselves with an extra six-figures lying around to truly set off this boom in surrogacy? None of these reports cite any hard numbers — but that might not necessarily be their fault. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t seem to have the hard data, or at least I couldn’t find it. “Coupled with adoption, the number of families with gay parents is growing,” the AFP reported. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, between one million and nine million children under the age of 18 have same-sex parents today.” Okay, but let’s uncouple that figure from adoption and find out just how much this type of thing is “growing.” One study from the AAP I could find that talked about gays and children, titled “The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children,” contained no hard data.

I have little doubt the hard evidence would show what’s anecdotally accepted to be true is, in fact, true. But before another one of these “GAY SURROGACY BOOM!!” pieces gets published, how about some actual research to support the claims?