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Exposure of Surrogacy and Baby-Selling Scheme Underscores Need for Accountability

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Written by Marcy Darnovsky for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Two prominent reproductive law attorneys, Theresa Erickson and Hilary Neiman, now await sentencing by a US district court after pleading guilty to charges connected with an elaborate surrogacy and baby-selling scheme.

The many headlines about this latest fertility industry scandal are clear on the nature of the criminal activities. NBC San Diego titled its early story “Lawyer Busted in Black-Market Baby Ring”; the Los Angeles Times called it a “scam”; the UK Telegraph ran with “Babies 'sold for $150,000' in California.” Even the FBI pulled no punches: Its press release is titled “Baby-Selling Ring Busted.”

The most complete account yet to appear in the mainstream media, by Julie Watson of Associated Press, appeared in dozens of outlets under the headline “Surrogacy Scandal Raises Question About Regulation.” The episode is also being closely examined discussed by several bloggers ( 1, 2, 3), one of whom posted Erickson’s plea agreement.

Erickson and Neiman are far from minor players in the fertility industry.

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