Agencies Offer Women in Arkansas $60,000+ to Bear Children as Commercial Surrogates

Agencies are offering women in Arkansas tens of thousands of dollars to bear children as commercial surrogates.

Commercial surrogacy agencies work with individuals and couples who pay women to be artificially inseminated and bear children for them as surrogates.

The agency American Surrogacy advertises that women in Arkansas can make more than $60,000 as commercial surrogates. Other companies on Craigslist offer commercial surrogates upwards of $55,000 to $75,000.

The reality is that commercial surrogacy uses this kind of money to exploit women and children.

In California, surrogate Brittney Pearson recently made headlines after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Because the cancer treatment could harm the unborn baby she was carrying, doctors recommended inducing labor early and caring for the baby in the NICU while she started chemo. However, that isn’t what the same-sex couple paying Brittney Pearson as their commercial surrogate wanted.

Even though she was 24 weeks pregnant, and the baby might have been able to survive outside the womb, the men wanted Brittney to have an abortion. If the baby were born alive, the men asked that no life-saving measures be taken for the baby.

With her cancer having spread to her liver, Pearson found a hospital to induce birth. The child died shortly after being born on Father’s Day, June 18.

All of this was made possible by state laws that facilitate commercial surrogacy.

Family Council has lobbied for legislation that would prohibit commercial surrogacy in Arkansas.

In 2017 then-Rep. Greg Leding sponsored a bill prohibiting commercial surrogacy in Arkansas. Unfortunately, the bill never came up for a vote.

Being pro-life means believing that innocent human life is sacred at every stage of development from conception until natural death.

Commercial surrogacy violates the sanctity and dignity of human life, because it treats women like commodities, and it treats unborn children like property that can be manufactured, bought, sold, or destroyed at will.

To put it simply: People aren’t products.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Why There’s No Such Thing as “Surrogacy Gone Wrong”

In the 22nd week of surrogate Brittney Pearson’s pregnancy, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Because the necessary treatment could harm the baby, her doctors recommended inducing labor early and allowing the baby to be cared for in neonatal intensive care while she started chemo. However, the gay couple paying Brittney Pearson to serve as their surrogate did not want a premature baby with potential developmental or health problems. They wanted her instead to have an abortion. 

Pearson offered to put the baby up for adoption, but the men refused because, according to Pearson, they did not want a child who was genetically related to one of them somewhere “out there.” According to Pearson, the men threatened both her and her doctors with a lawsuit if she did not abort her child. Because of California’s radical surrogacy laws, which allow financiers of a surrogacy arrangement to be granted legal parental rights of the baby before he or she is born, they likely would have prevailed.  

In an interview with Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, Pearson told her story. Her son was born at 25 weeks of pregnancy, a gestational age that, thanks to advances in maternal medicine, children have survived. Though she has not publicly stated whether her son was killed before or after delivery, or whether he was given or denied the medical treatment a premature baby needs, she has confirmed that her son died the day he was born, which was Father’s Day. 

Though, of course, not every surrogacy contract ends this way, Pearson is not the first surrogate mom pressured to kill her baby by those paying for it. However, it would be a profound mistake to think of hers as a case of “surrogacy gone wrong,” as advocates of the practice claim about stories like hers. Each and every moral violation that occurred along the way was not exclusive to Pearson’s unique circumstances. Rather, they are violations endemic to surrogacy itself, a practice that denies children the right to their mother and, at times, their father, and denies a mother the right to her own child. Children are treated as products to be purchased and arranged, subject to property laws and other legal realities long used to dehumanize certain individuals. 

It’s jarring to hear these men talk of Brittney Pearson’s baby as if he were a lamp ordered off Amazon that was delivered broken. However, it is the surrogacy contracts signed ahead of time that treat human babies as commodities. If it seems like an obvious violation of human rights and God’s moral order for two men to demand that a woman have her baby killed, what should we make of the legal contract governing the baby’s creation, gestation, and delivery in the first place? If babies are treated like products and pregnancy like the means of production at the beginning of the surrogacy process, why would we expect things to be different at the end? 

Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. Thus, they should never be treated like any other thing.  

Like the social research that shows how extended exposure to violent video games and media can desensitize people to actual violence, surrogacy is among those cultural realities that reveal how much our view of children has been desensitized by all that constantly reduces them to “things.” As one gay man who sued his employer last year for refusing to pay for him and his husband to hire a surrogate put it, children are just one of the modern “trappings” of “marriage,” like a “house, children, [and] 401k.” 

The willful death of Brittney Pearson’s son is a tragic, but logical, escalation of the moral errors fundamental to surrogacy. As marriage and family are increasingly deconstructed, reimagined, and replaced in law, the demand for surrogacy will only increase, and more babies will face the same kind of danger as Pearson’s baby. If we don’t stand up for them, who will? And if we do, it will require standing against this practice, which is fundamentally disordered and always wrong, and not merely against selective cases. 

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Maria Baer. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to

Copyright 2023 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Surrogate Babies Stranded in Kyiv Bomb Shelter Amid War

Above: A screenshot from the BBC’s report.

The BBC reported Wednesday that at least 21 babies born through surrogacy are stuck in a bomb shelter nursery in Kyiv while the war rages in Ukraine.

The story underscores yet another example of the unintended consequences tied to commercial surrogacy.

Unfortunately, commercial surrogacy is a big business in parts of eastern Europe and Asia. Couples from western nations can contract with companies — like BioTexCom in Ukraine — who hire women to bear children as surrogates.

In 2020, World News reported dozens of newborn babies born through commercial surrogacy were stranded in a Kyiv hotel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Commercial surrogacy treats babies like products that people can buy or sell, and it treats women like commodities.

Many nations prohibit commercial surrogacy, because it is linked to the exploitation of women and children.

Unfortunately Arkansas’ commercial surrogacy laws are very lax.

Since 2017, Family Council has actively supported legislation to prohibit commercial surrogacy in Arkansas. So far that legislation has not passed.

Human beings are not products that can be bought or sold. That’s why Family Council opposes commercial surrogacy — and will continue to oppose it.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.