Surrogacy scandal raises regulation questions

By JULIE WATSON | August 11, 2011 | 4:45 PM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Prosecutors say the case of a highly skilled reproductive law specialist who ran a birthing factory out of the Ukraine highlights the need for more protection for people desperate to adopt children.

Surrogacy advocates worry the prosecution of Theresa Erickson will fuel more opposition to reproductive technology that is fiercely fought by some religious groups and prompt lawmakers to simply crack down in a state that stands out for daring to regulate the service. Most states have no clear standards for such agreements between prospective parents and the women who carry the children.

Forge says the San Diego attorney and two others duped at least a dozen American couples into paying up to $150,000 for babies made under illegal arrangements.