A Little Off-Topic but it’s still weirdness and bears some relevance to interpersonal connections to my past and South Africa, etc.
As always, everything here is opinion or editorial commentary. All opinions are mine, get your own.
CBS portion Copyright©1999, CBS Worldwide Inc. (original article)
All other information Copyright©2009, Dave Meckanic
Karen, before you start throwing lawyers at me or people of a similar disposition to myself you must ask yourself a few questions;
- 1. Did I work for your father?
- 2. Was I in charge of R&D for Sinesonics?
- 3. Did I do work for Armscor and CI in offensive weapons as well as defensive weapons for Sinesonics/Eclair?
- 4. Did your father own Sinesonics & Eclair?
5. Did Sinesonics and Eclair make the lethal fencing systems for the borders, military bases and key points?
- 6. Did Sinesonics/Eclair’s systems kill terrorists/freedom fighters/people and as well indiscriminately kill animals?
7. Did your father make a lot of money doing this kind of work?
- 8. Was the money made used by your father for himself and the upkeep of his family?
- 9. Did we meet at your father’s Bedfordview home and Sinesonics?
What’s the answer to all those questions? Survey Says.... Yes! But you knew that.
I see a lot of hits to this page asking the question, “What is a Baby Broker?” I think it’s a little funny that those two words put together shouldn’t be hard to understand as it’s rather obvious, it’s a person who sells babies. Now someone might say that isn’t exactly true, but you must know know deep down inside that’s not the case. If someone sells you a service to provide you with a baby or they sell you the baby, it’s still selling babies, the semantics mean very little. So for all intents and purposes, CSP appears to operating in human trafficking management.
Just in April 6, 2010! CSP and eggdonors were on the “Dr. Phil Show” and “The Little Couple.” Isn’t that sweet ;-) Shame though, I wonder if Dr. Phil is going to have an Oprah moment, you remember the one where the guy who wrote the book about getting off drugs, never even took drugs! ROFL The next big thing we’ll hear about is people who promote life but lived off the proceeds of deliberately caused death. Or maybe Dr. Phil could bring in some Albanian Slavers, the ones who kidnap women and turn them into drug addicted prostitutes, the Slavers could give a talk on how they stop sexual abuse, drug abuse and kidnapping. Might as well keep with the program, if the hypocrisy trend works for ya ;-)
Let’s Start Here...
Ahhhh, “for surrogacy, the Gold Standard, CSP is” (as Yoda might say). But I’d rather hear it from George Carlin since he WAS a REAL gold standard primarily exposing the bullshit of self-stated government and corporate “gold standards.” I wonder if Karen realizes that there are Gold Standards for both bullshit and other forms of fecal matter?
”Center for Surrogate Parenting functions as a case manager for individuals interested in a surrogate parenting arrangement and, in the process, lobbies in California to increase its ability...” to feed in all troughs. I think we know how I feel about corporate lobbying, but to reiterate, I think lobbyists should be tried for treason and if found guilty... whatever is allowed by law.
Let’s rephrase the above shall we? The Center for Surrogate Parenting functions as a baby dealership and preys on the pain and suffering of individuals with money interested in other women selling their bodies as breeding tanks and, in the process, lobbies in California to increase its ability.
Before we get into this, I have met Karen Synesiou a few times in the company offices in Edenvale, South Africa (99 Van Reibeck) and had lunch with her and her family at what was her father's Bedfordview home in Johannesburg, South Africa (which is now sold off into a secured complex it appears). Quite honestly, I was never impressed with Karen. She didn't seem to me to be as intelligent or attractive as she thought she was, more a legend in her own mind. Her sister on the other hand was very pleasant, attractive and classy. I can’t say that I ever liked Karen since she was obnoxious from the “get-go.” The first thing I ever heard out of her mouth at her father’s was, “What are **they** doing here,” which was in reference to my team, myself and our spouses at lunch. We were just the scientists and engineers that helped make sure she could live her rather extravagant lifestyle, I guess much like her clients at CSP.
Now why was I at the house and how did I know Karen? Well, I was the Chief R&D Engineer for Sinesonics which produced the SCADA systems for the Lethal Fence Generators from Eclair (both owned by Karen’s father) that ran South Africa's border, military base and key point security. These systems caused death by electrocution, they were indiscriminate and this lethal wall killed not only people, but many animals like baboons, owls, eland and kudu to name a few.
“Better living (or dying) through electricity, eh!”
So, our products and hard work, which killed many of Mandela’s “freedom fighters” (I normally use the pre-political correctness term of terrorists) put lots of money into her father's "pockets" which in turn filtered down and paid for little things like Karen and her sibling's education, upkeep, maintenance and all the things that go with living the "good life" while not working for it.
For me, it's pretty easy to draw a straight line from the killing to education to using people's desperation to brokering babies. In both cases, whether it be Sinesonics/Eclair or CSP/eggdonors.com, it is necessary to exploit the fear, desperation and sometimes ‘necessity’ of your clients. I have openly admitted that my past is tainted with ochre, but the rest can admit it as well, however I somehow doubt that will happen. I really hope Angolina Jolie and Brad Pitt didn't use this service from this broker, because there is a rude awakening here, it's called truth in advertising or the lack of truth in disclosures thereof. But then again, in Hollywood bad press is good press, go figure! So I guess I should mention that Deidre Hall (Soap Opera - Days of Our Lives or is it Days of Our Lies?) and Steve Sohmer did use CSP for services as noted on the CSP web site. Also this is a soap where apparently she was possessed by the devil for months. I wonder if this is before or after she met Synesiou, regardless, she has dealt with the devil it seems. Good thing other “soaps” like General Hospital were smart enough to not use this damaging story line of using a company like CSP, it seems GH does some serious research before they go to air.
Some of the comments and statements in the article below are beyond moronic in their contradictions. There is an ongoing mantra of "it's a donation to help some unfortunate couple have a child." WRONG! It is a brokered service where the donors and surrogates are paid like any other employee or contractor, the baby broker is the middleman and that is all it is, a business that exploits the desperate and the vain. It isn't about helping people or money would not change hands. There is no philanthropy or altruism apart from the psychologically manufactured illusion of same. It can't be about helping people in my opinion, as Synesiou's baby brokerage would probably be making between 20 and 40 million per year, maybe even double that. Therefore somewhat like "puppy mills", this is a baby mill. At least there are laws and regulations concerning the exploitation of animals, just not people.
Apart from the mockery of Karen's website, where the “breeding tanks” and donors are lined up like whores in a brothel, there are a couple of other extremely ignorant and irresponsible comments, but of course, you have to understand, as I do, where they are coming from;
""It is very competitive." Sometimes Synesiou will tell donors that she thinks they may not get chosen.
"She has the right to hear that from me," she says. "I'm not going to say to someone, 'You're ugly. You're not going to be chosen.' That's cruel. But I can find something else in her profile that I'm going to say, 'I'm not going to add you to the database at this time. Thank you so much for offering. But I don't believe a couple's going to choose you'.""
So basically to me what Karen seems to be saying is: "Like everything else I will not put anyone who in my opinion is unattractive on my site (even though this is not a dating site) and I will lie, make any excuse and say anything I need to, to keep them off the site if I think they are unattractive. She is also saying to me, that she is a dishonest and disingenuous person, even with her employees and contractors, “But go ahead trust me to help you make a baby.” If someone finds it acceptable, even normal, to lie to their employees and contractors, why wouldn’t they lie to their clients???
I'll tell you a little story about the dangers of being superficial. Back in 1988, Sinesonics needed a new receptionist, so the Synesious went about interviewing a few of them. One girl came in who was a little heavy (by 20 to 30 pounds) but very attractive and dressed very well, was quite intelligent and had a lot of experience on the PABX and office functions including 2 years of reception. But she was too fat according to the Synesious.
Instead they hired Colleen, eye candy and operating on one brain cell, maybe. Now remember, we were building and installing lethal security systems for the national defense South Africa. One day, we had to go to the Jan Kempdorp ammunition depot (93AD), we took the plane and would be using the base's landing strip. Mike, my wife and I reminded Colleen that she had to call the military base and let them know our ETA (the time when we would land). My wife reminded her again after we left for Rand Airport where we took off. A few hours later, we were at 93 ammunition depot and landed. At the time when my wife reminded her to call, Colleen the ditz, said she didn't need to call right then even though we should have been there by then and then she never bothered. Therefore we were met at the landing strip by the CSO and 2 troop carriers containing what looked like about 100 men, all with automatic weapons ready to take us out on the spot. Fortunately our pilot, Mike, cleared up the problem quickly but isn't that a pleasant way to get off the plane. So is it better to be superficial during hiring in a critical business or to look inside for intelligence and responsibility? I go for the intelligence.
Can we apply this to Karen Synesiou and her group of merry profiteers and their critical business that can financially cripple couples and destroy marriages should plans and programs go wrong? If you've met her, decide for yourself. I haven't seen or talked to her for 20 years, she may have gotten smarter, less superficial and more responsible, but I don't remember her ever "thinking". I do remember her being rather vacuous and every time she had a problem, well, daddy’s blood money could fix it. I never liked her spoilt brat attitude and I certainly wouldn't trust her judgment with even a cup of coffee, let alone tens of thousands of dollars and the future of a family and its money.
The next comment;
""Still, many people do not understand. "A lot of the people… walk away shaking their heads," she says. "But those are probably people that have a lovely family of their own.""
I am not sure which one of these IMHO retards (no disrespect to the truly intellectually challenged) actually made this statement, but it is ignorant and a gross exaggeration based on subjective presumption. The presumption being, that since they are making money at this, it must be good for everyone and all others are just jealous of their methods. WRONG! My wife and I had reproductive biology problems and fought for 7 years to adopt a child, which we did. Then we fought for another 5 years to have one biologically. Between our health plans and hard cash, something around $100,000 was spent in Canada and South Africa to doctors charging ridiculous rates for simple procedures, drugs, tests embellished with procedural lies, except for our doctor at Park Lane Clinic in Johannesburg who was excellent. You have to remember that every month with a mistake or missed fertilization or other problem, is another month of money for the baby broker.
We know how hard it can be and we are both still disgusted with this CSP website and Karen's flippant disregard in showing some kind of respect for privacy for these people's lives for the sake of advertising, convenience and the "almighty buck" that South African Wannabees still all seem to worship and chase down so vehemently. Oh, and don't let the UK schooling fool you.
In addition, "Mother Nature" is something that is tossed around every time someone wants to justify that they can screw things up for the money and that they know better what to do than everyone else. Monsanto has been trying that for years as well, patents on pigs, terminate seeds and unknown genetic strings in genetically modified foods. Of course we also have Donald Rumsfeld and Searle, you know NutriSweet, the trade name for the poison called Aspertame. This bunch also thought they were smarter than "mother nature" and now we have mutating crops infecting normal crops, an increase in brain tumors, diabetes, MS, cancer and of course depleted immune systems while scientists lie and fudge paperwork to the FDA and CDC for fun and profit. The chemical industry it appears have selectively poisoned the male population, through bad science, accident or sheer profit driven stupidity, which is reducing the number of pregnancies and live births (refer to the “Disappearing Male” for a quick synopsis).
We have a pharmaceutical industry that feeds us poisons and says the side effects can be fixed with more poisons, a good example is Lipitor or any statin drug and have you seen some of the new ads? They actually state that the side effects of an eczema treatment are heart failure and death. People are supposed to risk death to clear up a rash? How is this OK? What is wrong with these corporations apart from greed? What happened to a bridge builder standing under the bridge when the first train crossed to show he trusted his own work?
Feed Rumsfeld Nutrisweet in all his food for a year or two. Have Bush spend 4 months in the desert with the soldiers so he can get some of those tasty US biological agents. Have the president of Pfizer take 50mg’s of Lipitor a day for two years. Have the president of Monsanto eat only GMO foods tainted with Roundup, the dumbed down version of Agent Orange.
Get these company presidents and bankers, who suck so much out of the economy while screwing over everyone around them, to stand behind what they are selling!
We don't need another false hero, like CSP, capitalizing on the backs of people's desperation. The reproductive biology sector should be strictly regulated ethically, professionally and financially to keep out profiteers, sociopaths and snake oil salespeople.
Like Brundle-Fly, the new Dr. Mengele, Frankenstein or whatever name now fits, is alive and well and living off the proceeds of exploited people in Beverly Hills.
Center for Surrogate Parenting Client/Associate List
(I’ll only put up names searchable on the internet)
Actress Angela Bassett and her husband Courtney B. Vance
Actress Deidre Hall (Days of our Lives)
Cindy Margolis (CSP Spinner)
John and Lisa Banfield (interesting article)
For the balance, I am quoting the CBS article and will take it in pieces;
(article in yellow, comments in red)
(CBS) You've heard of sex on the Internet. But what about making babies? 60 Minutes II Correspondent Gloria Borger reports on a novel use for the Web.
Since they were married five years ago, Bob and Carolyn Amer of Toronto have been trying to have a baby. He's now 54 and she's 43. When their last attempt ended in miscarriage, they turned to egg donation. But finding a donor wasn't easy.
They turned to a Beverly Hills firm called Egg Donation, Inc, which had the donors, but didn't have a good way to show them to couples like the Amers. One day, the firm's director, Karen Synesiou, had a flash of inspiration. "One day I came out of the shower and I suddenly thought , 'I can use the Internet'," she recalls."And the Internet is fast, it's efficient, and couples can do it in the privacy of their own home." (Yes the internet is a good tool but can be misused. In this case advertising prospective surrogates and donors is in bad taste imo, this is not a dating service and should be privately, confidentially, ethically and tastefully done to ensure that it is taken seriously.)
To find a donor, you simply log onto Egg Donation Inc.'s Web page (again more like a dating site in true South African Wannabee tradition), enter the ethnic origin and religion you want your donor to have and the state you want her to live in, specify her hair color, eye color and height, and click. Instantly, the donors who match your requirements pop onto the screen. That is no guarantee that the child will have the same characteristics. Don't they know anything about genetics, this is not cloning, or is that next for K.S?
"It's completely odd," says Carolyn. "The whole process is odd (you think so, but not for a typical female South African). And if someone had said that this was something that I would have been doing, even a year ago, I would have laughed." (Don't laugh yet, South Africa is the fashion capital of the world! so I was told. Apparantly London UK takes their cue in fashion from SA. Now that is something to laugh about, at least for me it is. In the 80's, SA fashion included pink and black polka dots, jackets with flounces and matching pink, lime green and yellow bags and shoes, along with plastic hair as well as lime green "sprayed on" jeans. I know, I was there.)
Using the site, the Amers found a donor they liked almost immediately: 26 year-old Kristi Johanson, a Federal Express driver who lives in Columbus, Ohio. They ordered her eggs with the click of a mouse. Kristi doesn't think there's anything strange about this: "I think it's good. I think it's the next logical step." (and so is running off a cliff for a lemming)
Egg Donation, Inc. is a genetic cybermall (read cyberbabymill, flesh brokerage, baby broker). It matches more than 400 recipients and egg donors a year. Says Synesiou: "I didn't want just four or five or ten donors, I really wanted to give couples the ability to choose between a lot of donors to find the real genetic background, a person who could play the piano like they could, or something that they had in common." (Just because the donor plays the piano doesn't mean the child will, again don't these people know anything about genetics?! Two ugly parents can have a beautiful child, two beautiful parents can have an ugly child, one charismatic parent and one normal parent can have two arrogant idiots, there are so many permutations that you would have to DNA screen everyone to even have a 50% probability that what you bought is what you get.)
There are certain restrictions. The donors must be at least 21. (Well at least that's something) Most are married with children.
Another big player in Internet egg matching is a Los Angeles company called Options. Its operators field more than 200 calls a day from potential egg donors, most of them single college students.
Kimberly, 28, has been an egg donor twice. Both times, she was chosen within a day of listing. "I think that they had someone looking at the Web that night obviously and said, 'Wow, this is what we've been looking for'," she says. (I guess they can't screen out conceit and inject humility)
She ascribes her success to her good people skills: "I can interact with people. That's something that I can do very well. I don't think that it's going to come through in the eggs, but you never know." (OMG, gag me with a spoon, is this a Valley Girl with a 3.7 GPA? Most on Egg Donation Inc. say they have a 3 to 3.8 GPA.... She must be from a different planet with statements like these)
Options places ads seeking would-be moms and dads in college newspapers across the country. The ads demand very specific traits. The director of Options, Teri Royal, says her Web site is looded with inquiries. The site gets between 3,500 and 4,000 hits a week, she says.
Some requests are very specific, she says: "We had a client once who came to us who wanted a blonde-haired and blue-eyed donor who had three generations of blonde-haired, blue-eyed people in their family. I think she was trying to sway the odds in her favor of having a blonde-haired, blue-eyed child, which was ludicrous considering the fact that her husband was Asian." (Does she counsel these people from Adolf Hilter's, Eugene Terr'blanche's or Wooter Basson's Big Book of Eugenics For Dummies?)
What this is really about, says Royal, is trying to make science do what "Mother Nature" did not. At an infertility convention in New York, couples were lining up to log on to the company's site. (well at least we know there is a lot of frustrated people to prey on out there)
With the Internet, the picking and choosing has gone global. A third of Egg Donation Inc.'s clients are from overseas. Synesiou has gone to Italy, where she spread the word about her Web site at an infertility conference in Venice.
It is very competitive. Sometimes Synesiou will tell donors that she thinks they may not get chosen.
"She has the right to hear that from me," she says. "I'm not going to say to someone, 'You're ugly. You're not going to be chosen.' That's cruel. But I can find something else in her profile that I'm going to say, 'I'm not going to add you to the database at this time. Thank you so much for offering. But I don't believe a couple's going to choose you'." (If I had a dollar for every time I heard a Synesiou say that someone couldn't be hired or were discounted and ignored because they were ugly or fat, I'd be a millionaire!)
It is also expensive. Egg donation costs couples like the Amers about $16,000. This includes doctors' fees, legal costs, plus medical and psychological screening of the donor. Kimberly, whose first two egg donations resulted in pregnancies, now receives $5,000 each time she donates. But she thinks of her egg donations as charitable contributions. (How stupid are these people, if you received money for a product or services rendered, it was not a donation or contribution, is this stupidity contagious by way of proximity?)
Kristi, who is married and the mother of two, is getting $2,500. At first, Kristi says it was all about money. Now, she says it's not. "This is a way that I could give a little bit of something to somebody else," she says. "I can be a little part of that. And hopefully, hopefully, if this works out somebody's going to have a little life. And I got to have a hand in that." (Yeah for a fee, your hand had money in it, duh!)
Carolyn Amer sees no problem with the donor being paid. They deserve it, she says. (They do deserve to be paid like any job, but the Synesiou site and connections are simply garish, crude and obscene. Let's not make it out that donors aren't employees or contractors, they are the paid help. I used to hear double speak like this from Karen's brother John as well, but I never heard that kind of garbage from Karen's sister. I think her sister would be disgusted, just as we were on seeing this site and the flippant way this is being handled.)
Couples like the Amers may soon have to pay more. The reason: an ad placed by a lawyer for his client which ran in several Ivy League newspapers seeks an intelligent, athletic donor who must be at least 5'10", have scored 1,400 plus on the college boards, and have no major family medical issues. The offer: $50,000. The ad got huge media attention (Again that doesn't guarantee for $50,000 that the baby will be intelligent or athletic.)
"I almost wish I was 5'10"," says Kristi. (I thought this was a little helping hand you bloody hypocrite. Are your parents related to Karen in some way?)
Teri, though, is not happy about this development: "It changes the perception of egg donation from that of a gift from one woman to another to that of outright bribery." (A light bulb switched on in someone's head! I could tell you about bribery in South Africa, it's just like Mexico, everyone is on the "bite.")
Egg donation is completely unregulated. Bob and Carolyn Amer needed a guide to navigate this cyberworld, so they hired a lawyer to draw up a contract with Kristi, who was still just a face on a screen. Andrew Vorzimer, whose law firm the Amers used, has drafted more than 1,000 agreements for infertile Internet couples. "They are on a new frontier," he says, "embarking upon a path that no one has gone down before, so every time they go forward with an arrangement they are taking a risk." (And the parasites flock to use desperate people's hopes, frustration and needs to liberate cash from their pockets and by the way is Vorzimer a South African too?)
In drawing up the contracts, Vorzimer deals with all sorts of strange, vexing questions. Can somebody come back and take their child from them? Who owns the eggs? Will they go to jail if they work with an egg donor that they compensate? Can an ex-husband come back and seek custody of the child? The technology is evolving, and there are new questions all the time. (No regulation potentially means huge parasitic legal fees and all these things could happen, since there is no legislation and legally, it is a "gray" area that REQUIRES adjudication. But then how can the lawyer satisfy these couple's legitimate concerns and fears if there are no laws or rules? Hopefully things have changed.)
One key question: who is the mother? Kimberly says the woman who actually give birth is the mom. Carolyn Amer and Kristi agree. "I'm giving a little DNA gift," Kristi says. (NO Kristi, it's not a gift, you're a paid employee, and if there is no regulation or legislation as to who is the mother? I guess the courts would decide if need be, more lawyers and more wasted time and money)
Still, many people do not understand. "A lot of the people… walk away shaking their heads," she says. "But those are probably people that have a lovely family of their own." (What a stupid comment, we went through hell to have our son. I don't think that the only people shaking their heads are those who had their children easily without help. I think many will shake their heads, those with children and without, all ages, races, countries. I am shaking my head at this tripe because it is presented like a garish dating site.)
Finding an egg donor on the Internet brings hope to a process born out of desperation, but there's something undeniably impersonal about it. For the Amers, the face on the screen just wasn't enough.
Bob and Carolyn actually met Kristi in the flesh. "I just want to see what this person was like," he says. "How she laughed, how she reacted to things, how she carried herself, and I just want to shake her hand and say thank you." (Yeah, sure, uh huh, looks like a dating site, meeting the donor can initiate new problems in the future, such as the donor may decide she wants the baby, or maybe even the husband, it could happen. Just like with adoptions and surrogacies. Best if you haven't met and keep donor-ship anonymous as it always has been in the past.)
So the virtual has become real. And if luck holds, the egg will become a child. (And the child can find the mother using news articles and the original CSP "dating" site. Now how stupid is that! To make matters worse, it's hard enough for kids growing up, yet you people seem to actually want them to find out their parents may not be their biological parents simply by using the net. It's best left to the discretion of parents to tell their kids in due course, not Jimmy’s little friend who found Jimmy’s information on the internet and then blabs it all over the school yard.)
(Reproductive biology treatments should be paid for directly by the chemical companies and all other corporate entities that screwed up local and global environments, since they are the cause of declining birth rates and carriage to full term. If this were the case, ethics, procedures, costs and licensing would be regulated under the law and the profiteers/sociopaths would be hard pressed to get their hooks into desperate people. The only problem with it being paid for this way is that people like the woman in the US who had 8 babies with 6 at home already would take advantage of the system and be a burden to everyone.
But maybe it is better to have one or two women take advantage of the SYSTEM, rather than a few unscrupulous profiteers taking advantage of thousands on honest hard working people that just want to have a family)
Produced by David Kohn; Copyright 1999, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved.