Friday, February 28, 2014

"Three" Parents, Surrogacy, and Commercialization in Conception and Birth

I've been thinking about this subject for some time.

First, some admissions:

  • Getting pregnant was NEVER a problem for me.  I had 3 kids in four years.  Coulda done more, but I was really getting tired of birthin'

  • In my younger years, I did follow the crowd and use contraception.  Never had to consider an abortion, which I thank God for.  Some things, it was just a mercy I hadn't been in a position to have to decide upon - I don't know that I'd have decided in a good way.

  • There have been days my kids drove me crazy.  Well, the same is true of my husband.  But, I never wished they hadn't been born.


I never had to wrestle with the conflicts between a strong desire to have children, and the ethical problems that lay within that decision.

In high school, we all read "Brave New World" and "1984" (funny, seldom do kids read either these days.  1984 is too uncomfortably close to the near-worship of our current leader.

And, Brave New World, with its manufactured baby products, seems WAY too close to modern elite parenting.

And, it IS an elite problem - they are the ones that delay pregnancy until conception is difficult, if not impossible.  They are the ones (Octo-Mom notwithstanding) who have the money to make their quest for a mini-me possible.  And, they are the ones that can see a potential egg donor or surrogate, and see - what?  A virtual non-person?  A "lesser" human being?  A bought-and-paid-for servant?

Egg donors take enormous risks.  The process of "harvesting" eggs requires the donor to be pumped full of drugs, some of which will imperil future pregnancies, cause premature menopause, or, even, serious illness or death.

The surrogates take risks, too.  They take on the normal risks of pregnancy, plus the added complication of implantation or medical intervention to join sperm to egg.  If the sperm donor is gay, she risks AIDS exposure, hepatitis, or other STD (Yes, I know that the sperm is screened.  Keep in mind that, in the pre-AIDS testing years, such an unknown pathogen couldn't have been guarded against.  Caveat emptor - or rather, let the SELLER beware.).

Here's a thoughtful look at the ethical challenges that commercial child-buying entails.

Here's a look at sperm buying, from a person whose father was "Donor".
Sex was not necessary for me to exist. I was not the natural fruit of a marriage. I was a very clear decision, an economic transaction and exchange of services rendered by buyers and sellers who did not know each other—not even as acquaintances. - See more at: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/03/4628/#sthash.8H149Qag.dpuf

He differentiates between types of immortality:
There are two types of immortality: genetic and memetic. Genetic immortality includes the preservation as well as the reproduction of genes. Living forever like Duncan MacLeod in Highlander is one example of genetic immortality through preservation; freezing your body cryogenically is another. Genghis Khan and his now 16 million living descendants are an example of genetic immortality through reproduction. Memetic immortality, on the other hand, has little to do with the physical matter of our bodies. It is the theory that mental content and "cultural units"—ideas, beliefs, patterns of behavior, etc., can be reproduced from mind to mind—as individuals influence each other to adopt new ways of thinking, preferences, and so on. - See more at: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/03/4628/#sthash.8H149Qag.dpuf

How does the never-present father benefit?
Fifty years ago a man had to devote his life through marriage to pass on his genes. Today he doesn’t even have to buy his mother’s child a drink. - See more at: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/03/4628/#sthash.8H149Qag.dpuf

If the seed of the father contains at least SOME of the character traits - introvert/extrovert, easy-going/uptight, athletic/clumsy - then will our future civilization be shaped - perhaps NOT for the better - by the careless seeding of these absent men?

This woman was charged with crimes.  Read it, and tell me - just how different are her actions from the LEGAL actions of those purchasing surrogates?

No comments: