Saturday, November 02, 2013

Bio-ethicist rant against fertility technology

Jennifer Lahl is a bio-ethicist who makes movies like Anonymous Fathers Day, about how kids of sperm donors want to know their fathers. She opposed fertility technologies:
Assistive reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization not only involve serious medical risks, they also disrupt family life and commodify human beings. ...

While modern reproductive technologies began as what seemed to be good ways to help people who struggle with infertility, from where I sit, we’ve made a real mess. ...

One story sticks in my head. A surrogate mother for a gay couple, right after she gave birth, realized she couldn’t surrender the child — so she went to court to get shared custody.  The daughter, being raised by the gay couple and the surrogate mother, one day asked her surrogate mother a very poignant question: since she looked like her biological mother, why is it that her mommy gave her away? The little girl simply could not understand how her mother would do this. The surrogate mother’s response? “I didn’t know what to tell her.”

I wouldn’t know what to tell that little girl either. Maybe we should just stop making such messes.
We are indeed in the midst of a grand and foolish child-rearing social experiment, but the fertility methods are a small part of the story. This gay couple surrogate mother stuff only accounts for a few hundred babies a year, worldwide.

There are millions of kids in the USA who have been cut off from a mom or dad because the other parent is bitter or spiteful or possessive, or some judge is prejudiced, or some shrink is crooked.

I don't know why some stupid judge would award child custody to be shared between a gay couple and a surrogate mother. I have attacked the California 3-parent law. But that is just a symptom of a much larger problem, and not the fault of fertility technology.

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