Closer to home, in Kansas two years ago, another parent put a baby in a shopping bag, so to speak. In 2009, William Marotta answered a Craigslist ad posted by a lesbian couple seeking sperm. He donated a few cups of the stuff. In 2014, a Kansas court ordered him to pay child support. "I donated genetic material, and that was it for me," he said in his defense.No, the old school view is not in favor of saying that a family is a baby, a lesbian, and a Craigslist sperm donor.
How you feel about Marotta's case is probably a good indicator of which side you land on in the culture war. If you think the state is right to make him pay child support, you are likely on the side of the old dispensation — of the "natural family." If you think it is an outrage that some responsibility for the child should be assigned to its biological father, you likely fall on the side of the age that is coming into being — the age of the contractual family, one appointed by authorities.
For details on what I think of this Kansas case, see my comments here, here, and here.
Ireland just passed same-sex marriage, as widely reported, but what they really did was to redefine the family to make same-sex family rights superior to all other laws:
This Friday, Ireland will have a national referendum to amend its constitution to include same-sex couples in the definition of a family. Those campaigning for a "No" vote have settled on the slogan that every child deserves a mother and father. That has inspired some predictable consternation over there. The "Yes" campaigners are frustrated that a debate about equal treatment under the law is being diverted into debates about surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, and the donation of "genetic material" like eggs and sperm.This is the most radical step any country has taken. I am amazed that the Catholic Church could not stop this nonsense. Ireland only just barely legalized divorce in 1995.
Fintan O'Toole says that the "No" campaigners are offending many more people than gays and lesbians, and surely they are. The same conflict between the Natural and the Contracted family are at play everywhere in the advanced world, but they have been drawn especially sharply in Ireland.
The reason is that the proposed change is to the family section of the Irish Constitution, which relates not to marriage only but "the family." The Irish Constitution states: "The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law."
The "No" campaign makes a subtle but profound argument. This section of the Constitution has been found by Irish courts to include the right to procreate, and so the "No" campaigners say that artificial reproductive techniques will insert an ideological understanding of parentage, rather than biology, into the heart of Irish jurisprudence. The word "natural" will have to take on a new meaning.
And rather than the state "recognizing" an antecedent and natural institution of the family whose claims trump those of the state, it will have to take the new commercial understanding of parentage into its hand as it usurps the power to assign legal parentage regardless of biology. The intent of the contracting parties now trumps nature.
Where previously the Irish family was "possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights ... as the primary and fundamental unit group of Society", this so-called equality will use BIOTCh to turn them into slaves of the state.
Because the Irish state recently and hastily arrogated itself tremendous new powers to act in the "best interests of the child," and because the consideration of biological parentage in family law court cases would give an unequal advantage to opposite sex partnerships, the legal force of biological parentage will be eroded.As this article show, Ireland has adopted "truly an entirely new conception of the family", and it necessarily requires state supervision of the best interest of the child.
In fact, guaranteeing the right to procreate to same-sex couples practically demands the erasure of biological parenthood, as same-sex couples cannot have children without involving a member of the opposite sex, somehow. And equality demands even more. To create the equal experience of full parenthood for both, the child's curiosity (or claims) on his or her biological parents must be obviated and denied, whatever the heartbreak.
Equality before the law will be achieved when all natural parents are in the same legal position as sperm and egg donors, or those who contract for them. The entire social, psychological, historical, legal, and spiritual status of motherhood is thus reduced to mere incubation, and fatherhood to the provision of "genetic material." Instead of the state recognizing the "natural" claims of the family that precede the state, it will appoint them in the "best interests of the child," without counting biological relationships.