Friday, December 18, 2009

Messing with nature. Designer babies. Baby selling. Surrogacy.

Here's an interesting New York Times article on the practice of surrogacy. Surrogacy is where an individual or couple contracts with another woman who agrees to carry a embryo to term for them. the child maybe created with their genetic material or somebody else's.

Because money is transferred and the baby can be created from third party sperm and eggs, it raises the specter of baby selling and designer babies.

I oppose the practice for these reasons and others. Ultimately, it messes with God's design for family and procreation. When one does that problems invariably result as the article points out.

The article also points out who it encourages to become parents.
The shift from traditional surrogacy, in which women carry their own biological children after artificial insemination, to gestational surrogacy, as well as the wide availability of donor eggs, has opened the possibility of parenthood to a variety of people who cannot have children of their own.

In Manhattan, the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Centersponsors monthly seminars on having families through surrogacy. The well-attended sessions often feature speakers with children born through surrogacy arrangements.

In many of those cases, one of the male partners donates sperm that is used, along with a donor egg, to impregnate a surrogate.

Many of the people who have children through surrogates would have had difficulty adopting because of sexual orientation, marital status or age. Some foreign countries place upper age limits on adoptive parents. And birth mothers giving up their children in the United States often hand-pick the adoptive parents of their children.

“The default position for young birth moms tends to be a mother and a father in a stable relationship and a white picket fence around the yard,” said David C. Cole, a Dallas lawyer with Little Flower Adoptions, which also handles surrogacy arrangements.

The article points out that the practice is especially of interest to gays and lesbians who by definition deny the child a mother or a father and certain individuals based marital status and age who for various reasons wouldn't ordinarily have children. Interesting. Nature says at a certain age you can't have children. And that's good. Having a person who is likely to only be around for a short period of the child's life isn't a good idea. As for marital status. Society has, until recently, encouraged children be raised by a married couple. And that's good. Kids need their mother and father. Surrogacy allows for an end run around these appropriate expectations for raising a child.

One lesson I take away is just because something is technologically possible doesn't make it ethically right or good.

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