April 04, 2007

Well-Known Writer Ends Quest for an Egg Donor

Dani Shapiro, an articulate and well-known writer and journalist, wrote an excellent article in Elle magazine in February about her experiences with searching for an egg donor. Her account is brilliantly insightful and honest.

Dani's article sheds a lot of insight into the consumerist mentality of those who search for egg donors. She writes shamelessly: "I became aware that I never would have chosen myself as a donor." She also reveals how egg donors are marketed like prized horses.

Dani also writes about her feelings of jealousy and being cheated on as her husband's sperm fertilized the eggs of another woman:
"At the very moment we sipped our drinks, Carly's eggs were in a petri dish being fertilized by my husband's sperm. I felt jealous, as if she were the other woman in our marriage. Michael's genetic material - his DNA - was cheating on me with the DNA of this blond, blue-eyed UCLA Law student. I imagined his millions of sperm swimming, tails wagging madly, toward her lovely, ripe eggs."
When the resulting embryos were being implanted into a surrogate mother, Dani felt similarly uncomfortable:
"Embryos that were half my beloved husband's. I felt nauseated as I accomapnied Sahakian into the room where Sandra was lying, her lower body covered by a white sheet, her feet in stirrups. All I wanted to do was shout, "No!" But I couldn't say a thing....I was acutely aware that I was watching something happen that I could never take back...."
As she pursued the goal of having a child through egg donation and surrogate gestation, it seems that Dani realized that the egg donor would indeed be the real mother of the resulting child. She also realized that to use donor eggs is, in a sense, to introduce infidelity (a third person) into the marriage forever - another person who will forever be the mother of her husband's child.

Dani ended her quest after the implantation of the embryos into a surrogate failed. She had realized too much about "the brave new world of assisted reproduction - a world, it must be said, that is many things, but normal is not one of them...The best - or perhaps the only - way to go through the process is to keep blinders on and run mainacally toward the finish line. Stop, and you may stop forever."

Highly reccommended! Read it here.

April 03, 2007

The Gay "Right" To Parenthood

A baby-making-and-selling clinic in LA has just launched "the first dedicated program for gay men wanting to become parents."

According to the article, the clinic says that it is "responding to huge demand from gay male couples around the world who want their own biological children but are often thwarted by prejudice and bureaucracy."

Ah, of COURSE...it's societal discrimination that prevents gay couples from having children!

Not to mention that ever-present, natural and maddeningly non-partisan obstacle: biology.

Well hey, if you're going to go the extra mile and buy a baby for $60,000 (the average cost at the clinic), why not choose the sex? "three-quarters of gay couples pay extra to choose the sex of their baby"(over 60% want boys). And why not choose the hair color and eye color? Wouldn't want baby to clash with the accessories. What about choosing the temperament and intelligence? Wouldn't want a baby that's too demanding and hampers the lifestyle. All the choices are available as the purchasing prospective parents sift through donor attributes.

So you see, when preparing to have a donor baby, there are so many things to mull over and worry about that are much more important than whether your future baby will have a mommy or not. After all, mommies are so passe and culturally imposed upon us. They don't really contribute anything irreplaceable or special, either because of their biological relationship or because of their gender - and neither do daddies. Everyone is replaceable and interchangeable, because all that matters is love, love, love...like in that song by the Beatles. It doesn't matter who loves you, as long as someone does.

And if you say anything else, then you're just plain being mean and discriminatory to those who can't produce their own children.

Notice for those who don't want to wear the big yellow star labelled "bigot and homophobe": better get on the bandwagon and support the elimination of children's fundamental human rights to know and be raised by both of their natural, biological parents.

April 02, 2007

Who cares about legal or human rights? It's about what's "compassionate"...

The myth of idyllic homosexual families with is being deflated bit by bit with each similar story of bitter post-love battle that makes it into the media. Recently I wrote about one such case, where the bioloigical mom was fighting against her ex-lesbian partner (biologically unrelated to the child) regarding visitation rights. Now another similar case has surfaced.

Sara Wheeler is a lesbian woman who in 2000 was in a cohabiting relationship with Melody Wheeler. At that time, Sara conceived her own son through artificial insemination with donor sperm. Two years later, Melody legally adopted the boy with Sara's consent.

Some years later, Sara and Melody split up, and Sara filed to have Melody's adoption invalidated.

Based on the law and legal reasoning alone, the right decision would indeed be to invalidate the adoption, since it appears to have failed the legal criteria from the very start. The reasons for this were clearly stated by Justice Carley of the GA Supreme COurt on February 26 ,2007, in a dissent in which he criticized the 4-3 decision of that court to refuse to hear Sara's case (his dissent was joined by two other justices on the Court). Read his dissent here.

However, when faced with the powerful gay lobby, who cares about the language and letter of the law? This is about political correctness. One openly gay state rep thus said of Carley's dissent that it "sounded very anti-gay and very anti-gay-family". It doesn't matter that Carley is right. What matters is that he shouldn't even try to be right. He should just give in, because to enforce the law is to be mean to gay parents. Indeed, that seems to have been the judgement of the majority of the GA Supreme Court.

And there we are. Anyone who wants to be a parent can be a parent, even to children that have no biological connection to them, and regardless of the law or the basic rights of the biological parents or children.

By the way, I am not "blaming" Melody for this situation. Sara and Melody are both equally to blame for this tangled mess. This mess comes directly from the mentality that parenting and biology aren't connected - and this is something they both believed. They decided to use donor sperm, as if the biological father meant nothing to their child. Since they so easily erased one biological parent from their child's life, then why should the other biological parent get any special treatment? Sara cooked her own soup in this case.