July 31, 2007

Where does your baby come from?

A recent article reports on where Japanese couples who needed third-party eggs or sperm got these gametes:
Of those who donated ova, 87 were the wives' sisters, including 3 sisters-in-law, 12 were relatives, including cousins, and 12 were friends and acquaintances. 23 of the men who donated sperm were the husbands' brothers, including 1 brother-in-law, 24 were fathers and two were friends.
How fascinating. How will the children feel when they learn that their real mommy gave them away to be raised by their aunt? How will they feel when they realize that their grandfather is really their father?

Parents and doctors don't let themselves be bothered by such disturbing thoughts. The children will be happy of course, because all they need is love! It doesn't matter who loves them - strangers are fully welcome to take on the parental role. A parent is whomever the adults INTEND to be the parent - and thinking makes it so! The children will be fine as long as they are cuddled and pampered and have appropriate role models of both genders.

Why would they want their "real" mommy and daddy? Puh-LEEEEZE. Biology is so passe.

July 30, 2007

Those little IVF brats should be grateful for their medical problems! Without them they wouldn't even be alive.

A new article reports on a study that children conceived via IVF are more likely to have health problems even later in life. It says among other things:
A study of 3,980 articles in medical and scientific journals between 1980 and 2005 has shown significantly higher risks of long-term medical problems for children conceived through artificial procreation such as in vitro fertilisation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a method in which a selected sperm is injected into the ovum.

...Most recently, a study published in the June 21, 2007 issue of Human Reproduction showed that children conceived through IVF visit hospitals significantly more times (1.76 vs. 1.07 times) than naturally conceived children.
This is news which confirms what many who are involved or seriously interested in the industry already know. But when has the truth ever stopped us? After all, this kind of news would only be important if we really thought about the children more than about ourselves.

Of course, a "risk" is merely that; it is not a certainty. And we are already way past that. Today, we are INTENTIONALLY creating children who have problems. For instance, with the afore-mentioned intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), we are knowingly and intentionally creating children who are as infertile as their fathers - this is a proven fact and the doctors and the fathers know this, and yet they do it anyway. Moreover, ICSI may also pass on other genetic problems such as a predisposition to cancer. But who cares?

What I hear from the parents who do this is that well, creating children who have problems is still better than not creating them at all - after all, they get to LIVE, even though they are flawed! Isn't existence better than not existing? Isn't a life with problems better than no life at all?

Indeed, children are being tailor-made with disabilities that suit the parents. Children have already been intentionally created (through PGD and IVF) to be midgets, because their parents are midgets, and children have been intentionally created deaf, because their parents are deaf.

And all these parents are supposedly doing these children a favor by creating them, because a deaf life or a midget life or an infertile life is still better than no life at all. Those darn kids should be grateful! Right?

July 13, 2007

Egg co-parenting

The Seattle Times had an interesting article recently on two moms - the social mom and the "egg mom" who have maintained contact so that the twin daughters are growing up knowing the female source of their genes - the woman whom normal people would still call the "real mother."

Of course, this "egg mom" doesn't think of herself as the real mother of these girls - and of course, in our relativist, subjectivist world, that would indeed seem to "make it so," as Captain Picard used to say.

Except, there is a little glitch. Biology says that the "egg mom" is in fact the MOTHER, the ONLY one, regardless of what she may think of that or whether or not she agrees with it. Biology doesn't ask for personal opinions, and doesn't change based on social trends, opinion polls or political correctness.

And the girls may in time agree. They can't be expected to necessarily stick to the neat little story their "co-parents" have invented. Many donor-created children don't necessarily agree that their mother's egg is just a helpful little insertion into their social parents' reproduction - they know very well that the egg is identified with the person whose name in the real world is always "mother." They know very well that they have been half-adopted, and that they are being raised by a woman who is, in fact, a stranger. To quote "Son of a Surrogate", who explains how such children may feel:
What do we think about what you think? What you think doesn’t even make sense to most of us. It doesn’t make sense to the majority of people...Do you expect us to have this sort of delusional thinking that you do or do you expect us to think like 99.9% of the general population...
Read the article here.

July 12, 2007

I'm baaack

Though I have not been blogging for the past 3 months (family vacations, work comittments, etc.), I have not become less interested in the area of assisted repro tech. There is just so much to cover! And even though I've been away, I've noticed that quite a few people actually read this blog...so I want to continue getting the word out on children's rights!

Here is an interesting link: http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/infertility/index.html
CBC Radio One in Toronto did an extensive series on infertility and infertility treatments, and you can listen to the whole series online. Especially worth hearing is the interview with Olivia Pratten, who explains how the children of donor insemination actually feel - hello, is anyone listening?

I've also finished reading the Baby Business, and am making my way though Everything Conceivable by Liza Mundy. Both books are quite good. The Baby Business was a quicker read, but it had fewer stories. Everything Conceivable is a bit wordy and slow, but on the other hand, packed with individual portraits that are endlessly interesting - and disturbing. Both books are highly worth reading for anyone who is interested in this area.