Monday, August 16, 2010

Profoundly evil

As our culture of death continues to wallow in the filth of its own making, imbibing waves of turbid poison, yet another homosexual celebrity "couple" announces that they have successfully manufactured some children for themselves--and the flagitious crowd applauds.

It is, of course, a profoundly evil act to manufacture a child outside of the loving human relationship of a man and a woman. Let me be clear: it is a profoundly evil act to do so regardless of the sexual orientation or sex habits of the people involved. It is every bit as evil for a heterosexual couple to pay for the genetic material sold by a reproductive prostitute--male or female--in order to manufacture a child as it is for a homosexual couple to do so. It is every bit as evil for a heterosexual couple to rent the womb of a surrogate reproductive prostitute as it is for a homosexual couple to do so. And what goes for couples goes for the intentionally single people as well, who want all of the experiences of parenthood without bothering to make a committment to an adult of the opposite sex.

Perhaps you think the term "reproductive prostitute" is too strong. I don't. We call people who sell themselves sexually "prostitutes," after all. Selling or "donating" the eggs or sperm, or renting the womb space to incubate a child, is a kind of prostitution as well--the kind in which the object is not brief sexual pleasure, but reproduction. Reproductive prostitutes are selling their children's natural right to be raised by their own biological parents to other people. The lesbian mom who uses "donor" sperm, the homosexual men who pay a woman for her eggs and space in her main reproductive organ, the heterosexual infertile couple who pays for either or both of these things--all are colluding in the denial of the child's natural and fundamental human right to know and be raised by both of her biological parents.

When children are denied this right in the course of their lives, we call this a tragedy. If a parent dies, if a parent abandons his or her children, if a child's parents fail her repeatedly such that she is moved from foster home to foster home until her parents' rights are terminated--we recognize that harm has been done to the child, a kind of harm that runs so deep that it may manifest in serious mental or emotional problems throughout that child's life. In the case of a parent's death, of course, no one sought to harm the child--but harm may occur anyway, and the surviving parent usually takes steps to mitigate the harm by providing counseling, spiritual help, and other ways to deal with the natural grieving process. In the case where a parent has abandoned the family, the innocent spouse may work very hard to minimize the damage, and may struggle with the heavy cross of single parenthood. In the case of parents who fail the child, harm may have been deliberate, or it may have been unintentional--yet the child is hurt, and hurt badly, by the failure of the parents she loves to provide her with what she most needs from them--a stable, loving home with both parents present.

But in the case of "donor assisted" reproduction, a child is being manufactured in a laboratory with the deliberate intention of keeping him or her from being raised by either his/her own biological father, or his/her own biological mother--and sometimes, both. The idea that this may harm the child is brushed aside. Children don't need their own mothers and fathers! cry the post-gender anti-heteronormative enthusiasts. Children have become the ultimate consumer product.

I highly recommend that everyone interested in this issue read this whole article. It's long, but well worth the read. Some highlights:

NEW YORK — Katrina Clark and Lindsay Greenawalt have much in common. Bright women in their 20s, raised by single mothers, keenly curious about the men whose donated sperm helped give them life.

Clark's search for her father succeeded after only a month, though with a bittersweet aftermath. Greenawalt is still searching, seven years after she started — persisting despite doubts and frustrations.

"I've dreamt of you since I was a little girl," Greenawalt wrote to her unknown dad in a Father's Day blog posting in June. "There are so many things I want to know about you." [...]

Since 2008, Greenawalt, 25, has been chronicling her quest on a blog, "Confessions of a Cryokid." One of the most wrenching entries came last Thanksgiving, when she addressed the oft-repeated refrain that donor-conceived children ought to be grateful they were born.

"If I had to choose between being conceived with half of my identity and half of my kinship deliberately denied from me for eternity — or never being born — I'd choose never being born," she wrote. "We were created to carry a loss. A loss that no human being should have to endure."

How terribly sad that is! Can anyone read that and not understand how profoundly evil it is to manufacture a child, creating one like a consumer product, totally removed from the loving human relationship from which children are supposed to result?


The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which represents many sperm banks and fertility clinics, encourages parents of donor-conceived offspring to tell their children the truth about their conception.

But it does not favor banning anonymous donations, saying the children's rights must be balanced against the interests of donors and the parents who will raise the child.

"The bottom line in the U.S. — we've always been big proponents of individual rights in regard to procreation," said Andrea Braverman, who serves on the ASRM's ethics committee. "We've always taken the approach that we get our own choices in terms of how we build and manage our families."

"Build and manage...?" Again, how evil this is! Families are supposed to arise from the natural bonds of love between husband and wife, and the children with whom God blesses them. Now, apparently, a family is something you can "construct" artificially, by paying a reproductive prostitute or two to provide you with the genetic material and/or womb space you can't provide yourself.

Still more:

A past president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Dr. Jamie Grifo of New York University's Fertility Center, said heavy emphasis on the rights of a child wouldn't always work in the realm of donor-assisted conception.

"It may not be a popular point of view, but when these decisions are made by donor and a parent, the child doesn't have a say," he said. "If the contract is for it to be anonymous, it should remain anonymous, and the child just has to deal with that."

Do I need to repeat the phrase, "...profoundly evil act...," or does Dr. Grifo's ugly, dismissive attitude toward the children really say it all?

Though the article referenced above focuses on the situation of children conceived by donor sperm, the situation is the same if the eggs of an anonymous donor are used, or if both the eggs and the womb of a surrogate are used. In any case, a child is being manufactured, and the idea that harm may result--though we recognize the harm when any other loss of a biological parent ensues!--is brushed aside as a trivial concern, not nearly as important as the satisfaction and happiness of the adults involved.

This is, in a manner of speaking, a demonic inversion of the normal family. In a normal family, the needs of the adults are put aside in favor of the needs of the children. But in a situation (and again, whether this involves heterosexual couples, homosexual couples, or manufactured single parenthood) in which children are seen and desired as goods which will enhance the lives of the adults, not seen and desired as unique human beings in their own rights who have the right, tragedy aside, to be raised by their own biological parents, the needs of the adults come first--and the children will simply have to "deal with" never knowing their own father, or their own mother, or even (in the case of homosexual or intentional single parents) what it is to have a father or a mother at all.

Our sick, perverse culture claps its hands at the idea of "building and constructing" families, as if children were construction materials to be bought and sold, instead of human beings of innate, infinite, and immortal value. Since a strong, healthy society can't be build on the crumbling idiocy of "manufactured" families, it won't be long until ours collapses under the weight of its own egregious stupidity.


Anonymous said...

I thought it was amusing that the announcement, made via Twitter, included the sentence "Hope the press will respect our privacy." Umm...then why announce this to the whole world via Twitter? Why not just got through the process, you know, quietly- like most people?

Also: surrogate babies are one step away from eugenics. Once this is completely acceptable, there is no reason why people who *can* reproduce "the old fashioned way" will nonetheless attempt to manufacture a child for a trait they want (better looks, taller, lighter skin, etc.) using one of these "egg or sperm prostitutes" at a given price. If you think this is prostitution now, wait until this is more "socially accepted" and competition and payment for surrogacy becomes fierce.

Are we headed for A Brave New World?

Magister Christianus said...

I am stunned, although I really shouldn't be. If marriage can be warped into anything we want it to be, then so can a family. This is no less disastrous than the baby born to porn star Kendra and her football husband. I just saw a bit of her show on television. She was at a bikini photo shoot to show off her post-baby body. Her baby was there with her. Fortunately he was not with her the night before when this mother was out partying at a nightclub.

We must continue to acknowledge publicly that such acts are a travesty of God-ordained marriage and family. Even more importantly, however, we must make sure we are doing all we can as faithful husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers to answer the call of marriage and parenthood ourselves.

Wendy in VA said...

Well said, Erin.

Anonymous said...

I'm not particularly a fan of "reproductive technologies" but I have to notice that the Hebrew Patriarchs used "surrogates"- albeit ones they had intercourse with - to beget children when they had infertile wives.

The concept of a man deserving children despite the state of fertility in the marriage is as old as the idea of paternity and personal property. I don't see this coming from a deformed new American perspective - though we have taken it to new lows.

Maybe this is because as a culture we derive morality from the concept of rights instead of duty?


Dave said...

The customs of Sulva have become pervasive (see C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength for the reference)...

Deirdre Mundy said...

Elizabeth--- And that worked out SO WELL for Abraham and Sarah.

If you look at the story, it seems to be a lack of Faith on Abraham's part. He doesn't trust that God will fufill his promise within the confines of his marriage, so he begets Ishmael.

But God had a plan. Isaac was in the offing!

Abraham's use of a 'surrogate' leads to years of warfare and all sorts of problems for the Israelites. It was Abraham choosing technological reproduction (as much as was available) over TRUST.

The Patriarchs weren't sinless. So many of their stories read as warnings-- as proof of WHY we needed a Savior in the first place!

MommaLlama said...

I will not speak for nor do I agree with those who are creating children out of wedlock or in an unholy union such as homosexuality... what I can speak to is the desperation of infertile couples. As a married woman of nearly 10 years, and all 10 of those year completely infertile I know the despair when you feel that desire for a child(ren) that you are certain came from the Lord. For my husband and I we knew and loved our faith, we fully accepted the teachings and understanding of the dignity of the body... so we never considered crossing that line! We chose adoption for a means to a family.

Now, for those who don't know or don't except the seriousness of these terrible sins it is tricky to label them as monsters (I'm speaking of the couples in search of a means to an end for their fertility, not the doctors). The fact is (generally speaking) these couples are doing what they feel led to... a family. It is so emotional, the failure in your own fertility then the failure rate of all these techno repro procedures. It can even become addictive, however strange that may sound.

While it is important to tell people the truth about what they are choosing in techno repro, I also think we should be advocating adoption more readily (hetero married couples, thanks). Especially as a faith who believes so strongly in choosing life and the importance of an intact family unit.

Even though it doesn't make sense to those who are not infertile, there is an inward shame already. We need to do a better job educating people about this dark side of science, and encourage them in directions that are filled with grace!

Red Cardigan said...

MommaLlama, I agree with you here. I'm planning a post on the subject soon.

SusanF said...

Hello, Erin. I apologize for this being off-topic, but I've been reading your blog for awhile now as an off-road from our late, lamented days on the Crunchy Con blog. You posted much more than I did and probably won't remember a disagreement or two in which we both engaged.
But I'm writing here to say that all your posts about parenting are sensible, insightful and marked by the good sense which mean- I've agreed with you 100%!
And the best post was a couple of months ago, on the subject of modest women's dress, for Mass and beyond. This is a subject that, in the hands of many bloggers-who-shall-not-be-named, makes my skin crawl.
The difficulties of dressing well at a time and size in life we seem to share, were better expressed than I have read anywhere else.
I probably won't comment here again but I wanted to thank you for these posts.

PM said...

I think God gave us science to use it. If it is used to create life, even better. If it is used by 2 people who think that he or she can do a great job parenting, and send a child into this world who will become an asset to us all and not a liability. Then good for them. Too many of the wrong people are having too many of the wrong children. Have you ever been to a prison? Or the American South?

freddy said...

"Too many of the wrong people are having too many of the wrong children."

A hellish sentiment.

Oh, and science can not be used to "create" life -- only to manipulate it.

c matt said...

I think God gave us science to use it.

Yes, but to use it how? Just because we can, does not mean we should. Unfortuantely, too many people think that science can answer the should question - "should we" is simply out of science's league.

PM said...

@Freddy, how can you disagree with that? What do you think our foster care system is filled with? And what becomes of the vast majority of those in the system? I'll tell you what happens: they become a liability. We need more assets and fewer liabilities.

PM said...

@cmatt: I recall you being impolite on another thread, so I answer cautiously and I reserve the right to stop replying if there's a repeat performance, but to answer your question, IMHO science should be used to (A) help God's people and God's things and (B) not hurt God's people and God's things.

freddy said...

Your statement above that I quoted sounds exactly like the philosophy of Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist, racist, and proponent of forced sterilization of the poor and "unfit."

I believe that any philosophy that divides humans into "right" and "wrong" people is dangerous and evil. It may sound like hyperbole, but it is exactly the sort of thinking that led to gas chambers.

To answer your question, I think that the foster care system is filled with human beings created in the image and likeness of God, and that no human being is a liability.

Professor Plum said...

@PM 1:26: "We need more assets and fewer liabilities."

It's amusing (read: sick) that human beings are treated by you as so many marks on a balance sheet. Assets! Liabilities!

However, if you do believe in God - it's really up to Him to determine who is an "asset" and who is a "liability" (though thankfully he's a personal God and is interested in individuals, not accounting terms). Why? Because it's his Balance Sheet, since He's the Creator.

Remember Luke 18:9-14 before being so sure your an "asset" and not a "liability". Or any passage where Jesus talks about Pharisees.

c matt said...

@PM, I do not recall this thread of which you speak, but I certainly do strive to be polite, although I cannot guaranty I am always successful.

If you don't want to answer, I will not take it personally. By the way, the question was meant rhetorically. The point being that those in the sciences often thinks they know the moral/ethical answer better than anyone else simply because they know the technical answer.

Red Cardigan said...

PM, I also can't recall people being rude to you here--but I also can't recall you ever commenting here, either, so perhaps I overlooked the thread.

In any case, civility is always welcome. Incivility is not.

Anonymous said...

That young person who would prefer to be dead (an interpretation of never born) to not knowing mom and dad sounds vaguely unhinged.

Normally conceived children end up orphaned from all sorts of situations. Not to defend the situation that created that child at all, but it sounds like a personality disorder. someone in need of medication and counseling.

No one is promised a perfect life. Christians should understand this.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I had to mull this one over to see if there was anything useful I could add to this conversation. I don't share the view that a "culture of death" is taking over our society, but no need to rehash that, we each know where we stand.

One bit of common ground is, when it comes to dealing with children, the right of relevant adults to feel fulfilled takes second place to the needs of the child. Much as I sympathize with gay couples who feel they could do a good job raising a child, I have a sense that the CHILD has a more complete upbringing with a father and a mother. I would favor a loving gay couple with a stable home over bouncing around foster homes, but when a mother and a father are available, that is best for the CHILD.

I had my first direct encounter with the fact that a male child responds to men differently than women while working at a hospitality house serving visitors to a nearby prison. A woman had brought her two grandchildren to visit their mother many times. One crowded holiday week-end, as they prepared to squeeze into the one room allocated for their family, I casually mentioned that there was an extra bed in the room where I and a male visitor, and his baby boy, were sleeping. The male grandchild was THRILLED.

The next time was riding on a bus in PG county Maryland. A young man was on the bus with a woman who could have been his mother, grandmother, or aunt. He hopped across the bus to take an empty seat next to me. His mother called him to come back. He didn't move. I told him, I'm happy to have you here, but your mother told you to back over there. He moved.

Both times, there was obviously no adult male in their lives. I've also been told by a grandmother that I was the first positive male role model in her young grandDAUGHTER's life. Oh, she'd had plenty of experience with men ready to abuse her in all kinds of ways. Generally she wouldn't sit down to eat dinner if there were a man at the table.

That's a long-winded way of affirming that it makes subtle but significant and real differences in a child's life to have one parent of each sex they can count on. A gay couple can be loving, supportive, help with homework, take them to the ball game, but they can't be mommy and daddy.

I have doubts about in vitro fertilization too. Leave God aside for a moment, although I believe God did and does have a plan for how all this is supposed to work. Even if it all just happened spontaneously, there are a myriad of subtle, complex factors all interacting with each other in a myriad of subtle complex ways. Tampering should be done, if at all, very carefully.

One statistical outcome we do know is that instances of severe genetic defects increase with in vitro fertilization. Most likely, this is because the natural process tends to weed out the sperm, and perhaps the eggs, carrying defective genes, BEFORE they get to the point of conception. In vitro mixing doesn't provide that protection.

Just because we can doesn't mean we should. The natural world isn't all just the way we need it to be - God did tell us to cultivate it like a garden - but the natural process is the baseline, and we need to think very carefully about what is, and is not, an improvement on nature.

marilynn said...

You are totally right. Remember though that people who donate their genes become parents when their offspring are born and it really sucks when they abandon their kids as promised in the contracts they signed before their kids were even born. That's someone's parent and it's harsh to call their absent parent a donor it's also pretty harsh to call them prostitutes. It almost clouds the real point which is they are parents and they should act like it.

You are right of course these people have kids that fall under that traditional umbrella of being considered illegitimate or bastards which in days of old meant they did not have a legal right to the care of both parents. So yes a donor's child is treated like the child of a prostitute - taken over by strangers scrubbed of their identity and made into the child of nice respectable people who wanted a child so badly they bought one from a (whore).

I just wish we'd start calling people parents when they have children because they are and they should take care of the children they create. It must be hard to be told by the people raising you that your absent parent is just a donor or just a prostitute - man that's their mom your talking about you know and if they got the chance they'd most likely love her and forgive her just to be accepted by her - that donor that nice lady that prostitute who gave up her kids to help a couple who had bad eggs or sperm. That's their missing parent key to their missing family. They'd sooner forgive her (or him) if given the opportunity than forgive the people raising them for requesting their abandonment for sequestering them from their family and for falsifying their identities to keep them from assuming their true identity when they were old enough to leave and take care of themselves.
So I don't know it's just rough to say someone's mom is a hooker you know? They would really like to hear someone admit she's their mom or he's their dad though I think people feel legitimized when someone admits that.

Good blog.