Russell and Duenes

Children Born of In-vitro Fertilization are Starting to Speak Up

with one comment

We don’t often reflect on the long-term consequences of our actions. This is a core part of our rebellion against our Creator. We want what we want, and we want it now. This is particularly true of the strong in our oppression of the weak, and no one is weaker than babies and children. We talk about doing things “for the children,” but this is often a thinly veiled way of justifying what we adults want to do, children be damned. This is most certainly true with abortion, where children often find that their mother’s womb is the most dangerous place they will inhabit. But when once we started neglecting the best interests of children, abortion necessarily became only the most egregious sin in a long train of abuses, one of which is our treatment of many children born of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). The fertility industry has such a strong emotional appeal going for it, for how can we argue that people who want children should be denied the opportunity to have them? With all the unwanted children in our world, how can one be judgmental of those who want a child so badly? It’s simply un-American to limit peoples’ “choices.” Yet, as Angela Shanahan remarks in her piece, Murky business of donor conception is having a brutal effect on the offspring,

One might assume that with the amount of recent focus on the “gay” family, the problems of their donor-conceived offspring would command more attention. But the media have heavily invested in the simplistic emotionalism and cheap moral utilitarianism of the adults’ side of the equation. Now they are somewhat taken aback that those children whose human rights were never considered in the beginning of the great biotech revolution are starting to raise their heads. (emphasis mine)

According to Shanahan, many of these “donor-conceived offspring” have siblings out in the world of whom they have no knowledge. In addition, these children are often in the dark as to their racial lineage or cultural roots, brought up in parental arrangements that mar their long-term well being. All of this we do in order to satisfy our short-term desires as adults, and we long ago downplayed the importance of both father and mother in bringing up healthy, emotionally-stable, mature children. In our technological idolatry, we’ve decided that whatever can be done will be done. If we can pull eggs, sperm, and embryos out of our bodies and manipulate them in test-tubes, so be it. We hide our eyes from the eugenics-tinged nature of “evaluating” eggs and embryos, and perhaps in the future, genetic engineering. We say that we have a “right” to a child, but somehow the child get herself gets lost in the process. As Shanahan concludes,

For the past 20 years the biotech industry has conspired with the “new family” agenda underscored by manipulative emotionalism beloved of the media, to create the dubious notion of a right to a child…But this issue should not be turned into an emotional contest. The most important people in this are not the parents — neither the genetic nor the birth parents — and certainly not the IVF industry. The important people are those that no one thought much about in the beginning: the children.



Written by Michael Duenes

February 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

One Response

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  1. Mike,
    Dang… just dang… Thanks for keeping up with all this stuff.


    February 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

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