Friday, 10 April 2015

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

The definition of family, as I was taught in primary school, is ‘ a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit’ or ‘all descendants of a common ancestor’. 

These are the definitions I’ve lived with most of my life. In recent years there has been a distinct change or should I say two distinct changes.  Firstly, there is a strong feminist movement which thinks two parents are not necessary; in fact many in this group think men are no longer required in the modern world now that we have IVF.  A test tube doesn’t require any emotional input does it. 

There are thousands of women who, for medical reasons, are unable to conceive naturally and I sympathise with their predicament.  Many of these women, and their husbands, want children desperately so go down the IVF route and it can cost them dearly, financially and emotionally. In certain circumstances some can be financed by the NHS and according to the baby centre website, in 2009 nearly 2% of babies born in the UK were conceived as a result of IVF treatment. All these babies were desperately wanted and I have no doubt are being brought up in loving homes.

However, we now have surrogates too and surrogacy is becoming more popular than ever. The HFEA (Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority) does not regulate surrogacy. 

Surrogacy does not require the use or the eggs and sperm of the intended parents. A donated egg fertilised with sperm from the intended father can be used or an embryo created using donor eggs and sperm.  If the latter is used then the resulting child will have no genetic relationship with its parents so therefore the current definition of ‘all descendants of a common ancestor’ will not be applicable.

Does this matter?  I think so.  ‘A Mother who gave birth to her own brother and sister’.  How confused will these babies be when they begin to look at their ancestors?  I shudder to think. Last month a mother gave birth to a child for her 22 year old gay son.  She didn’t use her own eggs but acted as a surrogate for a donor egg fertilised by Kyle’s sperm.

I’ve witnessed the pain of couples being unable to conceive naturally and have complete sympathy with what some undergo in order to achieve a child, but surely there must be some regulation on ‘babies to order’.  The HFEA or another body should intervene now because these latest developments may well cause serious problems for the future generations involved.


Joe Public said...

"(family) ... ‘ a group consisting of two parents ..."

And in those days, it was implicit that they were one of each gender.

Woodsy42 said...

Meanwhile thousands of women have terminations due to unwanted pregnancy. Maybe if adoption were made easy two problems could be reduced?
After all which is best for a baby, to be terminated completely or to have a slight risk of a bad adopting family?

FergusMac said...

We ignore our Maker's plans and Commandments at our peril. Contraception, abortion and the attack on Marriage and the family are killing the West, in a long drawn-out and painful suicide.

Nisi Dominus frustra

JRB said...

Thank You

Excellent comments very well made on an important topic that is much in need of careful discussion and balanced consideration.

The HFEA is by its very nature ‘reactive’ and will forever be behind the latest developments in genetics, fertilisation and embryology.
Equally, well intentioned as this august body is, one must question if it should remain the sole arbiter on societies moral and ethical values and standards.

This is especially so when we consider the rapid increase in knowledge and expertise which is followed far too often by an equally rapid increase in expectation and demand. All of which is inevitably followed by the Law of Unintended Consequences.

JimS said...

It's all about 'self' isn't it? I want it, I can have it, the child just doesn't figure in the equation.

We live in a period of rapid technological change. None of us know the consequences of using these technologies but we can be pretty sure that the technology is built on the knowledge of the past and extensive trials to provide assurance that it will be safe in the future.

Contrast this with the rapid changes in society. The knowledge or wisdom of the past is discarded and replaced with half-baked selfish nonsense that has scarcely been thought through, let alone trialled.

Will the human race survive when all babies are selected to be female and homosexual, which seems to be the direction we are rapidly heading?

Elby the Beserk said...

Joe Public - agreed - but by "gender", you mean "sex". "Sex" is used to for beings, "gender" for language. Quite how, why and when "gender" got hijacked, I don't know, but the word is now incorrectly used.

Meanwhile, an excellent blog post on where this is all leading us. And it's not a good place...

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