Archive for January, 2008

Another aggravating read

January 31, 2008

I bookmarked this blog awhile ago, when we were considering donor insemination as our route to parenthood. I mainly avoid it because it’s another aggravating read.  We have since chosen adoption, which has an even larger lobby of opposition.  But ART is a medical advance that has created many loving familes and here it is portrayed as an afront to children’s rights.

As far as I can tell, the blog author has no vested interest in the subject; she is just appalled by the reprotech industry and has made it her mission to get the word out that we should: “Stop the Baby Trade”

Yes, it is a baby trade, like the slave trade of old. Babies have become consumer products, accessories to our lifestyles. They are like pets, those cute and cuddly babies. And like pets, they can be made to your liking. Just buy the sperm at your nearest sperm bank, purchase an egg from your local egg dealer, and rent a surrogate womb. (Oh, there’s my favorite word again: “just”) And in 9 months, bring home a baby without a pregnancy, without even a dent in your schedule! (Hmmm . . . it’s been FIVE years and I’m still waiting and don’t even get me started about my schedule!)

There is supply and there is demand. Babies are disposable: their value and worth depend on being “wanted”. (What, is there some study that shows these ART babies are being recycled by the age of five or something??) As embryos they can receive a life or death sentence based on a screening of their genetic traits. They can be frozen indefinitely, donated for research or simply killed. In the womb they can be “selectively reduced”. They belong to whomever they were “intended” for. Apparently, adults have a “right” to a baby. And before they are born, babies have no rights at all. (Ummm . . . reality check here, they are embryos . . . not frozen babies.)

They can be bought and sold, or traded from person to person. (Kind of like spouses, should we outlaw divorce now?) Even after they are born, some of their natural rights are not recognized or respected. They had better not complain about not having their “natural” or biological parents. If they mind, they are ungrateful. After all, we cuddle them and spoil them and shower them with love – just like our pets. Well, it’s time to stop the baby trade. Infertility is tragic. So is being panhandled by your own genetic parents and being raised by biological strangers. So is being created in a laboratory only to be frozen as “surplus” or screened out and left to die because you are unwanted”. (I cannot think of children more wanted than those of infertility patients and adoptive parents.) Children have not consented to these things. (Children don’t consent to their birth at all, not in poverty, not in war, not in abuse or neglect. How do you view those children’s rights?)

Their own parents, their supposed protectors, have allowed these things to happen to them. Adults have selfishly (there’s that my other favorite word: SELFISH!) allowed their reproductive urges to trample on the fundamental rights and needs of their own children. But now, as many of these children come of age and we hear their cries of pain, it is time to admit that what reproductive technologies have given to parents, they have also taken away from children.

Sometimes doing the right thing requires a lot of sacrifice. This is one of those times. We need to set aside our adult desires in order to protect children’s rights. Let’s see babies as human beings who are our equals. Before we manipulate them through reproductive technologies, let’s imagine them as 20-year-olds. Let’s admit that we have no right to harm others to get what we want. Let’s stand up for those who don’t have a signature line on the consent forms, yet who will be forever affected by the decisions taken.We will find that by protecting the weakest, we are also protecting ourselves. The rights of children are tied to the rights of adults. Children have a right to their own parents; and those parents also have a natural right to know and to educate their own biological children. These natural rights cannot be eliminated, only

Let’s stand up for the natural human rights of children: their right to life from the moment of conception, their right to be carried in the womb of their own biological mother, and their right to know and be raised by their own biological parents.

As if all that wasn’t enough to get me hopping mad, the blog author also lists a number of blogs who in her words are “Living and Spreading Injustice.” If you have used donor gamete or even plain old ordinary IVF, you might want to make sure you’re not on her list. (under the heading: “Blog Stops Along The Baby Trade”). Several of you are on there. Sites like this one may be why and how the loony tunes and meanies find us. (Referring to my comments and questions lately about how and why the mean fertiles are leaving comments on IF/adoption blogs in the first place.)

So, since she’s called us out on the carpet, free to go return the favor.

The author is Canadian, a country that believes in free speech as much as the rest of the free world (as do I), but I have to wonder what motivates a person to stick her nose in where it doesn’t belong (into other people’s private lives).

Isn’t that the governments’ job?? (insert sarcastic tone here.)


Weekend Plans

January 11, 2008


Won’t you join me in reading?


January 9, 2008

There has been some buzz about the new movie Juno.

As a work of fiction it is getting much praise for being a fresh new comedy. As a depiction of open adoption in the USA today, it is getting some harsh words from others. There is also a bit of a radio silence in blogland from those afraid to see it and / or afraid to say what they think of it once they have. (I am including myself in the latter).

RESOLVE offers this commentary and from there you can link to a discussion if you like (registration required).

Anyone want to speak up here about what you thought of the film?

One question the controversy leaves me with, is whether we can really hold filmmakers responsible for depicting (anyone’s version of) reality in their fictional works.

I mean is there a rule that says that blonds can’t be portrayed as dumb in movies? Or rural folks as hicks and so on . . . Is there a rule that says we can’t portray certain cultural stereotypes in films? It happens every day. It bothers me when I see unfair stereotypes but we’ve all laughed at a blond joke or newfie jokes (for my Canadian friends). Sure, we hope that negative images aren’t perpetuated, but Hollywood has never been my source of education or realistic portrayals.

So is it fair to expect Juno to be more than it is? Might it just be another comedy vying for our laughs and our movie-going dollars? Or is it an insult to real life members of the adoption triad everywhere?


Lucky Seven

January 4, 2008

Ally at Life in the CatPad  and OHN at Only Half Nuts tagged me to tell you 7 interesting things about myself.

 I suppose “interesting” is subjective, but here you go:

 1)  I was born in one country, emigrated to a second, then emigrated to a third all by the age of 6.  We moved about every three years and when I tell my story most people say “Oh, you must have been an army brat.”  Brat?  Probably.  Army?  No.  Just a restless father I tell them.  It made for an interesting childhood, more in a good way than in a bad one.  As an adult my main regret is not having any lifelong friends.  My “oldest” friendship goes back to junior high-school and we are still as close as you can be when separated by 5,000 km.  As a hoping-to-be-parent, I can’t imagine dragging my kid(s) around that much for no good reason.

2)  I speak English well, though technically it is my second language.  I like to think I have a better grasp on it than the ‘average’ American, but I’m not that’s saying much.   I speak German fluently, and French passably.  I hope to add Spanish and at least take a beginner course in a language that does not use the Anglo alphabet.   Japanese appeals to me.

3) I wish I could draw.  Or sing.  Or dance. 

4)  I talk  to my pets like they are people.  At least so far it’s all rhetorical.

5) I have traveled to 23 of the US States, 5 of the Canadian Provinces, a handful of tropical islands and several European countries, at least two of which have changed their names and / or borders since then.  I’ve been lucky in how much of the World I’ve seen.  (See Item 1)

6) I consider myself an independent woman, maybe even a moderate feminist, but I find myself doing some very ‘like-my-mother’ things since becoming a ‘wife.’  I work at staying true to myself without being inconsiderate of my one true love.  Sometimes it a tricky balance.

7) Infertility has made me stronger, more empathic, more tolerant, less tolerant, grateful for things that others take for granted, and pretty bitter too.  I’d  trade any and all of these lessons in a minute for my previous ignorant bliss and a baby.