I was fuming following a visit to the GCN boards back on Wednesday. A twentysomething lesbian started a discussion about the ethics of surrogacy. She started a similar discussion on this topic earlier this spring. Basically, she believes that it is unethical for same-sex couples to become parents via surrogacy. I know from her previous discussion that she also opposes IVF treatment and other medical treatments that assist same-sex couples with having children that are biologically connected to at least one of their kids.
She went to great pains in this latest conversation of stress that she does not hate anyone who chose surrogacy (or IVF), but she also stressed that she believes that it should be unlawful. Here is why:
1. She believes that it gives the illusion that babies are "products, luxury, commodity."
2. She believes that surrogate children ("like adopted children") "tend to have behavior disorders and psychological issues."
3. She believes that parents who choose surrogacy are more likely to choose the sex of their baby and "whether or not the child with have disabilities."
4. She believes that surrogate mothers regret their decision give up the child and feel "as if they sold their child for thousands of dollars."
She went on to assert that God is the one who ultimately conceives and bring children safely into the world and knows each child before they are conceive. And yet she also believes that surrogate children are destined to "face emotional trauma (sic) from separation from one of their birth parents/the mother they knew for 9 months of gestation and are likely at risk for behavioral disorders and psychological problems."
She then went on to stress that people who've chosen surrogacy ("especially on the GCN") aren't viewed as "terrible people." They just made adult-centered choices vs. child-centered choices that were unethical and that should be illegal.
So I called B.S. I pointed out a 2011 study that found no significant differences in child adjustment for surrogate children. I pointed out that many of the criticisms that she slung at those who chose surrogacy could easily be tossed at adoptive parents. After all, we were literally handed a check-list of disabilities, ages, and genders when we went through our home study process. And we could easily turn away a foster child by giving a 10-day notice to the DHS social worker if we decided that it wasn't working out. How many dads who chose surrogacy can say the same?
I then pointed out that many of the same arguments that she was using against gay parents are the same arguments made by religious and social conservatives, such as Robert Oscar Lopez. "Our kids are just commodities to us. We are purposely separately our kids from their rightful birth parents."
The only difference, IMHO, is that people like Lopez don't go to great lengths to soften the blow of their arguments against our choice to become parents. You can't tell people that their parental choices should be outlawed and that we are more concerned with ourselves as opposed to our kids' needs and that we're creating problem kids and then tell us that you love us and wish us well.
She then returned to the conversation and confirmed that she also wants to outlaw IVF and other forms of artificial insemination for lesbians. She is okay with adoption, but only if the adoptive kid was unplanned and/or unwanted as opposed to planned and/or wanted. Frankly, I would never say that either of my boys were ever unwanted by their birth parents. They all got caught up in stuff that I'm not writing about here. But what does that say about families like mine in this whole discussion?
Basically, she believes that kids should not be separated from their birth parents or else they will be forever at risk for being messed up.
Which really got me riled up!
I mean, she is debating (in an online community that includes same-sex parents and others that she knows who have chosen surrogacy and artificial insemination) and trying to tell us that the gold standard for becoming a parent is shooting your wad up a woman's vagina. Everything else leads to ruin and degradation.
This says nothing about your parenting skills. This says nothing about the quality of time that you spend with your kids. This says nothing about the amount of time that you spend with your kids. This says nothing about your ability to financially provide for your kids. This says nothing about your ability to form emotional bonds with your kids, or to set appropriate boundaries for your kids, or to adequately discipline your kids, etc...
If you and your wife stabilize your household and careers and decide to start a family through an anonymous sperm donor, then you are being unethical because you did not have vaginal sex with that father. If you and your husband work with an agency to contract with a surrogate mom so that you can become dads and raise a family, then you are being unethical because you did not have vaginal sex with that mother. Heck, if you are a heterosexual couple who struggles to conceive babies without medical supports, then you are also being unethical because you're working around your biological limitations. (Yes. She literally asserted that in her posts.)
According to her, it is only ethical to create a family through vaginal sex. Anything else, is contrary to God's plan and actively works against the needs of the children.
But she loves us and she really loves our kids!
Once again, the most frustrating thing is that this is being debated at all in an online community for gay Christians. I can go to all sorts of regular Christian boards and hear about how awful it is that gay men and women are messing up our kids. I shouldn't have to hear that kind of crap from my own people.