Saturday, April 30, 2005

Plant the Seeds, Expect the Harvest

This is another of my least favorite modern developments in family-crafting.

The latest set of quintuplets is a veritable litter of babies born to a surrogate mother who's reliquishing her fee because she feels so bad for the relatively low-income couple (a homemaker and landscaper) that now has five preemies and only three-bedrooms in suburban Gilbert, Arizona. See MSN's report here:

“We were always looking for just one,” said Moreno, 34, who immigrated from Mexico 16 years ago. “If it’s five, it’s for a reason.”

The Reason, as he put it, is because the doctors implanted 5 fertilized eggs, even knowing the risks to the children if they all "took hold." (Also knowing that many doctors now oppose the implantation of so many eggs using exactly the rationale which became reality here.) The irresponsibility of the medicos and parents and surrogate mean that the community of Gilbert will be expected to chip in to bail out these people who couldn't ever afford 5 children, especially ones who will require a lot of special care. We're expected to provide cheerful support as if this number of needy children were a true serendipity. It may be argued whether artificial ensemination or surrogacy is a good idea at all, but we know, without dispute, when that many babies are in one womb, it results in physical deprivation, underdevelopment, and prematurity.

Gabriel was the biggest, at 3 pounds, 15 ounces; Javier the smallest, at 3 pounds, 7 ounces. Enrique was 3 pounds, 14 ounces; Jorge 3 pounds, 13 ounces; and Victor 3 pounds, 8 ounces...
Newborn Javier was taken to the cardiac unit at Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s because the left side of his heart was underdeveloped and could not properly pump blood. He was reported in stable condition. Elliot said the baby had a one-in-three chance of survival.
Dr. John Stock, the pediatric cardiologist who diagnosed the heart problem, said children with the defect must either undergo a series of operations to fix the problem or get a heart transplant.

Yay! Sounds like fun for Javier, huh? The parents love the idea of their prospective children so much, but implantation costs $15k, and who wants to save enough money to pay that twice if it doesn't take? Of course, if you don't have enough money to repeat the procedure, why are you chancing 5 births? Forget I asked. Load up the eggs just in case. Why worry about the physical, emotional, and financial price of having a terribly disabled child? Even the children with capable hearts were born early and small. Not to damn these babies in advance- they're here and I wish them much health and luck- but candidly, it will not be unusual if these kids have respiratory problems and/or developmental disabilities throughout their lives caused by their crowding and prematurity. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making it tons more likely by having them gestate like puppies not normal humans!

And yet, the common response from such parents, who have biased their childrens' lives toward sickness and want with such clear-eyed selfishness, is that it's God's will. Well, perhaps. Explain how God made you infertile, but you didn't feel he called you to learn to love parenting another person's DNA in child form. But then the Lord told you to implant a whole fistful of eggs into a stranger, because he was worried about the cost of do-overs for you. Sorry about the bum ticker, Javier, God blesses your parents' wishes, not yours, blah, blah. When we knowingly use our amazing brains and technology to satisfy our desires regardless of how it may harm the innocent, I don't blame that on God. Sadly, that's human stuff, all the way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Henway, what a crap man you are! :(