Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mr. Test Tube Give Me a Treat!

Hey you guys, it seems we're becoming obsolete. We're simply the middlemen in the sex equation for certain upper-middle to upper class women. What do they want? Sperm. The NYTs Mag tells all about this trend of the wealthiest women bypassing the penis for the baster.
As recently as the early 60's, a "respectable" woman needed to be married just to have sex, not to speak of children; a child born out of wedlock was a source of deepest shame. Yet this radical social change feels strangely inevitable; nearly a third of American households are headed by women alone, many of whom not only raise their children on their own but also support them. All that remains is conception, and it is small wonder that women have begun chipping away at needing a man for that — especially after Sylvia Ann Hewlett's controversial 2002 book, "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children," sounded alarms about declining fertility rates in women over 35. The Internet is also a factor; as well as holding meetings through local chapters around the country, Single Mothers by Choice hosts 11 Listservs, each addressing a different aspect of single motherhood. Women around the world pore over these lists, exchanging tips and information, selling one another leftover vials of sperm. (Once sperm has shipped, it can't be returned to the bank.) Karyn found both her sperm bank and reproductive endocrinologist on these Listservs. Three-quarters of the members of Single Mothers by Choice choose to conceive with donor sperm, as lesbian couples have been doing for many years — adoption is costly, slow-moving and often biased against single people. Buying sperm over the Internet, on the other hand, is not much different from buying shoes.
I'm sorry but I don't have a lot of sympathy for this "trend." My fear is that it's ultimately selfish. When having a child ideally, it should be about the child and not about the mother or the father feeling alone or without meaning or whatever. It's another side effect of American consumerism and it's corollary, instant gratification, when a woman can think I don't need a man, I just need some sperm to conceive.

And I'm sorry, we shouldn't be adding to our population when there are children out there who need homes right now. Living, breathing, suffering children that seem disposable -- not of the right genetic make-up, born to uncaring parents and possibly rife with disorders. Something that can be left to rot on the shelf because the consumer wants a better product and desires to experience first-hand the manufacturing process: gestation.

Humans are not products. When possible, conception should be the product of a loving union between a man and a woman. When things go awry and children become the victims of mistakes made by their parents, we in society should organize our resources to find them the best loving homes possible -- whether that be in a traditional family unit or with a gay couple or a single parent.

Let's keep our attention where it should be always: with those children that are already here. Until we solve their problems, why should we go about creating more children with modern science and someone's deep pockets?