What Is This I Don’t Even.

So a gay couple (male) in New Zealand New South Wales* had a “surrogate” carry their (whose?) baby for them, and the “surrogate,” who is also referred to in the article as the “birth mother,” agreed to have her name left off the birth certificate so the child can be the legal (or, in Adopto-speak, the Actual Factual) but impossible offspring of two men, because growing up Frankenstein’s Fucking Creature is (you guessed it!) in the best interests of the child.

O Brave New World wot got such hedgehogs in it.

Wait, what? But that can’t be…It can’t, right?

Look, a person cannot come into existence without a woman’s genetic contribution. To me, “surrogate” means a woman who agrees to carry in her womb for nine months the product of someone else’s sperm and another someone else’s egg. In this case, whose egg? Whose sperm? Whose? Surrogacy aside, who is this kid’s mother, who is this kid’s father, and how will s/he ever know?

S/he won’t.

“Stop asking such questions. WE had you made to order for US and you are OURS and that is all you need to know.ย  It was in OUR your best interests, so shut up!”

That poor kid. S/he may well have the two best, most loving dads in the Universe, but s/he’ll never know where s/he came from. And it’s no sad accident: s/he was created that way to order, on purpose. And this isย  not a crime against the child but A Landmark, because in an ideal world we would all be decanted and taught via conditioning which questions to ask and which ones never, ever, ever to ask at the risk of losing our parents’ love, assuming we still had parents, because what does that word even mean anymore?

Again, I think gay marriage and gay parenting are fine. I also think no one has a desire to parent that should be allowed to negate the parented’s need to know who they are and where they come from.

I mean, holy shit. Ho. Lee. SHIT.

*Thanks, Lauri Lee.

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16 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, WTF?!

16 responses to “What Is This I Don’t Even.

  1. What of the mother? Neatly discarded into “Never Existed Land”. The woman who gestated this child is this baby’s mother: she is the woman who grew this child under the background beating of her heart; her blood nourished this baby and from her body this baby was born. Her breasts are making the perfect food for this baby as dad and papa pose for pictures and learn to mix formula milk from a can while across the world somewhere in some poor corner a woman weeps in the night as her breasts leak milk for a baby who wonders: “where is my mother”.

  2. Not just a genetic contribution. It’s a little-known fact that not only does the mother contribute 50% of the child’s DNA but she also contributes the *child’s first cell.* That’s what the egg is. It’s the child’s first cell, minus 50% of its DNA. Mitochondria, cell membrane, and all the little organelles–those all come from Mom.

    So, from a biological standpoint, a child actually “belongs” more to their mother than to their father. The father’s contribution is to make the cell complete so it can start dividing and develop into a human body. The mother does everything else.

    Considering our culture once held that a woman was just the growing medium for the baby and that the man was the one carrying itty-bitty babies around in his testicles (this is where the expression “seed” came from as an euphemism for semen), chalk it up to another issue that patriarchy has gotten completely bass-ackwards.

    • “Once”? Science no longer accepts the notion of preformation, but in the minds of an awful lot of men, women remain mere incubators.

      For anyone interested:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaas_Hartsoeker

    • To take it even further, Dana, the mitochondrial DNA is passed **ONLY** from the mother to her offspring, and within that DNA is the genetic code powering our very existence. The mitochondria’s main purpose is to convert nutrients from the bloodstream and oxygen into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The phosphate bonds of the ATP are then broken, and energy is released for the cell to use for other things, such as muscle contractions or other things (depending on the cell type).

      Without that unique DNA contained within the mitochondria, and passed from mother to child, our cells would not be able to produce energy to cause the heart to beat, the brain to function, or respiration to occur. At the most cellular level, we live only because of our mother’s mitochondrial DNA.

      Another fascinating tidbit about mitochondrial DNA: It is fairly stable across generations, so the likelihood that your mitochondrial DNA is the same as your mother’s and her mother’s and her mother’s through generations is extremely high.

  3. Good grief!
    I go on about this and get blank stares from the general public. WHY don’t people see what it’s going to do to these kids? To top it off is there any way the mother could be degraded any worse [and by doing so degrade and dismiss the child as anything but a product]?
    This is another attempt at the blank slate the adoption industry pulled during the BSE.. It didn’t work then and it’s certainly not going to work now . What on earth is the explanation going to be of where they came from?
    I am so sick of adoptees and now these “test tube?’, I don’t know what the word for these made to order humans would be, having no rights to their heritage .

    • I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why it’s so hard for the non-adopted to imagine themselves in our place. Many refuse to do it, instead insisting they wouldn’t care without giving it any real thought.

  4. Lauri Lee

    Not that relevant to the whole in denial about child’s best interests quashed under “I wanna be a parent, and this legal paper fiction proves it”, but I feel an urge to point out that this is a New South Wales Australian couple, not New Zealand.

    • D’OH my bad. Would it help if I sang?

      Here we are in NSW/shearin’ sheep as big as whales/With leather necks and daggy tails/And hides as tough as rusty nails….

      (I thought not, but that song is good and lodged in my skull now.)

      Though you live beyond your means….

      • Lauri Lee

        Funny song, I’ve actually never heard it before now. But bringing up shearing is entering another territory of trans-Tasman relations. In my childhood/’tweens there was a great debacle regarding shearing – Kiwi shearers infiltrating Oz with their wide combs and how they destroyed the unions, mateship, and the Australian way. For real!
        http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/lab/90/omalley.html

        With regards to surrogacy this side of the Tasman, I’m pretty sure that altruistic surrogacy is legal but for profit, not. That adoption can be practiced in the same manner as step-parent adoption if the “surrogate” mother is the (genetic) mother (which includes a changed birth certificate) and the biological father is on the original birth certificate. There’s a process for IVF adoption for implanted surrogacy, because legally the carrying mother is still the mother. So I don’t think there is any real difference between NZ and Australia regarding identity bending with surrogacy and adoption, except NZ in the case of gay couple adoption doesn’t allow same gender parents on birth certificates (yet). In essence, we are as rotten as each other in regard to fictitious birth certificates and outsourcing a child.

        There seems to be a global lack of reproduction ethics with regard to outsourcing and available technologies, that have nothing to do with the best interest of the child.

        It peeves me that milestones in gay rights are the gaining of rights to abuse other people’s rights. A milestone to me would be if gays stood up for adoptees rights to have the truth put on their birth certificates.

  5. The lack of ethics in ART is even more noticeable than in adoption!!!

  6. I attended a play group yesterday where a woman in her late 40s has adopted a Chinese baby (she saved her yanno!). When she went to China to collect the child/goods she stopped off for a facelift, lipo, botox and collagen fillers – so she’d look nicer for the baby (oh and had a third honeymoon with hubby on the way too) :S

    Yep, cos newborns really don’t need THEIR own real mother – any wealthy westerner jizzed up with the latest cosmetic procedures is every newborn’s first choice……….I’m gonna need a prosthetic tongue of steel I tell ya!

  7. This situation reminds me of Huxley’s Brave New World, and like 1984, it is not meant to be an instruction manual.

    • Me, too–hence the “decanted” reference. (-:

      • Yep, got the reference there Snarky ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Babies grown in bottles without any warmth of a mother …. mother love erased … it’s an image from Brave New World that always stuck in my mind. Only difference between fiction and reality is that babies are not (yet?) grown in bottles but rather women have been reduced to the worth of bottles via surrogacy. No longer human beings they become incubators for the global market ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • LOL, I missed the hyperlink on ‘decanted’.
        I will file it under ‘great minds think alike’. ๐Ÿ˜›

        I have not read Brave New World since the 1970s, when the pill was just becoming more common (although introduced in the 1960s). Fairly amazing that Huxley wrote that some thirty years beforehand, and thirty years before ‘The Sexual Revolution’ of the 60s.

        From the wikipedia:

        Unlike the most popular optimist utopian novels of the time, Huxley sought to provide a frightening vision of the future. Huxley referred to Brave New World as a “negative utopia”

        And yet, society followed it like a template. Second Wave Radfems like Sheila Jeffreys have written how The Sexual Revolution was a bad thing for females. Of course, most of these modern reproductive technologies are also bad for females too, the surrogacy business is the most obvious (current) leading edge of how females-as-incubators and how their reproductive capacity and labours are stolen and utilised by males for male gains.

  8. What a bill of goods the sexual revolution was for women indeed. Only we can’t say so because that makes us big ol’ prudy-prude-prudes.

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