Another Reason to Oppose Fertility Treatments

Posted on August 4, 2014


What if you could have several children, pick out your favorite, and throw the others away?  Now you can!

In general, Lila is not a fan of fertility treatments. First of all, there is the population issue:  extinction from lack of people is pretty unlikely; on the other hand, a population collapse may very well be precipitated by too many people competing for too few resources.  What we need, rather than creating more people, is to make adoption of the many existing unwanted children – including international adoptions – easier.

Secondly, it is apparent that God or Nature or Darwin might be telling you something if you are having a huge amount of trouble conceiving. Consider that 1 in 8 couples have such troubles, and that children conceived through IVF have higher rates of birth defects, probably due to factors related to the parents’ infertility.

But in our infinite narcissism (or after exhausting ourselves battling bureaucratic red tape), we would rather ignore the suffering of existing orphans and street children, and spend a kajillion dollars on various processes to circumvent Nature and force the creation of our own genetic offspring, telling ourselves that this is a biological imperative akin to breathing or eating (it is not). Beyond mere IVF, we have some parents who go to even greater lengths, hiring surrogates to carry their own biological children to term. If the law in your home country is pesky for some reason, no problem: just hire a surrogate overseas!

And that brings us to the news: an Australian couple hired a Thai woman to carry their biological children. During the pregnancy, the couple asked the surrogate to abort when they learned one of the children has Down Syndrome; she refused, in accordance with her Buddhist beliefs. But hey, no problem! When said children were born, the couple abandoned their Down-Syndrome afflicted son, while taking his healthy sister home to Australia. My, how… eugenic.

I don’t get it. If you are so desperate to have your own biological child that you would go to these lengths – the effort, the expense, the travel, the invasive medical procedures, the circumventing of your country’s laws and of your own biology, entrusting a foreign stranger in a foreign land with the biggest, most precious thing you will ever do – yes, that desperate, then why, when your crappy genes or rotten eggs produce a child with a birth defect, do you simply throw him away? Is he not still yours? Did you not very deliberately create this child using your own egg and sperm?  Would he exist at all without your Herculean efforts to bring him into being?

So, you only wanted perfection after all. Not simply your child, but your perfect child. Nothing else would do, and the Deliberately Created Son of Great Effort and Expense Who Turned Out Disabled is simply abandoned, dumped on the surrogate mother who was just looking to make a buck, she of far less means but far greater morals than the boy’s biological parents.

Do I sound harsh?  Damn straight.  If the Australian parents think at all of their abandoned son or what they have done to the Thai mother and her family, it is not enough; if it were, their son would be growing up alongside his sister in Australia.

I just have zero patience for this. Had the mother in this case given birth to these twins from her own body, abandoning her son and keeping her daughter would have been near-impossible, and rightly so: it is morally repugnant. Maybe this is why surrogacy is banned in some 17 countries. Maybe this is why it should be banned entirely.


Mr. and Mrs. Eugenics clearly think their son is destined for a worthless, dead-end life of total dependency and menial work, if any at all.  Not these days!

Check out the performance and interview of the very talented actress Jamie Brewer, of the TV series American Horror Story:



Or, check out John Anton, a career advocate for people with disabilities. When he was born in 1965, the common wisdom was that he should probably be institutionalized.  Just look at him now, and near the end of the video, listen to the inspiration he has given others.


That’s right, Mr. and Mrs. Eugenics.  Your boy could one day grow up to accomplish things like this.  He’ll just be speaking Thai while he does it.