Is Your Child Real?

When you look at your kids, do you ever wonder whether or not they’re real?  Are they real children or just elaborate fakes, cheap imitations of the real thing, shadows of that which they pretend to be?  That’s the question Cathy Lynn Grossman, writing in USA Today’s Faith and Reason section, posed regarding children conceived via in vitro fertilisation.  Her query was prompted by the news that the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Robert Edwards, the British scientist who pioneered the process in 1977.  “Do you think,” she asks, “a baby conceived in [a] test tube is still a child in the eyes of God?”

My response to this inane question is simply, “who the hell cares?”  Whether or not you believe in God in the first place, if you are a parent of a child conceived via IVF, then chances are pretty gosh-darned good that that child is as special and wonderful as any child could possibly be, regardless of the method of conception.  Furthermore — and I know this from personal experience — you can’t tell a “test tube” baby from any other without their medical records.  Trust me, there’s no way to tell.  Children conceived via IVF have belly buttons the same as the rest of us and they don’t need to plug in at night to recharge.  They like to play and run and read, just like every other kid.

In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Ms. Grossman knows someone who got their start with IVF; she might just not know it.

Ms. Grossman follows up her thoughtless and hurtful question with another, equally as distressing: “And what about the parents? Is their IVF choice selfish or loving? Are they creators — or merely shoppers?”  Her implication, I guess, is that parents who choose IVF are merely doing so as a means of avoiding all the effort and unpleasantness of sex.  After all, who wants to get all sweaty when you can just pop down to the corner store, pick out a package of Instant Baby, and go home and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds?  Because all those teenagers in back seats, couples trying to save their marriages, and people who have kids because all their friends are doing it aren’t being capricious or irresponsible in anyway.

This article is so full of fail that it’s amazing.  She manages to insult parents, diminish children, and make a fool of herself all in a few paragraphs.  It would be funny if it weren’t so hurtful.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — no child is a travesty.

Regardless of why or how they are conceived, every last child is precious and wonderful, whether or not Cathy Lynn Grossman thinks so.

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One Response to “Is Your Child Real?”

  1. […] — what’s interesting is not so much the baby boy, despite what some people think of those born via IVF, but the hope that this provides for other potential parents.  While 20 years might be extreme for […]

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