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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Single men turning to surrogates

dad

Fitz at Opine Editorials wrote an interesting commentary on this article from CNN. An excerpt:

It’s the inexorable pull of logical that is both cause & effect of neutering marriage. Gay or straight, inside a same sex “marriage” or without. Its danger is one that is perhaps the greatest danger represented by same-sexes “marriage” and “trends” like these. That is treating the natural gifts of marriage (children) as a consumer good. To treat people as objects that are a function of adult desire rather than the fruits of male female marriage. In this way children become consumer disposables, the property of individuals and not distinct persons with inherent dignity of their own. Party of that dignity is known & to be known by ones own Mother & Father. To be born into a marriage within the natural cocoon that is the incubator of childbearing and rearing and contains the proper connections to ones lineage & heredity.

Single men turning to surrogates

By Ronni Berke, CNN Senior Producer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Jeff Walker says from as far back as he can remember, he always wanted to be a father.

Jeff Walker, with his two daughters, tried to adopt, but ultimately turned to surogacy to build a family.

"It was always something I knew, from the time I was a child." Just like his 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who says she wants to be a mommy someday, Jeff says, "I knew I wanted to be a daddy."

Walker, a Manhattan music executive, says he and his partner had talked about adopting a baby years ago. But after three emotionally draining, failed attempts at adoption, they decided to turn to surrogacy. They contacted Circle Surrogacy, a Boston agency that specializes in gay clients. Their child was conceived with a donor egg, and then the embryo implanted in the surrogate, or carrier.

After Elizabeth was born, Walker and his partner separated. He then made a critical decision -- to become a dad again, single, and by choice.

"I realized my family, my two-dad family was going to look different than I thought it was going to look," he said. Without a partner, he would face even steeper challenges raising Elizabeth and a sibling alone. Walker says he gave the decision a lot of thought.

"That was the only part that was really controversial, because I do think there are a lot of challenges that single parents face, but at the same time I felt I was capable of handling those challenges," he said.

His second daughter, Alexandra, was born two years ago to the same surrogate, implanted with an egg from a different donor.

Walker, 45, is one of a growing number of single men -- both gay and straight -- who are opting to become fathers alone, with the help of gestational surrogacy.

Surrogacy experts say because the practice is not regulated, many surrogacy arrangements are handled privately by individuals. Precise figures are hard to come by, but experts say there's no doubt the United States is experiencing a surrogacy baby boom.

Celebrities like Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken announced this year they had had babies with the help of surrogates and the the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, representing scores of reproductive clinics, reports that the number of gestational surrogate births in the country quadrupled between 1996 and 2006.  Watch more on the surrogacy boom »

Surrogacy experts say gestational surrogacy has increased steadily since the advent of in vitro fertilization in the early 1980s, because it provides an extra layer of emotional and legal protection for the client. The egg donor usually does not even know the client, and unlike the legally contentious "Baby M" case from the 1980s, the surrogate is not giving birth to her genetic child.

"It rises as an issue far less frequently with gestational surrogacy, because women never see it as their child to begin with," said John Weltman, president of Circle Surrogacy.

His agency, which expects more than 70 babies to be born in 2009, has seen a 50 percent growth in the number of single male clients over the past year.

Walker and other men are willing to pay well over $100,000 to have a baby through surrogacy -- the final cost depending on the number of IVF treatments necessary and how much is paid by insurance.

Circle is not the only major surrogacy provider experiencing a single-dad surge. At Growing Generations, a Los Angeles, California, agency that facilitates about 100 births a year, the number of single men seeking surrogates has doubled in the past three years, spokeswoman Erica Bowers said.

Although most of their single male clients are gay, surrogacy providers say a smaller but growing number are straight. Steven Harris, a New York malpractice and personal-injury attorney, says he gave up trying to get married when he realized his primary motive was to start a family.

Harris, 54, says he knew he made the right decision after 21-month old Ben was born.

"I thought getting married was the only way to go, because I did want a family. But having Ben, I feel complete now," Harris says.

Original Article

5 comments:

  1. "His agency, which expects more than 70 babies to be born in 2009, has seen a 50 percent growth in the number of single male clients over the past year."

    "At Growing Generations, a Los Angeles, California, agency that facilitates about 100 births a year, the number of single men seeking surrogates has doubled in the past three years, spokeswoman Erica Bowers said."

    What is wrong with these people? This is truly frightening! What are the children doing while "father" is working? Day care? Is that really the best possibly situation for a child? This is the absolute most selfish act I can think of - that someone would knowingly deny a child the benefit of being raised by a committed mother and father and have the audacity to claim a sense of fulfillment for it.

    "Steven Harris, a New York malpractice and personal-injury attorney, says he gave up trying to get married when he realized his primary motive was to start a family.

    Harris, 54, says he knew he made the right decision after 21-month old Ben was born.

    'I thought getting married was the only way to go, because I did want a family. But having Ben, I feel complete now,' Harris says."


    Wow, welcome to the 21st Century, folks. Am I the only one who still thinks that starting a family IS the primary motivator for getting married?! And now Harris feels complete for having Ben. Well that's all warm and fuzzy, but I wonder how Ben feels (or will feel) about being denied a mother? But I guess Harris didn't think that was an important enough consideration against sanguinely and artificially creating human life...to feel warm and fuzzy.

    My goodness this is a twisted world. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN, PEOPLE??!! What of their rights? What of their feelings? What of their loss? As adults we have a duty to protect the innocents - instead we are subjecting them to imbalance and deprivation. What sad Knights we make. Our armor has been dulled...by secularism, no doubt.

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  2. Children are becoming a possession to be manipulated, sold, processed through genetic screening and killed for any reason including their gender.

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  3. Harris, 54, says he knew he made the right decision after 21-month old Ben was born.

    If you look at Harris' age, Ben was born when he was 52. That means that he will be about 70 before Ben even graduates from high school (if he lives that long). It's not like he'll be able to wrestle and play very well with his son, never mind the grandchildren! So do you think this was about the child, or about Harris?

    I think Fitz hit the nail on the head. Children are treated as consumer goods. People think they're getting a baby. But they don't seem to think ahead to the fact that the child will grow up an adult some day. That giving life is about the child, and not just the adult.

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  4. It's ironic that the article focuses on the "fulfillment" of the "fathers," but no where, despite many studies to the contrary, does the article talk about the fulfillment of the children.

    ...What about the children...?

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