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Margaret Somerville


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While reading the surrogate story, I came across this latest offering from Margaret Somerville:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commenta ... cle567114/

While she's not a fundie, she just may be a fundie's wet dream. She's well-known as the founding direction of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, and positions herself as having the academic credentials to therefore be an expert on ethical issues. She opposes surrogacy and same-sex marriage on the basis that she believes that children have the right to a "natural" family. The problem is that, as much as she loves to say "think of the children!", she doesn't actually produce any real evidence showing that these things are bad for children. Arguably, since about half of "naturally" conceived children were the result of unplanned pregnancies, children resulting from any sort of ART may fare better than average because they were intended.

Thoughts?

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Although I'm ambivalent about surrogacy, buying eggs, etc., I know people who've done it and they are much loved children. I won't criticize.

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You would be surprised how many people are against surrogacy. Most of the ones I have encountered are from the adoption community (mostly adoptees) and argue that it's bad because it intentionally creates an adoptee.

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You would be surprised how many people are against surrogacy. Most of the ones I have encountered are from the adoption community (mostly adoptees) and argue that it's bad because it intentionally creates an adoptee.

What evidence do we have, though, that this is automatically a bad thing - or at least, so bad that it would mean that the child would have been better off not to have been brought into existence, and worse off than naturally-conceived children?

I'm not saying that valid concerns don't exist. They do. What concerns me is that Somerville played a role in Canada adopting an approach to surrogacy and egg/sperm donation that is really, really restrictive - so restrictive that it basically just caused would-be parents to go to the United States or elsewhere. I don't think that heavy-handed bans are warranted when reasonable regulations would do the job. You could have disclosure provisions for sperm/egg donors just as you do for adoptions registries.

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Hell, the three lesbian couples I know from church are better moms than many of the hetero ones out there!

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You would be surprised how many people are against surrogacy. Most of the ones I have encountered are from the adoption community (mostly adoptees) and argue that it's bad because it intentionally creates an adoptee.

How does it "create an adoptee"? The parents (who are often both genetic parents) are part of the process from the beginning. The idea that the gestator is somehow the most "real" parent seems strange to me, and oddly Lamarckian.

I have genetic children, and they are definitely like me in some ways even though I see them at most a couple of times a year. But they are most like their fathers, because their fathers are their parents, and if anything they're more like their non-genetic father than their genetic one. I don't see anything of their gestational surrogate (a really lovely woman) in them, even though she used to see them at least as often as I (she recently moved far away).

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How does it "create an adoptee"? The parents (who are often both genetic parents) are part of the process from the beginning. The idea that the gestator is somehow the most "real" parent seems strange to me, and oddly Lamarckian.

I have genetic children, and they are definitely like me in some ways even though I see them at most a couple of times a year. But they are most like their fathers, because their fathers are their parents, and if anything they're more like their non-genetic father than their genetic one. I don't see anything of their gestational surrogate (a really lovely woman) in them, even though she used to see them at least as often as I (she recently moved far away).

Agreed.

A cousin recently had twins via surrogate. They have their parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. They just had a different way of coming into the world, and I understand that the relationship with the surrogate is good. Part of any adoption trauma, I would imagine, is the idea that someone either had a prior parent that wanted to parent but couldn't do so, or a parent who had no interest in parenting and therefore gave up parental rights. I don't see any reason for their to be the same sense of disruption or abandonment with gestational surrogacy. I could see some of the same curiosity about genetic origins if donor egg or sperm was used, but that's it.

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