The New York Times has just published the third article in their eye-opening three-part series on the modern business of baby making called “21st-Century Babies Made to Order.”
Building a Baby, With Few Ground Rules is the latest:
Working mostly over the Internet, Ms. Kehoe handpicked the egg donor, a pre-med student at the University of Michigan. From the Web site of California Cryobank, she chose the anonymous sperm donor, an athletic man with a 4.0 high school grade-point average.
On another Web site, surromomsonline.com, Ms. Kehoe found a gestational carrier who would deliver her baby.
Finally, she hired the fertility clinic, IVF Michigan, which put together her creation last December.
“We paid for the egg, the sperm, the in vitro fertilization,” Ms. Kehoe said as she showed off baby pictures at her home near Grand Rapids, Mich. “They wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for us.”
The reason we are aware of how these children were created is because the surrogate mother became worried about the fitness of Ms. Kehoe to care for the twins and went to court to take custody of them.
The Gift of Life, and Its Price was the first article in the series.
The couple had nearly given up, but last year they decided to try once more, this time through in-vitro fertilization. Pregnancy quickly followed, as did the Mastera boys, who arrived at the Swedish Medical Center in Denver on Feb. 16 at 3 pounds, 1 ounce apiece. Kept alive in a neonatal intensive care unit, Max remained in the hospital 43 days; Wes came home in 51.
By the time it was over, medical bills for the boys exceeded $1.2 million.
That money comes from somewhere, and it winds up costing everyone lots of money, even if it isn’t mandated coverage in everyone’s insurance plan. And after that, there is this:
A study released last week by the March of Dimes cited fertility treatments as one of the main reasons for a 36 percent increase in prematurity in the last 25 years.
The government estimates that caring for premature infants costs $26 billion a year, including $1 billion for IVF babies, expenses that eventually get passed through the system and on to businesses and consumers.
Grievous Choice on Risky Path to Parenthood is the second article:
Women who have gone through large multiple pregnancies with poorer results say the shows give viewers a misleading picture by failing to present the wreckage left behind in many cases – babies who are stillborn, spend months in the hospital undergoing painful procedures that require morphine or suffer from long-term disabilities.
Three years ago, Keira Sorrells, an interior decorator in Monroe, Ga., had found herself in a predicament similar to the Stansels’. After intrauterine insemination, Mrs. Sorrells learned that she was carrying quintuplets.
She said she was in shock at hearing the news and ill prepared for the next step. Before he had even closed the door to his office, her fertility doctor suggested selective reduction to Mrs. Sorrells and her husband, Richard. “We had never heard of it,” Mrs. Sorrells said.
“I think there’s a huge problem in the reproductive technology industry,” Mrs. Sorrells said. “I was told the chances that I would have triplets were less than 1 percent. There was no talk of being faced with a decision like that until the day that we had the ultrasound. Then you have two weeks to decide. And you don’t get counseling from anybody.”
And just wait until these same doctors and lawyers start offering same-sex couples the chance to use stem-cell derived gametes so they can avoid the problems of using a donor, and have children that are biologically related to both of them. The same people who are claiming a right to do this are the ones who want to impose a One-Child limit on everyone.
Maybe we should not allow IVF or any of these exploitive, unsustainable, expensive treatments, and focus on preserving everyone’s natural fertility and natural conception rights instead, since those don’t cost much.