The whole Surrogate ‘Mother’, Artificial Womb, and Tech-Driven Push to Eliminate Natural Pregnancy movement has always struck most of us as – Off. Just Not Right, in a way many of us felt, but couldn’t explain. For many, the only way they could bring a child into their family (adoption is not a possibility for many, because they were same-sex, or were considered not a good candidate for adoption, and didn’t have the Big Buck$ to bypass the Adoption Fortress).
I was enjoying my coffee, while browsing the web (my favorite way to leisurely wake up), and noted this post on Powerline Blog.
In Enima Melonic’s post, she cites the Spectator essay that initiated her thoughts – I urge you to read both. From the Spectator:
“At first, only the rich might be able to afford it. Insurance companies might begin by prioritizing the needs of women who, through no choice of their own, are incapable of carrying a fetus to term. Yet insurance companies that celebrate Pride Month are hardly going to deny gay men the right to rent a womb, too.
Before long, it won’t seem so weird, and millions of women busy pursuing careers will see the advantage in having something else bear their children. Hippies and religious people will want to keep their childbearing natural. Will most women, when they can enjoy motherhood without the pains and risks of childbirth or the inconvenience of a nine-month burden?”
I would expect that, at some point, women will only be able to carry a pregnancy to term if they have been approved by their insurance provider – once they had passed their genetic screening. Of course, women COULD continue their pregnancies without such permissions – but, the insurance would not be responsible for the costs – both for the pre-delivery expenses, the actual delivery and aftercare, and any costs associated with delivery of a sub-standard child. At today’s rates, that would virtually wipe out rogue pregnancies.
Those anxious to hurry the technology and culture to make what Daniel McCarthy calls “Brave New Wombs” are, in many cases, those who have never experienced the leisurely gestation of another generation of souls, nor the extended time of dependency that raising a child/children necesitates. It is precisely that committment of time and energy that allows for proper, necessary bonding with the infant. A set of ‘drive-by’ parents will not have the same feelings.
Why are ‘feelings’ so important?
Well, they aren’t all that important to the increasing numbers of people “on the spectrum”, or those who are by nature more Spockian. For such people, only the extended time period with their new family members will coax the more emotional responses into being.
My own father was such a person. A true introvert, with a nature that had been influenced by his upbringing in Appalachia, home of America’s Original Loners, and reinforced by his father’s early death and subsequent change in residence to other family members. He found it hard to express himself, unless he had been drinking (which led to other problems). My poor elder brother got the brunt of his inept parenting, and suffered from feelings of not being adequate long after reaching manhood.
I, on the other hand, benefited both from being female, and comparatively much less sensitive than my brother was. I was able to shrug off my father’s often harsh temper without taking it personally. I also found his hobbies fascinating – electronics, cars, and reading.
I have a hard time believing that so many people who struggle to connect with those not in their social class will be good parents to a human who, at birth, is broke, ignorant, stinky, and demanding. Let’s face it – for the first few months, kids are hard to find endearing – who likes to be spit up on, needing to be changed – a WHOLE lot of changes, and screams for hours, despite trying desparately to meet all their possible wants?
MANY so-called professional women have reported that they engaged child care providers as soon as they were cleared to return to work, and left home that first day with some regret, but also a LOT of relief. That hands-off behavior continues into the rest of childhood:
- Child having problems navigating interactions at school? Call in the psych professional. With luck, he will find the right combination of meds to mask the problems.
- School problems? Engage a tutor.
- Can’t spare the time or energy to teach your child sports skills? Send them to sports camp, enroll them in a league, or pay a neighborhood kid to toss the ball back and forth. Or, buy a pitching machine, a rebounder for perfecting that pitch without the effort of scooting after the mistakes.
- Kid is eager to pursue a hobby? You COULD learn along with him/her, or you could pay an expert to show them the ropes. You won’t understand their excitement over their first mangled attempts, and, instead, critique the mistakes. I’m sure that will properly motivate them to continue.
It’s no surprise to me that so many kids have deep emotional issues. I’d be surprised if they did not.
And, as we are in the second/third generation of ‘one and done’ families, many adults have little experience with child care. Until my granddaughter’s birth, my own youngest daughter had never held an infant (OK, that was dumb on my part. I hadn’t realized that, although she had babysat, it was with older children.) Fortunately, her husband had been a hands-on father to his first child, and was able to assist. It also helped that she breastfed that child. The extended time nursing mothers spend with their children is a big boost to getting to know them.