Same-sex couples could create children; but should they?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Link: Same-sex couples could create children - Telegraph.
Instinctively, I feel this technology is wrong. I would not use it and would disapprove of anyone who did. However my personal revulsion is no reason to want a law against it (as we have at present). There are many things I find revolting which are (or should be) legal.
After many years of infertility treatments, research is now beginning to show (as I would have predicted) that the children of infertile couples are more likely to have health problems than those of parents who conceive without scientific intervention. Sometimes there is a good natural reason why a couple can't conceive, which it is morally wrong, or at least highly irresponsible, to ignore. Sometimes one or both parents could conceive easily with someone else, but together they simply represent a poor genetic combination. My children have been the greatest joy in my life and I feel very sorry for any couple that can't conceive, but in their place I think I would accept Nature's harsh verdict. I would think it better to give a loving home to a child in need of adoption, than to risk producing one of my own to suffer.
Of course, in these uncomfortably mystical terms, Nature has given no verdict on the capacity of same sex couples to reproduce. They may both be perfectly capable of conceiving with a wide range of partners. Perhaps there is less reason to object to their conceiving by artificial means than there is for infertile heterosexuals? However, any combination of genes untested by Nature represents an increased risk which I would not personally take.
In the end, it's impossible to legislate sensibly for these matters. The drive to reproduce is so powerful that many couples will take the risks of genetic defects. If their country bans a technology, they will travel to another to use it (or they will simply do it illegally). Scientists are far more driven by curiosity than ethics, so there is no effective way to legislate against such research. The idea of legislating against knowledge disgusts me anyway! Some same sex couples will be eager to use this technology in order to make a political point. I fear for a child conceived for such a reason, but many are conceived for much worse (or none).
My ethical problem as a libertarian is this; while I am all for being able to take risks for myself, I struggle with the notion of taking them for an unborn child. In such cases it is the child who will live with the consequences of the parent's choices. What do you think?
It seems nowadays that everything is a right, and that we feel we are owed everything even if our lifestyle choice is the problem.
However, people forget that it is only possible because other people pick up the tab.
If children born that way are more likely to develop problems, it won't only be the parents who pay for treatment/care/etc...but the rest of us.
Which is why I think it is profoundly selfish.
Posted by: Monoi | Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 11:18 AM
It is true of course that there are occasional genetic abnormalities that themselves cause incompatibility. But some technologies overcome very discrete and limited problems with individual steps of the reproductive process; for example, a sperm count may be very low but of high quality, resulting in infinitesmal odds for successful natural reproduction, but quite reasonable chances of conception with intra-egg injection. If DNA testing of sperm reveals problems, as it sometimes aoes, your approach would be valid.
Posted by: rechoboam | Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 01:25 PM
What do I think? I think it's a bloody disgrace that people's selfishness has completely overrun the best interests of the child they are 'creating'. It should be banned by law and stay that way. Gay and lesbian adoption is often in the best interests of the child but this is totally against the interests of the child.
Posted by: Letters From A Tory | Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 10:23 AM
Many families cried for the young who died for not being resistant to germs so they had larger families. Now we have immunisation and educated parents have smaller families as a result. We also have sex-selection by aborting the female (sorry complaints? It's only a fetus), and very soon for the happily married homosexual couple select their zygot, (they may never find the Gay-genome, but two Deaf lesbians in America were able to seek the seed of a Deaf homosexual male to pass the Deaf-gene to their baby boy).
Immunisation has given the rise of sink-estates and the easy gift of power to Socialists to rule over them, (Socialists cannot rule people smarter than themselves), male-sex selection has provided massive armies of disaffected soldiers for Communist Nations, and gene-selection gives cures to Communists leaders who were heading for early senility.
If your White skin blisters in the sun, go and marry a nice Black girl. This is natural selection. Don't look for a gene-cures that turns your children orange. That recessive iguana gene will pop up most unexpected.
So, I can see this is another medical-drug company ploy to exploit vanity. And Socialists are very vain. Self-indulgent lifestyles that led to disease of body and mind will be a thing of the past. Fascists simply wanted a super-race in their own image - just brighter, bigger, faster and stronger than anyone else (in an inadequate sort of way). Communists want you to know your place. A point-system of diversity of unnatural selection that keeps them in their exulted place - geddit?
There's no money in prevention, but loads of money in cures. Go ask a doctor.
Posted by: Kinderling | Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 11:47 PM
Posted by: Casino Online | Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM
This zeroing in on the double female is the one surefire away of detroying the family. The double male is a curiosity which must biologically, by definition, die out.
Posted by: jameshigham | Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM
Seems like another manifestation of the common modern inability to face reality, whether its ageing gracefully or child-baring. If you can't have children with somebody you should be adult enough to face the facts that this is your fate, the inability to face this strikes me as an indication that you don’t have the mettle to be a parent in the first place.
Its not like humans are going extinct or anything, there's loads of them.
Posted by: Wolfie | Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 09:28 AM
How odd since the Times reports:
"Human sperm and eggs will be grown from stem cells within five to fifteen years but the technology will not allow gay and lesbian couples to conceive children with genes from each partner, an international panel of scientists predicted yesterday."
Amazing how newspapers twist things to suit their own prejudices (which in the Telegraph's case includes I would suspect bashing people of alternate sexuality).
Secondly though I have say that I'm totally opposed to any sort of mucking about with reproduction taking the view that we don't yet understand the reasons why couples can't have children sufficiently to override that fact. While not totally in favour of eugenics I do think we should consider the long term consequences of by-passing little understood mechanisms that prevent two particular combinations of genes to create a viable child naturally.
Posted by: Baht At | Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 08:42 AM