Buying sperm and eggs

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This morning’s Toronto Star has in interesting editorial on Canada’s ban on the selling and buying of human eggs and sperm.  This editorial comes at the end of a two part article in the same paper on the effects of egg and sperm donation. Read the key point here:

It seems a clear case of good intentions gone wrong. Parliament no doubt meant well five years ago when it passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which bans the buying of human eggs, sperm and embryos. The MPs were responding to a broad cross-section of voices, including ethicists, experts and newspaper editorialists, who had expressed concern about potential abuses stemming from commercialization of the elements of human life.

The resulting ban, however, has triggered a booming black market in human eggs, with increased potential of fraud and exploitation as well as medical risks for would-be parents. In short, a law meant to protect Canadians has had precisely the opposite effect.

….Rather than maintaining this counter-productive ban, Ottawa needs to review the law and replace it with a set of more reasonable rules regarding the buying and selling of eggs, including regulations that would provide proper protection to both buyers and sellers.

So what would happen if some wacko replaced eggs/sperm with “child porn”. The case could be made, if one followed the above logic, that since the ban on child porn is not working, it should be dropped in favour of more “reasonable rules” that keep pedophiles from having to engage in dangerous activities. It’s crazy! But why do people at the Star not see that selling and buying of eggs and sperm is crazy? They would be the first to claim that buying and selling of human organs is wrong!

Ah, but the cry would be that it’s not fair for a couple to be infertile! Well, I’m not sure what “fairness” has to do with it. Others would claim that it keeps gay and  lesbian couples from their equal right to have children.  What equal right? Two women or two men cannot have children. It’s not biologically possible. One can use someone else’s eggs or sperms and a surrogate womb but, it’s not really their biological baby. Again, for the sake of political correctness we will suspend reality in favour of what makes people feel good. The point was made in an article in yesterday’s Star about children looking for their sperm-donor fathers:

This is not a commercial deal. This is not a medical deal. It is the formation of a family. People who do this need to understand they are creating a child with three people, and all three should be willing, from the beginning, to be in contact with the child and with each other. And if they can’t agree to do that, then they shouldn’t do it.

To purposely create a child who will not know or be in relationship with his/her biological parent is cruel. This is not the same as adoption. In adoption, the child is already present and we make the best of a difficult situation. With egg and sperm donors people are inflicting this state on a child on purpose!

My argument is not whether the parents who want to “buy” eggs/sperm would make good parents. Of course, the majority would be wonderful. The same goes with gay and lesbian couples. Although our faith community has issues with the concept of same-sex marriage it cannot be said that such couples would necessarily bad parents. In fact I know of great couples who  are excellent parents.

The problem is that with the buying and selling of eggs we are reducing human life to a commercial commodity for the benefit, not of the child,  but of the adults.  One of the whole points of parenting is to be focused on the needs of the child first, and not on my own. Children are not an accessory to legitimize a relationship. (Does this not also happen with your run-of-the-mill couples? Absolutely. And it’s equally wrong then.)

Is this really about caring for children or parents? No. It’s about making money. As the Star’s article on egg donors states:

But almost everyone in the fertility community says the legislation, in which altruism is supposed to trump capitalism, is unrealistic.

The “fertility community”?  I think it would better be worded as the fertility “business” community. I don’t think  there should be any buying or selling of  sperms or eggs. But imagine if they government allowed it and regulated it, but it had to be non-profit! Now that would be interesting.  But it’s not going to happen. This is all about making money by exploiting human life. Kudos to the Toronto Star for excellent reporting. Shame on the editors for buying into a shameless distortion of capitalism. They should promote adoption instead. Check out this excellent link on adoption resources in Canada.