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Tag Archives: Fathers

Is This Love? Surrogates, Gay Couples, and Motherless Babies

at Catholic Online

The story of two gay men in Texas who became fathers of twin boys via a surrogate appeared in my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago, posted by a woman voicing her support for the men and her anger over their legal predicament.

Each man is the biological father of one twin, and each wants to legally adopt the biological son of the other. Because Texas does not recognize same-sex “marriage”, the law will not allow the adoption or for the birth certificates to reflect the two fathers as parents of both boys.

So began the cry of discrimination toward these men, and the injustice of the law.

I decided to jump in with quite the opposite perspective. I wasn’t expecting my comments to be well-received, but even so, I was stunned at how the thread developed.

What was truly maddening, I said, was that two babies had been manufactured and sold, and now were being denied their mother. It is wrong, I argued, to create by design a home for those babies that intentionally deprives them of their mother. They have a right to know and be cared for by their mother.

I went even further and said that what the two men had done was not love. The adults have gotten what they wanted, but the babies have not been given what they need nor what they deserve and are truly entitled to, which is their mother. Whatever emotions or longings motivated the decision to conceive the babies, it was not love.

For that, I got the usual: Hateful, judgmental, critical, heartless bigot. No surprise. I was also informed that what I really meant was that homosexuals are not even capable of love.

The only moral outrage to be found was that two gay men were being prevented from legally adopting the other’s child. Not one other person in the thread was the least bit concerned about two babies being purposely denied their mother. The boys will have two dads, and that’s good enough.

I don’t think it is. Not at all. Not even close.

I couldn’t believe I was actually having to argue for the necessity of a mother in a child’s life! How is it that we’ve convinced ourselves that mothers are not really needed beyond giving birth? How can we seriously believe that children do not require a mother? Yet that was the argument. The boys have two dads, so they’ll be just fine. They are lucky to be so wanted, so loved. Lucky?!?

To be so loved…Except that love doesn’t do that. Love doesn’t amputate the mother from the baby’s life immediately after birth in order to accommodate the sexual preferences of the adult. Love doesn’t require the child to sacrifice for the lifestyle of the adult. Love does not tell the child, “You don’t really need a mother. You don’t get to have your mother.” Love does not presume that the child won’t feel the loss, and won’t suffer because of it.

“Love wills the good of the other,” I said. (Actually, St. Thomas Aquinas said.) “Love puts the other first. None of the adults involved in creating these babies put them first.”

Sound harsh? It should. I think it’s pretty harsh that kids are being made to order, to satisfy the wants of specialty couples who think it’s their prerogative to deprive a child of either mother or father, depending on their own sexual inclination. It’s extremely harsh that children are being required to forfeit their natural, healthy, undeniable need for both parents, mother AND father.

Frankly, it isn’t good enough that children are “wanted.” That’s the lingo and the philosophy of our contraception and abortion culture. ‘Every child a wanted child,’ and all that bull. That just means that children are things we acquire when we want to, and dispose of when we don’t want them. It’s centered only on the desires of the adults, without regard for the inherent worth of the child or his inviolable rights.

That’s not love. That’s not how children are to be treated. Wanting a child isn’t the standard. Clearly, these two men wanted a baby. They went to the trouble and expense to find a surrogate, and manufacture some embryos, and they were blessed with two healthy boys. They got what they wanted.

The real mother in Solomon’s court proved her love and her authenticity by choosing to suffer the pain of losing her baby, rather than let any harm come to him. She sought his good over her own, fully expecting terrible heartache for herself. That’s how love wills the good of the other.

Anyone truly devoted to the good of a child will not create by design a motherless or fatherless home for that child. Doing so causes great harm. And we’re not talking about harm brought about by unavoidable, unforeseen tragedy.This is planned and inflicted on purpose.

What about their mother? She’s not a victim here. In fact, she may not even be only one person! She’s what is now being called a “gestational carrier” and she may be carrying an embryo(s) created with a donor egg(s). Ugh — can we possibly find a more degrading way to treat a woman? The battle for equality for women has led us to this? Women being used for their wombs and their biological functions?

That’s the best case we can make for motherhood anymore? It’s just the physical process of gestation and childbirth? But beyond that, well, moms aren’t really necessary? How horrifying! And how ironic — decades ago the fight was to be valued for more than only mothering; now the battle has to be for the irreplaceable, pricelessness of a mother!

Assuming the mother is even mentioned on the child’s birth certificate, how will she be named? “Donor egg, incubated and grown by gestational carrier”? She’s nameless, faceless, and entirely missing.

And of course, the one who suffers the most is the child. Always the child. The child is ordered up, the product of a contract, bought and sold, and delivered like a piece of property. But it’s all dressed up in the language of wants and wishes and emotions, with a lovely baby shower and breathless oohs and ahhs, so surely it’s all wonderful.

No one is entitled to a child. Even married couples are not entitled to children. They have no right to expect that they will be given the gift of a child. They pray for children, and remain open to them in their marriage, but there’s no entitlement. You don’t walk up to the Giver of Life and insist He give you what you want. You don’t demand a gift. It’s a gift.

Children are the fruit of marriage for a reason. It’s God’s wise and perfect design that the love of husband and wife is ordered toward the creation of new life. He certainly could have designed it differently, but He obviously felt that both mother and father are necessary, and that children require the presence of both their parents.

The increasing frequency of babies being manufactured through surrogacy and then delivered to same-sex couples is alarming and heartbreaking. I can think of nothing more selfish than for adults to deliberately deprive a child they claim to love of her fundamental need and genuine right to be raised by her own mother and father because their sexual preference precludes it. It is a perversion of the family unit. It’s an injustice to the child.

Take a look at this photo.

toronto dads It shows a gay couple in Toronto as the son they’d had conceived through surrogacy was born. This beautiful little boy will also be denied his mother. The photographer captured the moment the two men held the baby to their bare chests.

Yes, I can clearly see the raw emotion, the tears, the joy of the father holding the baby. I do not doubt that he was overwhelmed with love in that precious moment. It is plainly obvious.

 

 

Now look at this photo. (Image removed 24 Feb 2016 by request.)

I recognize something crucial in this picture, something else that is plainly obvious. That baby was searching for his mother. A newborn baby has only one real need, and that is to be put to mother’s breast and smell and feel her skin and suckle. That’s it. Sorry, guys, but that’s reality. Babies are born with a built-in homing device that drives them toward Mom.

I saw the baby’s face, and my heart ached and broke for him. He wanted his mother. No baby would gladly do without his mother.

Fathers are not mothers, and mothers are not fathers. They are not interchangeable. They are both essential for the well-being of a child, far beyond pregnancy and birth. That’s not just idealistic or old-fashioned dreaming. It’s common-sense reality; it’s moral truth; it’s natural law; it’s justice.

But it requires thinking, not merely acting on feelings. It requires considering the needs of another ahead of your own sometimes. It requires sacrificing what you may want in order to give the other what is truly right and just.

Our culture is so obsessed with making the case for same-sex “marriage” that now, astonishingly, sane people have to actually make the case for mothers and fathers.  We’ve elevated sexual activity and preferences high above the needs of our children. Whatever else you may call it, it’s not love.

Some content on this page was disabled on February 25, 2016 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Lindsay Foster. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/copyright-and-the-dmca/

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Ode to Great Dads: So Long, Doofus!

proud new dad
Gentlemen, this one’s for you. I see you, and I appreciate you. We need more of you. We need you to not give up. We need you to be stronger and more faithful than ever before. I ask God to bless you all this Father’s Day, and every day, and to protect you and raise you up. Thank you for being great fathers and husbands.

I cringe at the plethora of demeaning stereotypes that abound about Dads these days. He’s either the juvenile nimrod, or the lazy couch potato guzzling beer in front of the television, or the complete doofus who can’t take care of his own children without the entire house falling into disastrous ruin.

Commercials abound where Dad is left in charge of the kids and house, and total mayhem ensues. The kids are filthy and out of control, the house is a wreck, and somehow it must all be restored to normal before Mom finds out.

Or, Mom walks in to find Dad changing the baby’s diaper on the kitchen counter, amid dirty dishes galore and food splattered on the ceiling. She sighs and looks at them as if to say, “My two babies…” Then with a swipe of her disinfectant, Mom expertly gets everything back in order. Because Mom is awesome and capable, but Dad is a complete doofus who can’t manage anything except the remote control.

It’s really sad to see Dads being played as the helpless hap or the juvenile jerk or the clueless clod. It’s not even funny. It’s just insulting.

You want to know what I see around me every day, in stores, at church, on the sidewalks and front porches, in the backyards and parks, and friends’ homes?

I see a lot of great Dads.

I see Dads pushing their daughters on the swings. I see Dads kicking the soccer ball around with their sons. I see Dads wearing their babies in the front sling or the backpack. I see Dads pulling their little ones in wagons and bicycle trailers. I see Dads walking around, carrying their fussy baby, rocking them gently trying to soothe them. I see Dads cooking dinner and doing the dishes. I see Dads walking hand-in-hand with their wives, out for an evening stroll.

I see Dads taking the kids to the doctor and holding them while they get a vaccine. I see Dads sitting down to tea parties with their 3 year-old. I see Dads reading books to their preschoolers and playing Littlest Pet Shop. I see Dads wrestling and tickling the kids on the floor til everyone is out of breath with laughter. I see Dads helping to build ramps for scooters, and shoveling giant piles of snow for the kids to sled down.

The Dads I know are taking care of tubby time and bedtime; they’re helping with homework; they’re pushing the stroller and carrying the carseat; they’re making bottles and spoon-feeding toddlers; they’re shuttling kids to dance class and football practice; they manage diaper duty with competence; they’re snapping photos left and right every time their little kiddo does something cute or noteworthy.

They’re paying attention.

They don’t need anyone’s pity.

They’re quite capable.

Has there been a time in history when men were more involved in child care duties than today? Feminism had better get its act together and eat a few bites of humble pie. It’s without a doubt a great gift to men that modern parenting includes Dad in every facet and allows fathers to experience and participate in the whole sweet mess.

But that gift should not come with insults and mockery on the side. Good men everywhere are doing a Herculean job of stepping into a way of fathering that is more involved in the daily little details than their fathers and grandfathers ever were. From the looks of it, they’re learning really fast and making the most of it.

It’s too bad they have to do it amidst the lunacy of a feminist mandate that says they must treat women just like men, while women get to make fun of them and belittle them and basically insult their manhood. Huh? Poor guys.

I’m blessed to have married a man who is a wonderful, caring father to our children. He can handle a poopy diaper as well as I can, and does so without complaint or hesitation. When a kid throws up all over the couch or the bed or the carpet (because they never, ever throw up anywhere inside the bathroom), we tag-team the disaster. Usually I take care of cleaning up the kid, and he gets started cleaning up the environment.

He can take care of dinner and the dishes, and no, he doesn’t resort to ordering pizza. Stuffed chicken breast and homemade ciabata bread is more his style. Yeah, sometimes he and the kids love to have a “finger-food feast” (i.e. frozen, breaded and fried foods) and that’s just fine.

He makes memories doing simple, pure and child-like things like getting donuts every Saturday morning and planting flowers with the girls. He helps them build Legos and it’s hard to say who’s having more fun.

He plays peek-a-boo with the baby because he loves to hear her giggle, and takes her on walks when she’s cranky. He takes the older kids to the library and talk to them about good books he’s read. He encourages them by listening to what interests them. He takes the time to explain things that matter. He talks to them about the importance of virtues like honesty, kindness, hard work, and sacrifice. He sets the example in his actions.

He tells them every single day that he loves them. He takes his vocation as Catholic husband and father seriously, and he’s continually trying to live that vocation more fully. He’s a good Dad.

I know our culture is suffering profoundly precisely because too many children don’t have a good Dad around. Too many guys have kids and don’t live up to their obligations. They abandon, abuse, neglect, and squander the family they’ve been given. For today that’s all the virtual ink I’ll spill talking about them.

This is about the men. The good ones. You’re out there, and I hope you know how very much you matter. Please accept this one woman’s sincere apology for the stupid commercials and the demeaning nonsense you put up with these days.

Thank you for loving your wives and your children. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make. Thank you for being knights, and for knowing that knights are still needed.

Happy Father’s Day.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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