Remember when people warned that redefining marriage would open an ethical Pandora’s box? And remember when those who objected to that argument dismissed it as only ‘fear mongering’? Well, now we have this: A postmenopausal sixty-one-year-old grandmother has just given birth to a child that is the product of sperm from her son in law — her son’s husband — and daughter’s egg.
The mind boggles as to how this is legal, let alone morally acceptable. But according the Buzzfeed.News this is exactly what has taken place. Nebraskan Cecile Eledge became the surrogate—or what’s now referred to as, ‘gestational carrier’—for her son Matthew and his husband Elliot Dougherty. And to help save on costs, Matthew’s sister Lea provide her eggs for free. According to Matthew:
People were genuinely curious… They even had questions about incest. But this is so new and so unique. People didn’t understand at first, but once they do, they’re ridiculously supportive — they think it’s radical and amazing. They’re really inspired by my mom’.
Did you catch the line where he said, “They even had questions about incest”? Really? What on earth would have made anyone think that? Perhaps that’s because that’s precisely what it is! Clearly the child is genetically linked to all three people. Without mentioning the obvious, Matthew went on to explain some of the immediate complications:
My mom and I are legally Uma’s parents. Nebraska requires the sperm donor to be the father and the person who delivers the baby to be the ‘mother,’ even if she’s not biologically related to the child. This looks really creepy for us. Let’s just say we will NOT be framing and hanging up Uma’s birth certificate. I thought Elliot could at least put his name on the birth certificate, at least symbolically, but they didn’t even offer that. He now needs to go through an adoption process to get any legal rights. We plan on doing that, but let’s pretend in the meantime, since this can be a tedious process, God forbid, I were to die: Elliot would have absolutely no legal custody for our daughter.
We have gay marriage, but we have an entire structure that hasn’t caught up.
So, this is what’s coming. First the redefinition of marriage then the re-ordering of everything else in society. What could possibly go wrong?
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
Illustration: ABC/Filmways/MGM Television.
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