“Woman, 61, gives birth to own grandchild”
That headline sounds like it came straight from the National Enquirer. But it didn’t. That was front page news in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune.
Naturally, it caught my attention. I am a grandmother. And I’d like to say that I would do almost anything for my children.
But serving as a surrogate mother and giving birth to a grandchild? That’s a bit over the top.
The Tribune article is all sweetness and love. The new baby, Finnean Lee, is pictured with his grandmother (birth mom) and mother (egg donor). Finnean’s dad, the sperm donor, didn’t make it into the picture, which is interesting in itself.
In this age of reproductive control the whole concept of family has shifted. Men are marginalized. Women are in control, or at least led to believe they are in control.
Children are viewed not as a gift or a blessing, but as an entitlement. If you don’t want a child, contracept. If you get pregnant anyway, get an abortion. If you do want a child and can’t get pregnant, try in-vitro fertilization or get a surrogate mother. The important thing is that you get what you want.
Two of the comments by the grandmother (surrogate mother) in the Tribune story catch the essence of this attitude. She says she attended a seminar on women’s empowerment led by her daughter. That seminar made her want to do something that would make her feel “exuberant.”
A friend told her about a post-menopausal woman who gave birth and she decided that was what she could do.
But near the end of the story she says, “I’ve been clear since after my third child that I didn’t need to have any more children, and as much as I will be delighted to be a grandmother, I don’t want to take a baby home.”
Notice that our surrogate mother was fine with rejecting her fertility when she had what she wanted – her three children. Then well after the fertile time of her life she decides that she can be in control by pumping her system full of artificial hormones.
Sure it’s a wonderful thing to want your daughter to be able to have a child. But to play God by manipulating His plan for procreation is misguided. Perhaps God had another plan for the couple who couldn’t get pregnant. Perhaps adoption or foster parenting was the plan.
The article doesn’t tell us whether the couple had postponed having children before they decided they were ready. But many couples do fall into the popular routine of contracepting for a few years before they decide they are ready to be parents.
Perhaps they missed their opportunity with fertility. Perhaps they ruined it with artificial hormones. Straying from the natural order and from God’s plan for human sexuality is dangerous.
And it is selfish.
Even when the outcome is a new baby, as in this story of the birth of Finnean Lee, the motivation seems to be a combination of control and selfishness.
I feel sorry for everyone in the family. They seem to have lost their way and they don’t even know it.