Making Babies

This article recently came out regarding how we may be able to genetically modify DNA material from three people to create one (hopefully) healthy baby. And this article came out regarding a huge surge in the fertility trade, where eggs, sperm and wombs have become commodities. While I was impressed with how far science has developed, I felt it was crossing a line into playing God that humans should not be crossing. It also seems to devalue human life by the buying and selling going on. This brings me to the question that I’m sure many couples have asked, “How far would you go to make a baby?

This is a deeply sensitive subject, so I make no assumptions into what others choose to do or not do and only share what Skywalker and I have discussed and the reasons for what we’ve decided for ourselves. Our thoughts are framed by two key points:

  1. We do not assume or take for granted that we’ll be able to have children when we decide we’re ready to have them. We’ve walked with dear friends who are struggling to conceive and we know that new life is truly a miracle and a gift from God. Having children is not a right.
  2. God knows best…whether He gives or not, or gives and takes away…we hold fast to our belief that God loves us and is good.

From that we’ve decided that any child born to us will only be the product of the two of us, joined in covenant marriage as husband and wife. We will not involve a third person whether as donor or surrogate. As a girl friend put it, “To have someone else’s DNA in my body, other than my husband’s, feels like cheating!” We also don’t want our future child to have to wonder who the other half of them are if not the parents s/he grew up with. Nor do I want to look into my child’s face and see half of someone else’s face. There are also the genetic nightmares passed from donors. I read/heard stories of the pain these situations bring and I don’t believe God intended for it to happen that way.

We also decided that we will not use IVF procedures. If the egg and sperm aren’t naturally joining and implanting in my uterus then it’s not going to happen for us. I cannot bear the thought of having a dozen fertilized eggs, equivalent to a dozen children, and then risking their lives to have one or two successfully implant while the rest gets destroyed or end up being used in research.

As for fertility treatments…that’s a grey line for us….me in particular. Perhaps we’ll cross that bridge when/if we get there.

Lastly, we already try to stay away from genetically modified produce….much less entertain the idea of having genetically modified children. *shudder* If I will love my child, healthy or sick, the same then I’m not going to try to control their DNA in hopes of having a child that is “easier” to take care of. Do I want to prevent them from having to suffer? Of course! What parent won’t? Actually, if I really wanted to prevent my children from ever suffering, I just wouldn’t have any kids. Life IS about suffering…half the time. But truth be told…we have very little control over anything. We can try to use science to control one thing, but another unrelated event could happen. It’s best to surrender my life and any future child’s life in God’s hands alone. Because He loves us and He is good.

Will we feel differently if we find ourselves on the otherside? Having put some critical thought through this, I think we’ll still draw the same line if we get to that bridge. I honestly don’t feel having biological children is my “sole” purpose in life such that I’d be incomplete without it. Certainly it makes relating to a large majority of our population a little more difficult, but with creativity and openness to each other, I think community can still be built. Of course there is the option to adopt or be foster parents. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” so that’s what I hope to do, whether or not I have my own.

Will see what God’s hand has in store.


4 responses

  1. I agree with part of your post and disagree with another part.

    Chris and I struggled with fertility. Or at least, thats what we were told would happen. I’ve gone through some invasive and painful testing to discover that I have 2 reproductive issues that hinder fertility considerably (although…you’d never know it). Chris had his own invasive procedure to go through, twice. Producing results that we were told would basically restrict us from ever conceiving without medical assistance (again, you’d never know it…).

    Those test results were given to me when I was 2 weeks pregnant. I didn’t know I was pregnant and I thank the Lord every day that we encountered high hills that God essentially just moved aside and said “Hey, I have different plans”.

    Now, I’m fully with you on the whole altering of DNA thing. I do NOT agree with the whole gender selection thing, removing parts of DNA that could cause genetic defects, diseases, etc. I very much believe in a sperm & egg joining and what you get is what you get. Its God’s gift to you! Whether you encounter special needs or completely normal…its yours. For that reason, Chris and I did not do the amniocentesis when we were offered. We were pregnant and happy to be! What we get is what we get.

    I think where I disagree with you is being/using a surrogate. Eggs & sperm can join in a test tube/petri dish and implanted into a surrogate. Just a carrier. Chris and I really discussed our options when we were told we wouldn’t have kids on our own. Surrogacy, adoption, IUI’s/IVF and using medication to help with the conception process. I would feel the same as you using someone else’s egg/sperm…that would be just odd to me. However, if Chris & I were unable to conceive using a natural method, I would very much consider surrogacy. I would find it a lot harder to accept that I would not be able to have children.

    Gratefully, the Lord has shown us that we do not in fact have infertility issues…but fertility issues. I find this funny. Especially in the face of medicine that I tend to believe whole heartedly in.

    I do want to say though, its amazing that you and Skywalker have accepted the fact that if you cannot have children naturally then its not meant for you. Thats a decision not easily reached and the fertility field of medicine proves that. Not to mention the cost of fertility treatments!
    Unfortunately, I don’t think I could ever accept that sort of news. And I tried my hardest not to. So Kudos to you!

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