To the parents: The circumstances surrounding infertility are varied, yet the longing to have children is one of life’s most sacred desires. Infertility seems to be a growing challenge these days, and our hearts ache for those that find themselves in that situation. This discussion was not crafted to discuss the various health risks and concerns related to Assisted Reproductive Technology use between a married mother and father. Nor is it about traditional adoption, which is the noble effort to return to a child that which they have lost – their mother and father. Instead, this unit was designed to help people understand the consequences of intentionally creating a situation where a child is stripped of their biological mother, father, or both.
ABOUT THIS UNIT
1) Adults are not entitled to a child, but children ARE entitled to both a mother and father in a stable, married family.
2) Adoption vs. same-sex adoption and other forms of third-party reproduction: one solves a problem [returning to a child that which was lost, a mother and father], the other creates one [intentionally creating a motherless or fatherless child].
1) As a family, discuss family ancestry and any family related stories. See if you can discover why your family, or family members, have certain traits and values. Did they come from any of your ancestors – their teachings, or their personality/character?
2) Discuss traits you share in common with your mother and father.
3) Learn more about where your family came from.
Short daily resources for discussing Homefront topics with your children.
Click to expand the daily resource you want to view.
DO NOT USE; THIS IS HIDDEN
Resource 1: How Children Grow Best
Resource 2: Parents provide the backbone to a child's life
We should never underestimate the contribution of a child’s parents in providing the crucial framework and foundation for that child’s life.
It’s Time to Put #ThemBeforeUs: The Global Movement for Children’s Rights
Intentionally Removing Biological Parents?
How have your parents helped to protect or guide you in your life?
Resource 3: The Way Families Fit Together
Just as you can’t force puzzle pieces to fit, it will be difficult, even harmful, to think that you can easily fit children and unrelated adults together in a parent-child relationship.
15 Reasons to Oppose Surrogacy
The Family Jigsaw Puzzle
Why do you think families start with a mother and a father?
Resource 4: Knowing Family History Promotes Resilience
Resource 5: Continuing the Bond Between Father, Mother, and Child
As parents, one of our compelling desires is to wrap a protective layer around our children. Here’s one way to do that!
If You Are Considering Becoming a Parent Through Surrogacy, You Need This Information
A Baby Bonds With His/Her Parents Even Before Birth
What are some favorite memories you have of you with your parents?
Resource 6: Do Something Grand and Celebrate Your Grandparents
Resource 7: Actions Have Consequences
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Just because we can create genetically modified babies doesn’t mean we should
The Wolves of Yellowstone
“Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”
Are the growing range of possibilities made available through assisted reproductive technologies a good thing or a not-so-good thing?
Resource 8: Staying Safe
Who really cares? Learn some skills to determine who has your best interests at heart.
The Radium Girls
Staying Safe – The Harms of Breaking the Rules
Have you ever had one person tell you something and another person tell you the exact opposite? How could you determine which is providing you with the truth?
Resource 9: Wants Versus Needs
Resource 10: Children are Entitled to Married Parents
Strategies for cheerfully dealing with the reality that life can sometimes be hard and we don’t always get what we want. Developing an “It’s not about me” attitude.
Avoid Raising an Entitled Child
Countering Feelings of Entitlement
What are some ways we can counter feelings of disappointment when things don’t turn out the way we wanted?
BONUS – Optional Resource: A Mother and her Child
Taking baby animals away from their mother is usually frowned upon, yet many believe there’s no problem in removing a human baby mother from its mother.
The Dark Side of Third-Party Reproduction
Mothers and Baby vs Dogs and Puppies
Why do you think infants have a strong bond with their mother from the time of birth forward?
Role Play #1
Role Play #1
Your high school friend is now in college and she saw an ad in the campus newspaper advertising for women to “donate their eggs.” She can earn as much as $25,000 doing it. She needs the money to be able to keep going to college. If she asked you what you thought about doing that, what would you say to her?
- No amount of money is worth your health being damaged
- Fulfilling one woman’s dream should not come at the expense of another woman’s health.
- Risks to women who go through the egg retrieval process include: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) due to superovulation, loss of fertility, ovarian torsion, stroke, kidney disease, premature menopause, ovarian cysts, and is some rare cases, death. Citation here.
- Egg donation and surrogacy prey on women who are in financial need. These women are willing to take on risks to their physical and emotional health in order to obtain monetary relief for their financial situations.
- In a “for pay” surrogacy contract, the child, eggs, and sperm are reduced to commodities, being bought and sold on the market like lettuce and tomatoes. Surrogacy is a $30+ billion a year industry, reaping HUGE profits for the parties involved.
Role Play #2
Your friend tells you that it’s not a problem for two gay men to have a child. They can use a surrogate and it works out just fine. How would you respond?
- What about the child? The child has a right to both a mother and a father. Same-sex couples are intentionally stripping a child of their mother or father – and sometimes both.
- Surrogacy and other ART arrangements often completely ignore the rights of children to be born to – or at the very least have access to – their genetic families and parents. Children born through surrogacy are more likely than traditionally conceived children to suffer from depression and to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems.
- The biological link between parent and child is undeniably intimate, and when severed has lasting repercussions felt by all parties. One study revealed that 50 percent of parents who had children conceived via egg donation went on to regret using anonymous donation. [L. Firth, et al., “Forming a family with sperm donation: a survey of 244 non-biological parents,” Reproductive BioMedicine, 2012.]
- Babies originating from commissioned embryos (embryos made from IVF) and carried by gestational surrogates (women who have no genetic relationship to the embryo) have increased incidences of preterm birth, low birth weight, maternal gestational diabetes, hypertension, and placenta previa, compared with the live births conceived spontaneously and carried by the same woman. [Irene Woo, et al., “Perinatal Outcomes after Natural Conception vs. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in Gestational Surrogates: A Model to Evaluate IVF Treatment vs. Maternal Effects,” Fertility and Sterility, 108 6 (2017): pb. 993-998.]
Role Play #2
Role Play #2
Your older married sister struggled for years to have children. She and her husband successfully used IVF and eventually had three children. Your sister and her husband have decided three children completes their family, but they still have three frozen embryos that were created during an IVF procedure. If the topic comes up, what are some things you might share with her?
- Life begins at conception and the embryos being discussed are the couple’s unborn children. (If they are intentionally discarded or destroyed, they’ve ended the life of their unborn children.)
- If the embryos are “put up for adoption,” someone else will be bearing and raising their children.
- When embryos are created through IVF, the couple should understand that each of those embryos have a right to a chance at life.
- Babies originating from commissioned embryos (embryos made from IVF) and carried by gestational surrogates (women who have no genetic relationship to the embryo) have increased incidences of preterm birth, low birth weight, maternal gestational diabetes, hypertension, and placenta previa, compared with the live births conceived spontaneously and carried by the same woman.
Irene Woo, et al., “Perinatal Outcomes after Natural Conception vs. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in Gestational Surrogates: A Model to Evaluate IVF Treatment vs. Maternal Effects,” Fertility and Sterility, 108 6 (2017): pg. 993-998
Review some additional Homefront Project articles/videos regarding Artificial Reproductive Technology (A.R.T.) from our “ART: Impact on Children” and/or our “ART: Impact on Women” units.
Impact on Children:
Impact on Women:
- What did you learn?
- What were you surprised by?
- Do you understand anything differently now?
- With whom can you share or teach what you learned?
Which was your favorite resource or video?
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