The Blogosphere is suspiciously quiet on the subject. We rise up like angry hornets at any suggestion of interfering with our smoking or drinking habits, we rally round with good humour and deep pockets to rescue victims of the State’s pernicious smoking laws from prison, but we shy away from the deeper questions of ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why am I here?’
All of us, sufficiently decayed, turn our minds at some point, perhaps 4am, to those questions. We reach a point at which we can countenance the idea of our parents sexual encounter, and far from reeling back horrified, realise that we are part of an age old pattern of life, which we ourselves are continuing.
The very young don’t have that capacity, they live in the here and now; were that not true, they would never allow the tattoo artiste to stencil ‘10” just for you sweet chops’ on the proud length of a penis that will one day be stretched from its flaccid and wizened state by a couple of Estonian carers in the local geriatric unit at bed bathing time – to hysterical laughter. Trust me, they will!
Baroness Deech joined Gordon Brown yesterday in making Nu-labour history. She too, admitted a mistake.
Not actually her mistake, but as the current chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, (HFEA) she was asked her view on the removal of anonymity formerly held by sperm donors. In the game of unintended consequences, this was a huge own goal. Sperm Donors dropped the job in hand and fled to the pub, preferring to buy their porn from W H Smith rather than have it provided free in a claustrophobic NHS cubicle with a jolly nurse outside urging them to hurry up.
The good Baroness went on to say that in Glasgow, the number of paid wa*kers was now officially one. Students of the Purcuell saga will have a field day with that information, and the Baroness may be forced to amend her remarks. Ghastly thought – could it be Gordon brown!
I think the HFEA was a mistaken entity from top to bottom. Born out of the belief that there was a ‘right’ to have a child, and further, as a sop to the Lesbian and Gay movement. The 2008 amendment to the HFEA Act which allowed two women to be named on a birth certificate turned the answer to our query as to ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why am I here?’ from one of fact into a political statement of affirmation of a relationship.
The children born and given that legal entity will know that their birth was a political statement, there was no element of a relationship between their Mother and Father. As will everyone else throughout their life to whom they must produce that certificate.
Some of us had unhappy childhoods, some of us may be the product of rape, but we were allowed the fiction on our birth certificates that once upon a time, a man loved a woman, and that is why we are here. These children will not be. They will be forcibly reminded that they are a ‘product’ that was demanded as a right by their Mother.
I pity in particular, the child who may be born in 2011.
The US based Genetics and IVF Institute, wishing, as should all good commercial enterprises, to enlarge their business globally, have come up with a spiffing wheeze to avoid the European laws which prevent the donors of human eggs from being paid more than £250 for travel and time off work.
Just in time for Easter, the Bridge Centre in London is to raffle a £13,000 human egg, on their behalf, from an American donor, to some lucky English woman seeking her ‘right’ to have a child.
The winner will be able to pick the hair colour, smoker or non-smoker, overweight or not, eye colour, and ethnicity of their Easter Egg. Presumably, they will also be able to sue the clinic if they receive a sub-standard product.
Should the lucky winner happen to be Lesbian, the emerging child will have a birth certificate which reflects neither their genetic mother nor father. From April 2010 they may end up with a certificate which states that they have two fathers and no mother.
In 50 years time, that child will lie awake in the night asking ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I here?’
Social Engineering, political meddling, the re-branding of a child as a ‘product’, the ‘right’ of adults to have whatever you want….these will be uncomfortable answers.
Childlessness is a tragedy – but not as much of a tragedy as the legacy bequeathed to that child.