Monday, July 5, 2010

Super planners of the future, or just really annoying yuppies?

I really don't know what I think about this article. Part of me is really creeped out by this whole idea. I just don't like the idea of producing all of these embryos, with the foreknowledge that a bunch will be thrown away, or that ice crystals could destroy them. I'm also kind of creeped out by the whole idea of some third party in a lab coat being involved in the intimate process of making a family.

Another part of me, however, is amazed that human beings have been able to use science to control so many aspects of their lives, down to the details of human reproduction. And it is pretty impressive that this couple is so proactive, financially responsible and sure of themselves and what they want, to do this kind of planning. I mean, this is some serious cutting edge planning. And I have to applaud them for that, even if the author did use the term "out of the box".

But then another part of me (I know, its getting hard to keep track of all of these parts) thinks that these people are annoying. I don't know what it is exactly that annoys me about them. Something about the fact that they just seem so unwillingly to engage in the messiness of life, in which you sometimes have to make compromises and where you and your partner make a baby that doesn't always fit perfectly into your life but who you love anyway. Also, I'm kind of confused about why they can't currently afford kids if they can afford all of this IVF stuff, and can afford to live in Georgetown. And if being parents is something that they want to do with their lives, why are they going threw so much effort to put it off for so long? And in addition to all of that, don' t these people just look kind of annoying?

Also, what happens if these people get divorced? Or if one of them dies? Or what if they change their minds and decide not to have kids? Or what if one of them changes their minds? Does the woman have more of a right to the embryo because it takes her uterus to make the embryo into a baby? Or what if they go bankrupt and can't afford to make the payments to keep the embryos frozen or to implant them, but they still want to use them to have a baby someday?
What do you guys think about these people?
Super planners of the future? Really annoying yuppies? Upscale Jerry Springer guests?


  1. First off, I think all forms of IVF are an abomination and immoral, but I understand that most people probably disagree with me on that. Aside from that, these people are just annoying. You're right about it seeming wrong that they just don't want to deal with the "messyness" that comes from having a family. If they are over-thinking things at this point, just imagine when and if they actually do ever have a child. Being a mother or father inherently comes with learning to accept the unexpected. If they are this annal now, what are they going to be like when they have teenagers. And yes if they can afford to pay for all this, they can very likely afford a kid. What they are really saying is that they don't want to give up their lifestyle for a kid. Plus this line, "Our five frozen embryos, which we call our baby blastocysts, will remain in storage until we are ready to use them." shows how they (like many people these days) view their children as commodities. Yes, lets keep our kids frozen until we want to "use them." It's the same mentality of the Harvard grads who put themselves into catalogs touting their genetic superiority and offering their eggs for sale at $50,000 a pop. Why is it illegal to sell your baby, but selling your eggs is just dandy?

  2. Plus they look like Stepford robots

  3. Right on Ana. I totally agree that it's obnoxious to think you can control everything in your life. These folks creep me out too.

  4. The easiest question to discuss is your question on timing. Every woman and couple has the right to determine freely and responsibly their number and spacing of children and to have information, education, and means to do so. In fact, that right is protected by international treaties.

    Whether or not a person thinks that international law has any place in the U.S., lets look at what this country rightfully accepts: contraception. People use a condom or the pill, or any of a number of other contraceptive devices, to delay or prevent pregnancy.

    This couple is seeking a different route to assure that they will have no more (and no less) than the number of children they can love and care for and raise to be responsible adults.

    Ultimately, this couple has to determine for themselves what "ready for children" means. We may think that messy is good. I love my messy life. I honestly don't think anyone can avoid messy -- particularly where children are involved. But you wouldn't, I don't think, tell someone that they must have a child at 26 or 28 even if they feel they are not ready to have a child, whether or not their perception of their ability and financial stability -- or lack there of -- is true.

    I find the WP author's tone somewhat offensive and snotty. But beyond hoping that they never become my next door neighbors, I don't think that I am in a position to condemn their choice. At least in the near future, this couple has the right to choose how many children they want and the spacing of those children.