The London Independent newspaper reports (17 November 2011) that: ‘Single women who have given up waiting for Mr Right are increasingly turning to IVF to start a family.’ The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is quoted as stating that a big rise in the number of IVF cycles ‘using donated sperm’ has been noted.
The ‘head of reproductive medicine services’ at St. George’s University Hospital in London is reported as saying: ‘More and more single women are coming for treatment. Every IVF clinic will tell you the same; they are treating more single women.’
‘Women know the clock is ticking. The biological clock is different for men and women and women know they cannot afford to wait. They want to go and have their children and if a man turns up later, well fine, they will have their children and a partner.’
The list of wrongs involved in the above account is endless and, beyond any other consideration, to deny a child his or her God-given dignity in being conceived in God’s plan for humanity, is horrendous.
Are children once more being regarded as commodities – accessories – to enhance the lifestyle of many people? What about the child? What about the human right of a child to have and to know his or her own mother and father? Does anyone consider that in later life a child may meet and fall in love with a half-brother or half-sister? Where are all the so-called ‘defenders’ of children’s rights?
The Irish Times appears to be cashing in on the problem of infertility, too. In its weekend ‘review’ section the newspaper makes a huge story about the anguish of those people in Ireland who find that they cannot conceive a child. While not in any way seeming to minimise the disappointment of men and women who find themselves in that situation, at the same time we must recognise that the child, too, has rights over and above those claimed by people who are infertile. It is a lie to say that a child conceived by means of a ‘donor’ – either male or female – is the natural child of the ‘commissioning’ couple. To persist with such an attitude is to perpetuate that lie, and denies a human being the knowledge of who is his or her own mother or father. Apart from the ethics and morality involved in such a situation, the stress and physical and emotional damage caused – particularly to the female – are enormous, a fact actually admitted in the Irish Times feature.