It was irresponsible to the point of idiocy
Oh, beyond that -- I think we're into "losing your license" levels of irresponsibility.
Personally, I think we're well into "crimes against Humanity", myself. The "doctor" involved here should, at the very least, have his/her assets seized and used to offset the costs of raising the children they caused to be brought into the world, just like any deadbeat dad.
I was wholeheartedly with you up until this sentence: " If they don't want an adopted child but do want "their own"--I see that as a lack of commitment that's going to backfire on their own children someday. "
It has not been my experience that my friends who had fertility treatments were any less committed to their children than any other parents. You can disapprove of the decision (I don't, but I respect that you do) without generalizing to those people being Bad Parents.
But that the woman already had six kids and they implanted that many embryos? I'm with you. Gross, gross malpractice.
I should not have made a blanket statement, you're right. However, I have personally known people who were (to me) unbearably smug about how they would not consider adoption, they had to have their very own baby, because then they would know what they were getting and their genes were good genes and on and on...and I thought (having seen parents whose children existed to be props for the parents' social or political staging, or who existed to live out the parents' unfulfilled dreams) that those kids were in for it.
FWIW, I agree. I didn't know anything about this case when it hit the news, but if the stuff that has been coming out has been accurate, it's increasingly worrying.
I was appalled by this story even before what I read about the mother today. I've known several reproductive endocrinologists, and I can't imagine any of them taking on this kind of patient and proceeding with this kind of treatment option.
2009-01-31 10:01 pm (UTC)
thank you, thank you, thank you. (see also here
Thank you. I've been trying to phrase my reaction to this adequately and failing -- you came REALLY close without the cusswords I'd've used.
I will only disagree with you on one point: I do feel any child raised by *you* would have inherent advantages over this brood of octuplets, at the very least in learning and intelligence.
But I could not do as good a job with fourteen as with one--or with eight infants simultaneously. No one can.
Unless I'm misunderstanding you...it's not necessarily easier, or cheaper, to have fertility treatments. At the time we adopted our son (and not by the cheapest method of adoption), fertility treatments were 3-5 times more expensive. Evaluation and testing (some of which I did undergo) was intrusive, humiliating, and (depending on insurance coverage) expensive. The non-IVF parts (regulating hormone levels, taking temperature on awakening every morning, testing for ovulation, trying to time intercourse with ovulation) are emotionally draining--month after month of this and month after month of let-down and disappointment. No matter who is less fertile, it's draining on both partners; it sucks a lot of the joy out of intimacy, at least when it doesn't work.
At some centers, the evaluation of patients seeking IVF was as long and intrusive as that of prospective adoptive parents. At others (like, obviously, wherever this woman went) it wasn't. But at the time I was in my 20s and early 30s, any form of assisted fertility (AI or IVF) typically required time interviews, questionnaires, etc, etc. (It ticked me off, by the way, that nobody asked these questions of people who were easily fertile...despite the fact that some of them made lousy parents...)
I suspect that for unmarried and/or gay women, it is politically much harder to adopt than it is to get IVF. The turkey baster was more common in my day in such cases (not kidding. Knew someone who'd conceived with informal use of a turkey baster.) It was socially less acceptable among some people I knew--my mother-in-law was opposed to our adopting and thought we should have exhausted every medical possibility first; she was annoyed when I had needed surgery that ended our attempts.
But psychologically, in our case, adoption was easier than fertility treatments. Yes, we ended up with an autistic son...but that in itself was easier than if he had been biologically related--there was no guilt, no conflict, about whose genes might have caused it.
Mileage varies, I'm sure.
This has got to be one of the most sensible, ethically informed, and humane responses I've read to this whole thing.
One of the children she already has is autistic. I can only imagine how much care and considering the child is lacking for, competing with all those other siblings. Plus a household that is bursting to the seems with children? Cannot possibly be healthy.
What appalls me the most, however? Is that in this country, you're required to jump through hoops to get a sex reassignment surgery. In certain states, you're required to get a sonogram before being able to have an abortion.
Yet, this woman was able - with no legal restriction whatsoever - allowed to do something which will inevitably have an impact on so many lives (not just her children, but her parents, the community, the taxpayers).
The risk of permanent disability (physical and mental) increases with multiple births, too.
So true. Not to mention that with those, for the poor infant, comes a lot of pain. I have a friend who is a NICU nurse, and she can tell you about preemies that are in fairly terrible pain from the various ailments they have.
I really hope the doctor who helped her do this faces some serious repercussions. I also hope that she herself faces some kind of consequence for this. Because she's doing a lot of damage to a lot of people, and she is obviously either extremely selfish or mentally unwell, possibly both at the same time.
I was horrified... and wondered if she's suffering from a type of Munchausen's syndrome. She had suffered a number of setbacks recently and the 14 kids seems to go beyond a "desire to be loved."
I don't know how she ended up with octuplets. However, the medical community is reviewing the ethics of this and I think standards will be changed.
I support the right of gay or husbandless women to have any children they can afford. But she could not possibly have afforded six children... nor the now 14 children. Heck, *we* couldn't afford 14 kids and we both had good jobs.
Every time I hear of a young woman who wants children because she wants someone to love her, I wish I could get her into therapy. No one with that attitude is ready to have kids...it's scary, because I've known girls with that attitude who ended up abusive parents. (Or they marry abusive guys--looking for love from outside when they have none inside.)
The healthy parent child relationship has way more love flowing to the child--for years--than the child returns (can return) to the parent. The parent needs to take joy in the child's healthy growth and development. Eventually, enough love flows from parent to child that the child's little motor turns over, catches hold, and grows to become a source of love for his/her own family.
Seriously, are fertility clinics that deregulated? I've just been through the process in Australia and they won't implant more than two. Plus there is a six month process of application (at least) with multiple interviews with a psych. I resented going through it (because people conceiving in other ways didn't have to leap through this hoop) but presumably it is better than some of the alternatives.
My sincere sympathies for your struggle with childlessness.
Well, I got through it. And then we had a chance to adopt, and now our son is over twenty. Autistic, gentle, kind, helpful, fun. So I've had the parent experience. I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a biological child, but it doesn't do to dwell on. We were extraordinarily fortunate in our son--in having the opportunity to adopt him, in having the chance to intervene and help him through very difficult times to where he is now (and hopefully can continue to help him on to complete independence someday.)
Yes, this. You have put into a well reasoned and rational post what I have been mentally swearing about since I heard about it. Personally I think the whole thing is disgusting not a "miracle".
As someone who is childfree out of choice because of my concerns about the environment and the future of humanity, this breeder's actions, for want of a better term, just nauseates me.
Well said. It'd never occurred to me to even think about it. I heard that she already had six kids, but again it barely raised a blip. I've been focusing on too many other outrages lately. Anyway, you've added a new one to my outrage queue. Yeah, there are too many people in the world.
Families should never be so large that a child should have to take a number to get time to spend with a parent.
Sorry to add to anyone's outrage queue. You're right; the world is full of reasons for outrage (which makes me glad that I have a friend in another venue posting daily on "Grateful for today.")
*is rendered totally speechless*