In a time honoured tradition, the subject of Designer Babies has yet again begun to raise its contentious head. As with every other element of being a parent, the idea of creating another living being for the sake of saving a sibling (whether through ‘natural’ or ‘artificial’ means) invites criticism from every corner. As you would expect, the obvious factions (Church, Pro-Lifers etc) are quick to add their weight against but the thing that fascinates me is the number of people, ordinary people, with average lives and medium intelligence that are hopping up on the soapbox to judge and criticise. Are we so far gone as a society that we can’t even allow a sick child every opportunity to get well? Can we honestly say that put in the same position, we as parents (or even carers) wouldn’t grasp at every opportunity made available if it meant relief from suffering?
When is that we become parents anyway? Is it at conception, adoption or even implantation? Is it not possible that a person could love one child enough to want to help them by providing the best possible genetic match, but then still love that match as a person in their own right? And shouldn’t every single situation be judged and evaluated in its own right without the knee jerk reaction which seems to be inevitable these days.
There was a time when we would reserve judgement for behind closed doors or bite our tongues except in private but with the internet comes certain anonymity, a divorcing of emotion with devastating effect.
I look at my boys and there isn’t a single thing that I wouldn’t do to relieve their pain and I’m in the fortunate position where I am not faced with life threatening illnesses or long term suffering. I worry that they are growing up in a world where a parent is assumed to be incapable of making decisions for the benefit of their children. Where even through pregnancy, insemination or adoption the route taken is questioned and analysed and inevitably ridiculed somewhere and by someone. When did parents stop being the protectors first and foremost? As children we automatically assumed that our parents would always put our interests first. Even when the outcome wasn’t what we wanted or expected, deep down we assumed that they had our best interests at heart. I want my children to have that same security, growing up believing that their interests are always in the forefront of our minds. Only question is, how do you ensure that in a society overridden by doubt and suspicion?