Show and Tell is below this post, but I thought I would trot out a sample from my new joke book tonight:
I wasn’t going to comment on Stephanie Saul’s latest article about surrogacy because honestly, what more is there to say? The author’s obvious contempt for the assisted reproduction is abundantly clear in not only the fact that she seems to have now made a career with her scintillating exposés–trotting to the ends of the earth to ignore the thousands of families utilizing fertility treatments to build their families in order to capture the one outlier situation–but also in her word choice. Her latest piece opens with this ditty:
“Unable to have a baby of her own, Amy Kehoe became her own general contractor to manufacture one.”
Saul comes up with such gasp-worthy observations as “Surrogacy is largely without regulation, with no authority deciding who may obtain babies through surrogacy or who may serve as a surrogate, according to interviews and court records.”
Wait. Are you going to tell me that as Keanu Reeves so eloquently said in Parenthood that they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father? You mean the government isn’t stepping in and telling people whether or not they’re allowed to become a parent or assist someone else in becoming a parent?
Or do you only want those regulations in place for people unable to have children without assistance–you know, same-sex couples, single parents by choice, and infertile men and women? As long as you can procreate behind closed doors, the government should just stay out until you’ve proven yourself to be an unfit parent–am I understanding correctly, Ms. Saul?
She states that the lax atmosphere makes it possible for people to “order up a baby” as if we all have $100,000+ lying around to create a child as well as the desire to utilize someone else’s gametes or womb. I’m assuming that she isn’t counting the fact that most heterosexual couples who decide to procreate attempt to order up a baby by deciding who will be their mate and therefore which genes will be passed along. I’m also assuming that she has forgotten by the second page the fact that she mentioned that only 750 children are born via surrogacy each year and most cases are not like the three freak situations she dug up for the article. I can see how large an issue this might become, Ms. Saul. You know…750 children out of several million. It certainly warrants this alarmist coverage.
Is the Kehoe’s story a sad situation? Of course. And Kym states the surrogacy side much better than I can. But what I see from this situation as well as Stephanie Saul’s coverage is simply the author’s gleeful hatred of assisted conception as well as the overwhelming bias we have in this country against mental illness. As the article states, this all came about because “Mrs. Kehoe was being treated for mental illness.”
Treated, as in, she was addressing the health condition. As in, she was being a responsible parent by treating her disease. As in, she was mindful of the situation and being proactive. For eight years. You know, all things that should be applauded as well as non-eyebrow raising. In this country, bodily illness trumps mental illness with the empathy card. We have such contempt for people who were not born with perfect mental health.
And that’s what I find disgusting, Ms. Saul. The fact that treating mental illness is what kicked off this situation. Not surrogacy itself.
But I don’t have a joke for that.