A couple of weeks ago, a woman had a baby. Childbirth, of course, happens tens of thousands of times a day in the United States, but this baby was a product.
A couple paid a doctor and an agency to secure the child. The mom’s relationship with the child is governed not by biology, but by contract, one with clauses and exceptions and conditions. A man who made no genetic contribution is being called the child’s other “father,” along with Anderson Cooper, a major media celebrity, which is why this baby’s birth made national headlines.
Cooper is a homosexual man. He and his now-ex partner hired a woman to be a surrogate, a practice increasingly common in the U.S. The headlines announcing the couple’s acquisition were universally fawning, as if this story carried none of the extraordinary details listed above at all: “Anderson Cooper talks first weekend as new Dad;” “Anderson Cooper announces birth of his son; urges people to hold on to ‘moments of joy.’”
None of these articles, in fact not a single one that I could find in any major publication anywhere, even hinted that there might be any ethical concerns with Cooper’s purchase. In fact, when author Joyce Carol Oates mentioned on Twitter – after explicitly congratulating Cooper, by the way – that she found it curious the news coverage never mentioned Cooper’s hired surrogate at all, she was excoriated.
The speed at which our culture is able to normalize a behavior thought just yesterday to be somewhere between questionable to unthinkable is stunning. To not mention any shred of ethical hesitancy around the decision to purchase procreation, particularly by a couple who chose an intentionally sterile union in the first place, is one thing.
To gush over the doting dads as if the way this whole thing happened is quite unremarkable? Well, that’s something else entirely. After all, culture is often most powerful in our lives where it makes the least amount of commotion. When something is no longer considered debatable, and is instead assumed, it’s been normalized.
This story demonstrates that commercial surrogacy, including cases in which the child is intentionally deprived of its mother, is now fully normal.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Maria Baer