Skip to main content

Motherly Love with Conditions

I listened to a woman talk about wanting to adopt a child. Normally, I am very supportive of those who want to adopt. However, as I listened, the motivation behind her desire to adopt troubled me. She never spoke about what she could do for the child. It was all about what the child was going to do for her. She was physically unable to have children of her own. However, she had always pictured herself with a little girl that was dressed in ribbons and ruffles. Therefore, she only wanted to adopt a girl. She couldn’t wait to be able to send out photo Christmas cards like all her friends did and have her little girl posed by the Christmas tree. She would feel like a more complete woman once she was a mother. She definitely did not want a foreign child because she didn’t want it to appear obvious that her child was adopted. As far as I know, this woman and her husband have not adopted a child yet. I hope whoever does the screening for adoptive couples sees this woman may not be ready to selflessly give herself as a mother to a child.

Wesley Smith at Secondhand Smoke points out a development reported in today’s Washington Post that reminds me of this woman. Great Britain has approved the screening of embryos for the propensity to develop cancer as adults.

The new decision expands that policy to include some genes that significantly increase the odds -- but do not guarantee -- that a person will get cancer. The policy also for the first time includes diseases -- primarily breast, ovarian and colon cancer -- that do not strike until adulthood and often respond to treatment…

The kind of testing in question, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, is conducted on one or two cells removed harmlessly from a three-day-old test tube embryo created by in vitro fertilization. If a cell is found to harbor an unwanted gene, that embryo is not used.


Just like the woman I encountered above, parents can seek to have a made-to-order baby. Right now the intent is avoiding cancer. What if we find a gene controlling diabetes,obesity, intelligence, or depression? This is what happens when the focus is on the utility of a life. Rather than accepting all life as a gift and acknowledging the intrinsic dignity of all life, this kind of policy encourages arbitrary measurements to judge the worthiness of a life.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, say a special prayer for all the parents who open themselves unconditionally to the gift of life.

Comments

bookstopper said…
As far as the racial thing goes, I can understand not wanting the child to grow up having to answer lots of questions about that. It is troubling though, when someone always speaks of children in terms of themselves and their own needs, rather than the needs of the child.

I knew someone online once that did have the right attitude for adoption, but she wasn't married. I counceled her that a child has the right to have a mother AND a father, and her future husband (not yet in the picture) also has the right to have a say in the adoption.

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!