Mother of God: Two Guys Almost Lost Their Pet Human Child

We all need to feel sorry for two men who, as Buzzfeed reports, nearly lost custody of the male human child they had bought and paid for, through the unreasonable malice of a rogue judge.

The male human child was the byproduct of an otherwise unrelated instance of artificial reproduction in the form of in vitro fertilization, and thus he is actually the biological offspring of another couple, friends of these men, who didn’t want him. The two men already have custody of two other human persons of the female variety, whose biological origin is apparently unimportant other than that they too were brought into the world through surrogates. (These women are always referred to in this type of journalism as “surrogates” — what precisely they are a surrogate for it is unfashionable to mention — or “gestational carriers.”)

Buzzfeed is of course at pains to detail how unspeakably bourgeois and in fact even wealthy these two men are. One, we read, is quite fetchingly the president of a lobbying group, the National Association of Manufacturers, which may explain why he believed that manufacturing a child in the womb of a paid surrogate was a reasonable thing to do. This man is also referred to as “a conservative Christian” for reasons that are unclear. His partner was “a federal lobbyist for Capital One” until he quit to care for their growing family pursue the couple’s litigation efforts full-time. Such wonderful, human people.

The rest of the Buzzfeed article centers on the controversy about whether paid surrogacy ought to be legal, because it’s 2016, and why shouldn’t two rich white gay men have the best children money can buy?

I of course take the view of the benighted Wisconsin judge who tried to frustrate their plans. Two human bodies were bought and sold in this transaction: one the surrogate whose womb is effectively rented; the other of course being the child. (To be fair to the child’s new proprietors, they were not responsible for his genesis in a lab; we can blame his biological progenitors and their medical collaborators for that.)

I hope this child and his putative siblings have a lovely childhood, and that in experiencing the joys and challenges of parenting these unique human beings who, despite their unusual origins, are unique persons made in the image of God, their “dads” will become better people.

The worst thing about this story is Buzzfeed‘s relentless spin, which I am trying, perhaps recklessly, to un-spin. Buzzfeed weasels its way past all kinds of problematic moral situations with the words it uses to frame the story. Surrogates, for instance, are always “used,” as providers of gestation-as-a-service. They are rented bodies who seemingly do not relate as mothers to the children they carry.

While refusing to dignify the surrogate with even a transient motherhood, Buzzfeed refers to her two clients as “dads” and “fathers,” even as their biological fatherhood is specifically disclaimed. Buzzfeed calls the boy “their son” even before they attain legal custody of him. What exactly makes them his parents? Presumably fatherhood is something that can be purchased once one achieves the appropriate socioeconomic status.

As usual, the early Christian church was on this issue before today’s sophisticated surrogacy techniques were ever contemplated. One might ask: Could not the Virgin Mary be seen in the same light, as a “gestational carrier” for the Son of God, who inhabited her womb through no human agency?

No, said the church at the third ecumenical council in 431. Mary was to be honored, not as one who merely provided the material for his human life, but one who, having carried and given birth to the incarnate Son of God, remains forever His mother, and not the mother of his humanity only, but mother of his undivided person, rightly to be called Theotokos, the Mother of God.

May she also be a true mother to the motherless, through the merits of her blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Featured image: “Romulus & Remus” by CellarDoor85, CC BY-SA 3.0

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THOMAS HOLGRAVE is a conservative but not necessarily a hipster. He is the publisher of The Hipster Conservative. He has never read a comic book he liked. He is an occasional theologian who has been known to become quite exercised over questions of Puritan doctrine and practice. Not much else is known about him.

4 thoughts on “Mother of God: Two Guys Almost Lost Their Pet Human Child”

  1. I think that surrogacy can be a wonderful thing. As a woman who is unable to carry to term a pregnancy myself, I am currently pursuing this so that we may have a biological family. Adoption has been an option for a couple of years and we are still waiting. I don’t think that this is buying humans at all. This is alternative ways to complete couple’s families. I was extremely excited to read your blog until I stumbled upon this blog. Please try to remember that you have no idea what it is like to be a woman or unable to carry a child. It I a lot easier to judge and manipulate stories with extreme moral postures when you have no concept of the other viewpoint.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m sorry the article came across as insensitive. I do in fact know several women who have been unable to conceive, or who have struggled with infertility over the years. One of them is my mother. But this doesn’t change my conviction that surrogacy is essentially a failure of moral imagination which can be pressed into the service of even worse evils, as in the context of the scenario described in the article.

  2. I thought that Labor Day weekend would be an appropriate time to support everything you wrote about the homosexuals who claimed that Judge Troupis was a prejudice bigot. Jay Timmons represents up to 14,000 manufacturers as the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. Timmons’ first job on Capitol Hill was working for a Member of Congress after dropping out of Ohio State mid-semester of his Freshman year. Why? How is it that Timmons with absolutely no legislative experience or knowledge of manufacturing has risen to such heights in the world of manufacturers? Timmons was outed only after working for George Allen, first as Congressional Aide to the Congressman, then Chief of Staff to Allen’s Virginia Governorship, followed as Chief of Staff to GeorgeAllen,U.S.Senator from Virginia. The Washington Blade exposed Timmons as well as other Allen staffers. Timmons focus was on supporting Log Cabin Republican’s. Timmons was Allen’s manager on the staff of the Senate Republican Finance Committee with travels to Wisconsin. Senator Allen was accompanied by Timmons. Timmons did not follow through on behalf of candidates seeking financial support despite promises from Allen that they would get support. Allen was not reelected because of contrived charges by the media that he used insulting reference to the slang word ‘MaCaCa’ a term familiar to Allen’s mother whose native tongue used it frequently in contrasts to opponents. Timmons became an Executive Assistant to the three term Governor Engler, Michigan at N.A.M. Then followed as CEO. Who does the membership trust? It’s time for the Membership of N.A.M. to replace Gay Jay Timmons as CEO with a moral leader who understands what a Christian believes and supports the moral protection of children. N.A.M. needs to reassurect their association by dismissing Timmons, who is focusing more on baby exchanges along with how he’s going to pay off his baby trading debts. In my opinion Timmons is pushing for more defenders in support of his surrogate friends doing business on behalf of gay manufacturing clients.

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