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The Word on the Week

Children as Commodities

This week RTE broadcast the design and delivery of twins from India to Ireland. The surrogate industry was explained to us in an hour long programme bringing us up to speed with the new technologies of our “brave new world”.

Seán and his partner Fiona had been seeking a child for 5 years and spent €30k on various treatments but without success. The fact that both had children from previous relationships and were now into their 50ies would seem to indicate that their childbearing days were over. Not in 2014. Thanks to the assistance of the surrogacy clinic in Mumbai.

The clinic provided the couple with a “menu” of potential egg donors and surrogate mothers from which to choose. They selected a strong young girl called Shoba, who had children of her own and needed the money, to be the carrier and then chose another healthy girl who produced six “quality” eggs.

Three eggs were selected, fertilised by Seán, and implanted in Shoba who stayed for a couple of weeks in the clinic and the couple, after parting with €25,000, went home.

One of the clinic’s rules is to limit the carrier to two embryos and as all three were doing well a radiographer was employed to “stop the heart of one of the babies”. Shoba returned to her village where the couple was assured she would not be smoking or drinking. Irish habits die hard!

Nine months later Seán and Fiona got the phone call that Shoba had returned to the clinic and that birth was imminent. They returned to Mumbai and after the twins had a thorough health check-up they were presented with Donal and Ruby. Shoba was sent home immediately after the birth with €6,500 (for twins) which approximated; we are told, to 20 times her normal annual income.

It took six weeks to get the exit visa’s to leave India and emergency documents were prepared to allow the twins, who are stateless, to enter Ireland. Amid the joy and celebration of their homecoming there was not much thought for the future of the kids with their ageing parents and questions of who actually am I? Perhaps Seán and Fiona will show them the RTE documentary! But then they might go looking for Shoba!

Births in the Bible to barren women came after prayer and supplication e.g. Hannah (1Samuel) and Elizabeth (St Luke 1). They marked out special men of faith who were used by God to draw people back to Himself.

In a post-faith era where science permits selfishness to reign we have the poor being exploited and abortion used as a tool of trade in the godless world of baby design.

Protection having been removed from the weakest i.e. those in the womb, the next level of exploiting impoverished young women, albeit in India, now becomes acceptable.

Children were never treated as commodities by Jesus. He considered them as important as adults equally worthy of love. He likened their trust in their parents as comparable to the trust people must put in Himself it they are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (St Mark Chapter 10 verses 13-16). The children do not automatically belong to the Kingdom but like adults must come to Jesus and by faith receive Him for themselves (St John Chapter 1 verse 12).