Sunday, January 24, 2010

Deadbeat Dads: Parenting From Beyond The Grave

One of the most prominent arguments made by opponents of gay marriage is the issue of parenting. They say a baby needs a Mommy and a Daddy, so even if you have two spectacular specimens of one, the child will likely turn out to be a mass-murderer, a Wall Street schemer, or at least a serial bed-wetter. But what about the children of brave single parents? What if a wife leaves her husband and child? Or what if a husband dies, forcing his wife to harvest his dead body for sperm (without his or anyone else's consent) to produce the child she always wanted? What then, America?

Well, legally, that is an option. Around the world, postmortem sperm procurement has raised a number of legal and ethical eyebrows. In Germany, France, Australia and Canada this sort of "retrieval" is banned out-right. In England, specific written permission is required for artificial insemination to occur after the father has "passed on." But here in the U.S. there is no standard protocol for this procedure. No written consent? No will? No problem!

If the American people care so deeply that a child have both a mother and father, then why do we permit the farming of a beloved's cadaver to create the spawn he never wanted? This exact scenario recently happened. A 42-year old woman from England won a court case that allowed her to keep the organic specimen she ordered doctors to extract from her dead hubby. The woman then traveled to the United States, where there were no state or federal laws restricting her insemination choices to the consensual and/or living.

If being the baby-mama to some zombie-halfsie isn't natural, then I don't know what is. So let's raise a glass to all the breeders out there. At least someone's happiness is being recognized and protected...

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