Society is conflicted about babies
If I had just arrived from a far-away planet it would be easy to convince me that the people on planet Earth are just crazy about babies. Yes, born and pre-born babies.
It has been a big media story about Kate and Prince William expecting their first heir to the throne and not just among royal watchers; the whole world wants to know what’s going on in Kate’s uterus. Why British Prime Minister David Cameron is proposing repealing the primogeniture law which said the first-born royal male baby automatically gets the throne.
This may have been at the request of Prince William and Kate and also has the approval of a lot of influential people, even the Queen, and our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has said previously that he didn’t believe the laws should be changed, did a back-flip on his previously announced position.
Maybe now is the time for us to remind Harper that his interest in the birth of celebrity babies should be expanded to the future of Canadian babies. Maybe, Mr. Prime Minister, it’s time to do another back-flip. Babies deserve to be treated with the same deference that the royal baby in Kate’s womb is treated.
The National Post reported on its front page about a “baby selling scandal,” a Canadian business woman, Lisa Picard, who allegedly operates a fertility treatment agency was almost shut down by the RCMP recently because it referred some of her clients to a U.S. broker, Hilary Neiman, who is serving a five-month prison term for her part in the black-market baby scheme. Picard claims that she did not know the true story that the surrogates were made pregnant without any would-be-parents involved. The “gestating infants” were then put on the market for up to $150,000 for desperate but affluent couples. Who said babies weren’t in demand?
I’m also intrigued by that unfamiliar definition: “gestating infants.”
If you were planning an abortion that would be the last phrase you would like to hear.
In February this year, RCMP officers raided Canadian Fertility Consultants (CFC) offices in Brighton, Ont. and seized computer equipment and files. Police said they are investigating violations of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act and the Criminal Code which forbid commercial payment for eggs, sperm and the services of a surrogate. This is the first full-scale investigation of the fertility law since it was introduced eight years ago. It is also a delicate political situation in Canada and that is why no one has ever been charged. However, parents, surrogates, and egg donors who work with the CFC have become increasingly worried as the investigation carries on and expenses owed to the donors and surrogates go unpaid. Payments are impossible because the police have seized all the files.
“It is wreaking havoc in people`s lives,” said an advisor to several of CFC clients. “God forbid if there is a miscarriage. The amount of damage being caused by this prolonged investigation is just unfathomable.”
Cpl. Glenn, a spokesperson on the case, said: ‟She could not predict when the files would be returned. A lot of people never understand what it takes to carry out an investigation. I certainly understand the frustrations that might be out there.”
Surrogacy is legal in North America but both Canada and the U.S. require that the mother and would-be-parent(s) have an agreement before anyone gets pregnant (as well as other restrictions).
As a condition of the American baby-selling scam, the lawyers had the surrogates undergo in-vitro fertilization in the Ukraine that has lax rules and then claimed the would-be-parents had backed out, leaving an expectant surrogate without anyone to take the infant. Then the babies were offered up at six-figure prices. The baby was treated only as a valuable piece of merchandise.
In other news, Citizen and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney plans to address “passport babies” which undermines the value of Canadian citizenship. Years ago people came to Canada to stay, Kenney said in an interview with the National Post, as he denounced birth tourism where crooked immigration consultants teach women how to avoid detection of their pregnancy at the border by wearing loose fitting clothing that hides their pregnancy and then lie low until voila, a baby. They give birth to an automatically Canadian child who can then take advantage of Canada`s health care and education and when he or she becomes 18 can legally sponsor their parents.
Canada has a “right of soil” as opposed to the “right of blood” that most large countries have that requires at least one parent to be a citizen or having lived in Canada a certain length of time. The motivation is to give their children a western education. It`s amazing to think that an unborn baby is a key to their dreams. I guess it`s the same way for royal couple. However they are in a unique position to change the rules being close to the throne. Oh that all unborn babies would be greeted so joyously.