June 29th 2002


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Sexual misconduct in the Church

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Coalition MPs revolt against the ICC

New policies needed to rescue agriculture

COMMENT: How Ruddock could face charges before the ICC

Straws in the Wind: From the other side of the street / Dying culture

Sectarianism rears its ugly head in Victorian ALP

Census figures show decline of the family unit

Media ambush (letter)

Ancient wisdom (letter)

Reality cinema (letter)

Where the facts lie (letter)

Asylum seekers I (letter)

Asylum seekers II (letter)

Children as commodities (letter)

Who will stand up for small business, rural Australia?

OPINION: Reflections on the British monarchy

International terrorism: keeping the issues in focus

Despite tensions: Indonesia looks ahead

BOOKS: 'Undue Noise: Words and Music' by Andrew Ford

BOOKS: 'The Broken Hearth' by William Bennett

BOOKS: 'Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress' by Dai Sijie

COMMENT: That other Holocaust

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Children as commodities (letter)


by Neil E. Ryan

News Weekly, June 29, 2002
Sir,

When we know that the secure emotional and personal identity of children is accomplished through known genetic lineage, gestation & infant nurturing, and social and spiritual relationships of two parents of opposite sex, then, we need always to strive to meet this ideal.

Otherwise we deliberately experiment with various alternatives just to show that it can be done. The future life of any child must be appreciated; not carelessly or synthetically conceived.

When love, sex and procreation are no longer indissolubly linked, destruction cannot be far behind.

'Once upon a time' the begetting of children was a very private affair. Today artificially creating 'commodity' children has become an industry; open to more public debate, commercialisation, issues of discrimination and political controversy.

Biological 'parents' now seek financial reward for donating sperm and ovum to create embryo babies and demand the 'right' to provide or 'sell' the embryos to childless mothers or for scientific experimentation.

Who cares for the welfare and emotional stability of these new infinitely variable family (IVF) relationships, particularly the future lives of artificially created children? 10 to 18 years on this collection of cells is a human being asking: - 'Who am I? Where did I come from? To whom do I belong?

This quest for identity has been demonstrated over and over. Does anyone know how any child feels when they learn that their 'dad' was a test tube sperm?

Only now is it becoming clear that IVF does indeed profoundly mess with their sense of identity.

Twenty-five years ago Professor Paul Ramsay predicted that artificial reproductive technology would give rise to untold, moral, ethical, legal and psychological problems for parents, children and society.

The lid on this "Brave New World" can has only just been lifted.

Neil E. Ryan
Blackburn, Vic




























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