Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday Thoughts...

Yesterday while thumbing through this month's Details mag, I came across a fascinating article. What was it about? Surrogacy.

To set some context, Surrogacy is the equivalent of artificial insemination for men...almost. There are also other cases where surrogacy is used, but this article dealt specifically with cases of single men.

If a single woman wants to have a child, she heads to the sperm bank finds a suitable swimmer and goes on from there.

But in the case of a single man, it is a lot more complicated. First he needs to find a suitable 'donor' to provide the egg. And lot of the time the donors are usually unwilling to do the 9-month deal of bearing the child. So he has to find someone who can bear his child. And that is where the surrogate mother comes into picture. she carries the embryo for 9-months and after birth hands it over to the Dad and moves on.

Surrogacy is legal in lot of states. California is one among them. This allows to build legally binding contracts surrounding the egg donation, the surrogacy, the custody etc. There are agencies who take care of the entire gamut surrounding these procedures. The costs surrounding all of this run upto $150,000.

Apparently around 100 single men do this every year. Their age range is anywhere between early 30s (the article featured a 30 year old) to late 40s and beyond. What fascinated me was the social dynamic surrounding this.

Most of these are straight single men. And given the costs of the procedure, they are financially stable. And when you factor in their willingness to go through the long grind of this procedure to have a child of their own, one can reasonably assume that they are caring individuals.

What are those social conditions/experiences that have caused these men to give up on finding a partner? Some may allege that these men are bitter. I refuse to buy that argument. The whole process is too gruelling just to be fuelled by bitterness. Unless it is driven by the genuine desire to be a parent, I highly doubt if a person will go through with this.

Is this the way our society supposed to evolve?
Are single parent homes, the future?
Are our social conditions conditioning us to be just by ourselves ?
I am not sure.
PS : I was mildly disturbed by the relief I felt when I found that such a legal option exists. Ah! the dichotomy !

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