Family values and children as commodities

I’m finding this weird:

First, Jennifer Gunter’s distinction between 1) bearing, and 2) raising a child is valid and I will leave that there.

My problem arises when Katie Williamson says, “I’d love to love your baby! Just gimme it!” This suggests that a baby, even while still a zygote, is a commodity. One substitutes for another. “Just gimme it!”

Which, um, seems odd.

Then I wonder about foster children, desperately in need of homes. If children are indeed interchangeable, why does Williamson not adopt a foster child?

What, I wonder, must it be like for a foster child to be shuttled from home to home, never with any sense of permanent family? Oh, these are your grandparents, I can imagine a foster parent struggling to explain, but only until you move on to your next family. Or maybe there are just no grandparents at all. No aunts or uncles. No cousins.

Social conservatives often claim to be pro-family. Foster children need permanent families. Relatives. A place where and people with whom they truly belong.

But Williamson just wants to adopt a zygote before it is even born. Why would that zygote be worthy of love and not a foster child? Why?

I have to wonder what foster children think when they hear abortion opponents advocate adoption as an alternative to abortion.

Mind you, we haven’t even gotten to the fraying social safety net, dismal child care options, and the evisceration of public schools, all of which give the lie to conservative claims to value children’s lives.

Williamson seems to think adoption is too hard or unacceptable or both. I’ve had my brushes with bureaucracy so I can understand that it’s hard. I don’t know that anyone seriously claims it to be unacceptable. Where does this argument even come from?

And how would we compare the difficulties of adoption to those of pregnancy? Maybe those difficulties are those incumbent to commitment, another family value.

Williamson suggests that she is “sub fertile.” I suppose I can understand that she wants an easier path to having a child. But how easy must it be? “Just gimme it!”

It strikes me that responsibility is another family value.

For me, at least, the dissonance is too extreme. This can’t really be about zygotes’ lives. Or babies’ lives. Or children’s lives.

It’s about controlling women’s bodies.

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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