In this writing I shall invoke a point of privilege and comment
on my observations of society. I shant even attempt an analysis
of the effects of drugs which are known to scramble DNA. We all
know what thalidomide did and what imbibing alcohol can do to the
fetus. And the research into the larger problem of "crack
babies" being amoral is only now beginning to receive deserved
publicity. These kids, whose mothers smoked crack cocaine while
pregnant, grow up (usually in a fatherless home) and see nothing
wrong with killing another
child to get his jacket or tennis shoes.
Ours may well be the final generation in which genealogical
research can pretend to record biological parents or an
individual's children. A number of circumstances have combined
to make this so. At the core of this is the breakup of the
traditional family. We see about us unprecedented numbers of
out-of-wedlock births. In many instances the mother is not even
sure who the father(s) of her child(ren) might be. This is sad
and portends future problems in political, legal and ethical, as
well as ecclesiastical, arenas.
In addition to the loose morals and unwanted pregnancies which
abound, we now have women impregnated in clinics with sperm of
unknown donors and in-vitro
fertilization with the results implanted in not the ovum's donor.
All this in addition to the previous secrecy which traditionally
surrounded adoptions. At least in the "old days" when you took a
child to raise; you, the child and the whole neighborhood knew
whose it was.
Now we stand on the brink of a whole new world where cloning may
be possible. Here, at least, we'll know who the "parent" is; a
father-only or mother-only depending upon who donated the DNA.
Beyond that we may find "designer babies" whose DNA has been
manipulated to produce desired results independent of parental
features. For example, two blue-eyed parents with a brown-eyed
baby of "their own." Even if such manipulation is done only to
cure or prevent an inherited disease, in principle our problem is
--pds April 1997
"NEW ORLEANS. A gay couple in California have
won a federal court ruling that orders Louisiana
to put the names of both men on their adopted
son's birth certificate despite state law
against unmarried adoption.|
-- Sun, Dec. 28, 2008 p. B2 Washington
So much for the value of birth certificates upon which we have relied
for so many years.