In the latest “strange things that happen thanks to IVF” category, a widow has tried to claim Social Security survivor benefits for her twin children. The problem? The children were conceived from banked sperm after their father died.
Yes, parents die. However, intentionally creating children who were never alive at the same time as their father… I don’t know what to call it. Selfish? Short—sighted? Over-entitled? There’s a vast difference between a pregnant mom who loses her husband to accident or disease and intentionally creating a difficult situation that wasn’t already there.
Social Security denied the claim. The Supreme Court upheld their decision unanimously, saying that the children were never dependent on their father monetarily and were, therefore, ineligible to claim “survivor” status.
The author of the Lifenews article I cited at the top lamented that the Court didn’t rule in favor of the kids (aren’t they people, too?), partially because she seems to think if taxpayers are paying for weird IVF consequences that they’d pay more attention.
Um, Octomom, anyone? She’s still on public assistance, except for posing for nude photos, last I saw on the tabloid headlines at the grocery store. So, no, I really doubt that taxpayers footing the bill for one more piece of stupid behavior would wake anyone up to the morals-free, money-reigns world of IVF and all the strange possibilities it opens up.
Unfortunately, we have lost our capacity for shock.
Yes, the twins are people; that doesn’t entitle them to Social Security benefits. Actually, as people, the twins deserved better than to be manipulated in a lab to create a living memorial to their dead father. (At least they actually have a father, as opposed to all the children with anonymous sperm donors as fathers.) Whether it’s a “savior sibling”, bred for donor tissue for a sick older brother or sister, or a memorial child, these children do not deserve to be treated as things for other’s purposes.
G.K. Chesterton, who died well before things got this weird, commented, “We have learned to do a great many clever things. The next thing will be to learn not to do them.”
I’m not sure we’ll ever learn that.