It’s no surprise that once you do away with God’s plan for marriage and child-bearing, everything the world tries to put in its place seems to grow continuously more twisted.
Cecile Eledge, a 61-year-old Nebraskan woman, recently served as a surrogate mother for her homosexual son, Matthew Eledge.
Eledge, 32, is in a homosexual relationship with Elliot Dougherty, 29, and the men strongly desired to complete their family with a baby.
Rather than pursue adoption, Eledge and Dougherty instead chose in vitro fertilization. As a result of this family affair, Baby Uma Louise Dougherty-Eledge was born on March 25, 2019.
Not only did Eledge utilize his mother’s womb, but Dougherty’s sister, Lea Yribe, donated 24 eggs toward the cause.
Due to Nebraska’s IVF and surrogacy laws, Cecile Eledge, not Yribe, Uma’s mother and her son Matthew, as sperm donor, is legally Una’s father, further complicating this whole thing.
“Let’s just say we will not be framing and hanging up Uma’s birth certificate,” Matthew Eledge told Buzzfeed.
Given the tricky nature of Uma’s parentage, Dougherty will have to jump through legal hoops to adopt her in order to obtain parental rights and custody.
In trying their hand at playing God, Dougherty and Eledge spent a whopping $40,000 on the two-year IVF process. Of the 24 eggs Yribe donated, eleven were fertilized with Eledge’s sperm. Seven embryos were successfully fertilized. However, after genetic testing, four of these viable fertilized eggs were killed. So you can add the termination of deliberately created human life to this whole thing, too.
One of the remaining three embryos was successfully implanted into Cecile Eledge’s womb while the other two were put into storage.
The grisly reality of the option within IVF to kill your own children seemed to weigh a little heavy on Eledge, who expressed some concern about the power he wielded over these human lives: “I’m not a super religious person, but you do feel like you’re playing God. Like, am I choosing too much?”
If only he’d listened to the prick of his conscience before these lives were wasted.
Although Eledge said he’d always “dreamed of having a girl,” he ultimately asked the doctors to choose the “healthiest” looking embryos, all of which were female.
Thankfully, the young father seems to have at least some conviction regarding the two embryos “on ice.”
“It’s this weird thing,” Matthew said. “They’re just this bundle of cells, right? But now I’m like, ‘How can you discard those?’” They spent so much money and effort creating the embryos, and transferring them in the future would be much cheaper, since they wouldn’t have to pay for the egg retrieval process all over again. For now, Matthew and Elliot are keeping their options open.
Oddly enough, Eledge was a teacher at a private Catholic high school until he was fired for “marrying” Dougherty. He now teaches at a public school.
In a column for American Conservative, Rod Dreher said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are instinctively horrified by this, and those who think it is a glorious thing what money, technology and a willingness to break taboos can bring about.”
Although no sexual union between any two people led to Uma’s conception, Dreher explained that multiple forms of incest still took place in her creation.
“The taboo against incest is ancient, and nearly universal,” he wrote. “These people violated it multiple times, using technology — and no sex was involved. They mixed the egg of Dougherty’s sister with his husband’s sperm. In custom — ‘custom,’ ha ha! — Dougherty’s sister is also considered to be the sister of his spouse, Eledge.”
“Plus, the egg fertilized by Eledge and his sister-in-law was implanted into his mother, so that Eledge’s mother could bear his child. Now this has happened, and the response of the world — our world — is to celebrate it as a triumph of love.”
The case of Uma’s birth is so ethically murky, Dreher says it sets a dangerous precedent that will only help to erode what makes a “family” even further, ultimately allowing for the normalization of incest: “We have forgotten, we are forgetting, and our forgetting will be complete in another generation or two.”
“We are creating chaos, and calling it civilization. When the money runs out, or the technology fails, we will live with the consequences of our hubris,” he boldly declared.
This isn’t the first time the IVF industry has been indicted by cultural commentators for its many insidious attacks on the traditional family. The Abolition of Woman author Fiorella Nash is a long-time critic of the IVF industry and its effects on women’s health, but her biggest concern in this situation is baby Uma herself.
“Don’t any of the adults in this situation consider how messed up the child is going to be?” she asked. “Are the primordial bonds between mother and child, father and child, so irrelevant that they can be broken at will?”
Traditional morals aside, being born into such a legally difficult family situation puts Uma in serious danger, Nash argues, pointing back to the case of Baby Manji, a little boy born via IVF in India. Manji’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Yamada, created him using Mr. Yamanda’s sperm and a donor egg and implanting the embryo into an Indian surrogate. The Yamadas later divorced, and Mrs. Yamada “lost interest” in baby Manji.
Because the egg donor and surrogate had signed away their rights and Indian law prevented Mr. Yamada from adopting Manji, this poor, precious child went from having four “parents” to having none at all.
Nash fears that, regardless of her family’s best intentions, Baby Uma has been born into “a minefield that leaves [her] intensely vulnerable, physically, emotionally, and legally.”
To be sure, we believe in a God who can draw a straight line with a crooked stick. That is, Uma’s life is precious in His sight, and she was known to him from before the foundation of the world. This does not, however, excuse the flagrant rejection of God’s clear, perfect design for the family.
Please be in prayer for this child, and for the sinful state of our culture that is encouraging this to become just another shade of “normal.”
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