I’ve got a variety of short little things I’ve been meaning to note. (It always seems like I’m slightly behind these days.) At the risk of eliciting groans of despair, I wanted to briefly note this item. Once again Nadya Suleman, mother of octuplets, is in the news. It just never ends, does it?
I’ve written about her story any number of times in the past. It’s hard to imagine anyone making a better case for the regulation of ART. It does seem that perhaps she should not be in charge of eight children, or fourteen children or maybe even a single child.
But the main reason she’d be subject to regulation is that she used ART and there is something seemingly reasonable about regulating access to medical procedures. But it seems to me she’d be just as good (or just as bad) a parent if she had conceived via intercourse.
Which leads me to wonder (again)–if we care so deeply about the well-being of children shouldn’t we take some steps to regulate who gets to have them? Adoptive parents and foster parents are certainly subject to review. Why shouldn’t all parents be treated equally?
I see, of course, that it would be much harder to regulate sexual reproduction than it is to regulate adoption, fostering or ART. And perhaps that practical objection is the end of the matter. But, being an academic, I still get to wonder–apart from simple practicality, is there any reason why those who can reproduce on their own should be excused from qualifying as at least passable parents?