One of the things that I find very sad about modern life is that while listening to the local pop music radio stations – you know, the ones where nearly every song performed is sung by an artist 30 or younger and half the songs are about partying hard – very often I will hear commercials for fertility clinics.
There must be a lot of money in it, the fertility industry. The Done Thing is to spend one’s peak fertility years pursuing Career and Making It Financially – and if one fails to properly use contraception, there’s always the abortion clinic to get rid of any inconveniences that might result from a Friday night drunken party. And apart from any damage done post-abortion to one’s fertility, time itself is unforgiving. By the time a middle-to-upper-class woman wants a child, very often she has difficulty conceiving. (And I’m sure the cost of fertility treatments makes their target market very upper-middle-class.)
Adoption? Well. If you want to adopt a child from abroad, which usually means flying across at least one ocean, twice. The inconvenient children here in America are all gotten rid of, you see, long before they could be adopted, and the few who escape the slaughter are already spoken for, often years in advance. Those left in the system are generally in legal limbo, part of sibling groups, too old, too troubled medically or mentally – not cute little babies ready to be scooped up into loving homes. I keep wondering why enterprising young women strapped for money haven’t figured out how to work the system to essentially be paid for producing children. I gather there are some shady “adoption” agencies in Utah, but I’m a little surprised that there isn’t a thriving underground market for infants. Chalk it up to hormonal-induced muzzy thinking, I suppose.
But here’s the thing. For all the damage that being “unwanted” supposedly causes, there’s a real dark side to being wanted too much, as well. Either because the child fails to meet the mother’s impossible fantasy, or for darker reasons.
One of my friends who was horribly abused as a child is very pro-abortion because (she told me) “if my parents had aborted me, they wouldn’t have abused me.” This is insane in more ways than one. I shocked her and surprised her by telling her “They’d never have aborted you. They wanted you very much. They needed a scapegoat in the family.”
Not a lot of kids dying of neglect, these days. There will always be the occasional accident that happens when the caregivers are looking the other way, or the strange account of a mother who decides that leaving a toddler alone in the house is a good idea… but in a culture where letting even your older kids play outside alone is cause for your neighbors to phone social services, most children (post-birth, that is) who suffer because of adults are not suffering because they were unwanted when they were conceived.
That’s the trouble with modern society. Either children are a “punishment” (if you aren’t expecting the pregnancy) to be avoided at all costs, or an idol to be pursued, even to the destruction of your marriage.
So yeah. Maybe people should just have kids, and raise the kids, but not obsess over the kids. ‘Cause, you know, “mom” and “psycho stalker” just shouldn’t be synonymous terms, any more than “child” and “disposable” ought to be associated.