xenologer: (arggghh)
So a white lesbian couple was able and willing to spend a helluva lot of money through a sperm bank to create an infant that'd look like its parents. So they tried to do that. Only, and here's where the audience gasps, the baby came out black!

So naturally the sperm bank did screw up. Obviously! And this perfect baby is just what got people asking the right questions about the care this medical establishment was taking with patient autonomy and care. So okay. As long as the parents aren't really gross and racist about the fact that their daughter is Surprise Black, this should be the kind of thing that can end okay.

Except HAHAHA OF COURSE they are gonna be super racist.
In the suit, Cramblett lists some of the difficulties she faces in raising a mixed-race child, saying she's unwelcome in the "black neighborhood" she visits to have Payton's hair done, fears her intolerant and homophobic parents will not accept her daughter, and that it would be a hardship to relocate to a racially diverse community as therapists have suggested.

BOO FUCKING HOO holy crap.

The sperm bank made an appalling screwup that they should be penalized for. The fact that the parents already got a very expensive set of procedures refunded and the sperm bank effectively did them for free? That's a penalty. If they want to sue the sperm bank QUIETLY for the trauma and suffering of raising a mixed baby, I guess that's cool if they're gonna put it in the little girl's scholarship fund so that she at least gets some benefit out of it.

This whole "I am going to make a nationally-publicized stink about my Black Mistake Baby" thing? Hell no. The only thing here that they're going to be hard-pressed to keep from wounding this child is this thing right here they voluntarily did. They told the whole nation that their baby was made wrong, and that the girl's race is an integral part of her not being the child they wanted.

I don't get the vibe that the parents are making some kind of thoughtful argument about transracial parenting and its potentially-painful effects on a child whose parents aren't qualified to teach her how to survive as a different race than they are. They absolutely look like white people who had a knee-jerk freakout at having been given damaged goods.

I'd feel a lot better about these two if they'd refused to have anything to do with any press coverage that might imply this baby they so desperately wanted is a problem because she's not white enough. Give the finger to the press who want pictures or interviews and focus on the fact that the sperm bank was being negligent and this perfect baby was only the reason people started asking questions.

And hell, I say this as someone who is just overall uncomfortable and frankly disapproving of the "spend fifty grand to create genetic offspring because if we adopt it won't be Our Real Child" norm that this is a part of. The clinic screwed up and the people who do this hella fucked up thing I hate (going out of their way to create their own personal infant rather than doing for one of the kids who needs a home already) deserve to have a better expectation that their reproductive autonomy will be respected and they'll be able to control whose baby they actually end up giving birth to. I say this as someone who--if these women were me and a partner of mine--would not have created this child at all. If it were me, this baby girl wouldn't exist. And STILL. I am worried about her. Because she does exist now.

This couple absolutely are victims of serious negligence. They're just ALSO extremely frigging contaminated by white supremacy and they are actually SO RACIST that they're still prioritizing themselves and their comfort in their racist-ass white neighborhood with their racist-ass family over this unacceptably-blackened little baby who's gonna grow up and learn how her parents celebrated her existence.

They can be victims and still be showing their racist asses in how they respond to the situation and the degree to which they (fail to) protect their baby girl. Those things can both be true.

More commentary here at TheGrio. The comments on the entry are pretty good as well, just in case anybody was thinking that this is some kind of white guilt inflation that no people of color actually see a problem with. Ay Lovelace also has great commentary on FB (with a similarly great comment thread).

I'm just really appalled. This poor kid. I wouldn't have created that kid in the first place, but she damn well exists now and she deserves better than this kind of public spectacle from her parents and even I can see it. I'm glad they've "bonded with" their little girl, but I hope someday they give her a fucking apology.

Date: 2014-10-04 04:27 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] stardreamer
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
Amen to all of this.

When I first saw this story, my immediate reaction was not "the sperm bank made a mistake" (which apparently is what happened) but "somebody's grandfather was passing, eh?" Probably because I've read several mystery novels in which that issue was part of the plot.

Date: 2014-10-04 08:05 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
I say this as someone who is just overall uncomfortable and frankly disapproving of the "spend fifty grand to create genetic offspring because if we adopt it won't be Our Real Child" norm that this is a part of

This is a myth, and has been for a long time now. Adoption is a great deal more expensive and arduous than fertility treatments in most places, and it's orders of magnitude more expensive than simple sperm donation/artificial insemination. In many countries with universal health care coverage, more expensive procedures like IVF and ICSI are covered (and thus free) and in some states coverage is mandated for private insurers, whereas adoption can run $10-15K in fees for a public adoption and $30-50K for a private adoption. Not to mention the fact that the waiting lists for adoption in many places are enormous (where I live four-five years is normal) during which time parents may age out of eligibility, or may be ineligible to adopt in the first place because they have a criminal record, etc. Compared to the less than $1K it costs for artificial insemination (For example - http://www.victoriafertility.com/fees/ - IUI - $450 + $300 handling and storage fee + $150-450 sperm) and the lack of eligibility requirements, assuming one can "just adopt" as a viable alternative comes from a place of enormous privilege.

Date: 2014-10-04 09:25 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
And fostering? I assume you don't have to pay the full ticket price for your infant purchase then.

Date: 2014-10-04 09:31 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
I will try to be less glib.

The adoption system is fucked up. The international adoption system is immensely more fucked up (what with all the stolen not-orphans being peddled at a discount to white American families who want to feel like humanitarians for Christianizing a foreign brown baby). The fact that infants are a commodity is a problem.

Fostering is not as expensive as arranging to purchase a brand new high-demand perfectly-healthy baby, though, and before you say that fostering carries with it a lot of risk and drama and hassle, I know that. My parents have fostered kids. I know. And anybody who isn't willing to do the kind of work a foster kid needs shouldn't be parenting at all, in my opinion.

I'm not going to legislate it. I'm still pro-choice. I just still think it's fucked up that adoption of any sort is a last resort for so many people, as though they could only properly love a child they're genetically related to. That's fucked up.

Any comment on the substance of the entry? Or are you just mad that I'm more supportive of adoption than people going out of their way to conceive?
Edited Date: 2014-10-04 09:32 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-10-04 09:56 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Grabbed some numbers, since you prompted me to do so.

1. In the USA, health care costs are outrageous. This is sort of a known thing. IUI appears to cost something between $300-2000 (and yeah that is sort of a ridiculous range, because yay for capitalism), if the patient doesn't have insurance. For some hella wide ballparks, this link appears to give national averages for the usa. http://www.advancedfertility.com/fertility-treatment-costs.htm

2. In my state fostering appears to actually cost about that. http://www.in.gov/dcs/adoption/faq.html Also keep in mind that there is a federal adoption tax credit for something like $10k, which is probably helpful even for those who are bound and determined to spend the extra dosh for a perfectly-healthy newborn infant rather than one of those troublesome older kids in the foster system. There's a state-level one as well that on its own should mostly offset the initial legal fees and stuff for a foster parent.

So that comparison actually isn't super outrageous. You're definitely right that I hella overshot in my estimate of typical fertility treatment costs, which is a sample error on my part that I shouldn't have made. I know people who paid out the anus for their treatments, but it looks like they're not a reflection of the average (possibly because they did a bunch of rounds of treatment, or were just willing to pay more).

But yeah I'm gonna keep focusing on fostering as the comparison, for reasons I mentioned earlier. I get that lots of people want a newborn that'll never have known any parent or family but the one they're being adopted into. I get that that's a thing. Unfortunately, some people want that more than they want to save a child from a shit situation who is often absolutely old enough to know what's happening to them, and while that's their call to make I am not gonna pretend I think it's awesome.

There are people who are barred from adopting for bullshit reasons, such as gay couples, though that was going to be a problem for at least one of the parents anyway if they opt to go for artificial insemination or a surrogate and the child is only biologically related to one of its parents. This is definitely bullshit, though, and as someone who is really really supportive of adoption, it's offensive to me on levels that I have a hard time articulating that there are kids out there who are stuck in the system because the only way for a gay couple to have kids was to create a whole new child.

Thank you for the number correction, but if you were trying to persuade me to feel better about people spending money to make new children when the system is full of kids who're already suffering... well, I am not sure that's a case you have made.

Date: 2014-10-04 12:08 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
Lol I'd say given the multiple heated and defensive responses you have more feelings than I do on the subject. I'm not "mad" at all (though you seem to be) I'm trying to inject some realism into a hard topic. It doesn't cost fifty grand to get fertility treatments. It does cost 30-50 grand to adopt. It will cost more than that to foster a child with special needs, which is the kind you're most likely to get. But...

Thank you for the number correction

You're welcome. I've just seen the old "just adopt" trope too many times when it comes to the issue of using fertility treatments, with similarly exaggerated figures bandied about. If we're going to have a conversation about adoption/fostering/fertility technology, we have to be realistic. When someone trots out "why spend this enormous amount of money" as you did on said treatments, it adds nothing to the conversation at hand because:

a) Fertility treatments don't cost that much, especially insemination. And may be free, depending on where you live.

b) Adoption is actually more expensive, has legal complications, long wait times, and a high barrier to entry in terms of requirements.

c) Fostering also has requirements that a given family may not be able to meet, even if they have the resources to care for a child otherwise (see: criminal record, marital requirements, etc.). Unless we're going to argue that felons, singletons, and homosexual couples in places where they're not allowed to adopt or foster shouldn't have children, those options are off the table if fertility is an issue. And yes, I have family friends who fostered as well, and in two out of three cases their situations were temporary, not permanent. If raising a child as if it were your own until adulthood is what you want, fostering is not for you.

but if you were trying to persuade me to feel better about people spending money to make new children when the system is full of kids who're already suffering

No, not at all, just trying to persuade you to be realistic about all of this. That "money" spent is often far, far less than adoption or fostering. And if you adopt or foster a child with special needs (which you almost certainly will, if you'd like to have a child anytime soon) those costs grow even higher. Not only financially, but emotionally and otherwise. Pretending that fertility treatments are for the privileged when the opposite is true - that the ability to adopt comes from a place of privilege - does nobody any favours, aside from shaming infertile/homosexual couples for doing what they desired or could afford, while nobody harangues and chastises fertile couples who choose to have their own children and spending all that money on those brand new babies even though "the system is full of kids who're already suffering". It's kicking someone while they're down, then feeling self-righteous about it.

Are you fostering children right now? If not - why not? Is it because you lack the resources to do so, or the will? Why is it then wrong for others to lack these things?

Date: 2014-10-04 11:13 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] veronica-rich.livejournal.com
My sister read that to me the other night while I was driving and my first question was: "If they live in THAT bad a shithole that people still won't accept such a kid in this time, why don't they just move to a better place? They can obviously afford it - it's not like those poor schmucks who were stuck in Katrina because they literally couldn't afford the means to get out of the city."

Date: 2014-10-07 07:17 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] belenen.livejournal.com
I wouldn't have created that kid in the first place, but she damn well exists now and she deserves better than this kind of public spectacle from her parents

I 100% agree! I hate this whole mess.

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