Monday, December 1, 2008
Insensitivity Via Fertilization
As the economy collapses and millions of children around the world await adoption to a loving home, what does the “New York Times Magazine” (11.30.08) choose as its cover story? Her Body, My Baby by Alex Kuczynski, a writer for the paper – and, unsurprisingly, the author of a book titled “Beauty Junkies” – who laid out 25 grand (in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars she spent on failed rounds of I.V.F.) to “rent” the womb of a surrogate mom, and goes to near apologetic lengths to justify her narcissism. (Longing for a genetic attachment to her child and unable to carry a pregnancy to term, Kuczynski felt it just made sense that Cathy – who has a husband and children of her own and wasn’t living in poverty, hence she had to have been doing it for more than college tuition for the kids – would bear the burden for nine months.)
“She wasn’t desperate for the money, so our relationship wouldn’t have to feel like a purely commercial enterprise, or a charitable one,” Kuczynski writes. Somehow it would be easier to believe her sincerity if the lead photo accompanying the article didn’t include Kuczynski’s African-American “baby nurse,” dressed in servant white and standing at attention beside mother and newborn on their plantation-like, Southampton front lawn.