Worth Reading: Boys and Dolls, Down Syndrome, and Who Is the Mom?

A few posts and articles from the past few weeks that are worth passing along:

God Made Boys to Play with Dolls by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeinera, Caryn offers a wonderful defense of boys playing with dolls and links it to the God who loves us as a father.

Another great piece by George Estreich on societal perceptions of Down syndrome: Selling the Story: Fetal Gene Testing, Down syndrome and the Today Show

And a story on CNN about a surrogate mother (Kelley) who refused to abort, even when offered $10,000: Surrogate Offered $10,000 to Abort Baby:

“They were both visibly upset. The mother was crying,” she remembers. “They said they didn’t want to bring a baby into the world only for that child to suffer. … They said I should try to be God-like and have mercy on the child and let her go.”

“I told them that they had chosen me to carry and protect this child, and that was exactly what I was going to do,” Kelley said. “I told them it wasn’t their decision to play God.”

It’s a long story, but Kelley goes on to give birth and give the baby up for adoption:

In one view, she’s a saint who fought at great personal sacrifice for an unborn child whose own parents did not want her to live. In another view, she recklessly absconded with someone else’s child and brought into the world a baby who faces serious medical challenges when that wasn’t her decision to make.

This story brings up a host of convoluted ethical questions about surrogacy, IVF, adoption, abortion, and children with special needs. Even more than reading the story itself, I commend to you my friend Ellen Painter Dollar’s analysis of it: How the Story of a Surrogate, Expectant Parents, and a Baby Reveals the Pitfalls of Repro Tech. 

While we’re at it, I will also suggest Ellen’s Bless Those Who Curse You (& Don’t Call Them Eugenicists, Moral Monsters, or Murderers).

Happy reading!

(And check back this week for a post about Penny I’ve written for the Huffington Post as well as guest posts and giveaways from Rachel Marie Stone and Margot Starbuck…)

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


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