This week the twitterverse celebrated the arrival of baby Robert Ray Black-Daley via surrogacy. Baby Robert was conceived using donor eggs and the sperm of either Tom Daley or Dustin Black. From the pregnancy announcement, to the surprise baby shower to their decision to raise the baby in the UK, the news has focused exclusively on the desires of the men involved, even though it is baby Robert who has to bear the life-long cost. As children’s rights advocates, we find that kind of media coverage not only unacceptable, but entirely unjust.
For this boy to become Robert Ray Black-Daley, he had to sacrifice his fundamental human rights, his social-emotional needs, and likely his own desires for a mother. So let’s take a look at what baby Robert had to experience so that he could join this modern family:
Trauma: Last month, when border separations were making headlines, everyone viewed the loss of one’s parents to be unacceptable because it is deeply traumatic for children. But when surrogacy comes on the scene, especially in the name of a gay couple’s “right to parenthood,” government will literally guide you through the process.
The reality is that losing a parent is always traumatic for children, even at birth. Studies show that separation from the birth mother causes “major physiologic stressor for the infant.” In addition, even brief maternal deprivation can permanently alter the structure of the infant brain. While there are times when adoption is necessary, adoptees have long referred to a “primal wound” as a result of maternal separation which can hinder attachment, bonding, psychological health, self-esteem, relationships, etc. Here’s what one woman, who was unknowingly trafficked in a black market adoption ring at birth, had to say about surrogacy:
The willingness to *entirely* disregard the health and well-being of the child in [surrogacy] transactions is unconscionable. The events of my birth are now 65 years ago, but the effects of being sold are universal, because they derive from breaking the bonds formed during pregnancy between the mother, and her embryo, fetus, and ultimately, child… I’m not suggesting I remain a victim of these circumstances, but I also spent 25 years in therapy to undo the damage. It’s been a lifetime’s work.
Losing a biological parent. Now that we have a couple decades of sperm donation under our belt (ah-hem), we don’t have to guess how these children feel about being intentionally denied a relationship with their father or mother. One major study found that nearly two-thirds of children conceived from sperm donors believed that “my sperm donor is half of who I am.” In addition, despite being desperately wanted– the magical cure that is somehow supposed to wipe away any loss- these children often struggle with genealogical bewilderment. Ellie writes of how she felt after discovering that she was donor-conceived:
“The nose I thought had come from my dad wasn’t his. That round nose that I thought connected me to family was suddenly hideous. The shape of my fingers, so similar to my dad’s, now looked alien and terrifying. There were several years in my mid twenties when I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror without bursting into tears, so I avoided mirrors.”
Daley and Black say that they don’t know which of them is Robert’s father and that they don’t care. Robert probably will. And there’s a good chance that Robert, like many other donor-conceived children, will search tirelessly for his biological mother.
Intentional motherlessness. Despite the fact that it took two women- his genetic mother and the surrogate mother- for Robert to come into existence, we continue to hear that “gender doesn’t matter in parenting” and that “all kids need is love.” Not only is that an unscientific statement, it’s also refuted by the stories of children with same-sex parents who longed for the dual-gender love that children are made to crave. Brandi is one such child. She shares:
I yearned for the affection that my friends received from their dads. As far as I was concerned, I already had one mother; I did not need another. My dream was that my mother would decide she wanted to be with men again, but obviously that dream did not come true. My grandfathers and uncles did the best they could when it came to spending time with me and doing all the daddy-daughter stuff, but it was not the same as having a full-time father, and I knew it. It always felt secondhand.
Robert, like many other children with same sex parents, will probably gravitate toward the women in his life- the mothers of his friends or his female teachers or aunts of grandmothers. Why? Because Robert, like all other children, are wired for both paternal AND maternal love. And he won’t stop needing the love of a mother just because it’s politically incorrect.
Commodification. Daley and Black likely spent over 100K on the egg and surrogate needed to make baby Robert. There’s a good chance that someday baby Robert will feel like he was purchased. How do we know? Because many children conceived via the fertility industry feel like they were treated as a product. The largest study ever conducted on children born of sperm donation reveals that almost half of them are “disturbed that money was involved in their conception.” Jessica, a surrogate-born woman writes:
When you know that a huge part of the reason that you came into the world is due solely to a paycheck, and that after being paid you are disposable, given away and never thought of again, it impacts how you view yourself.
I’m sure that Daley and Black will continue to post pictures of this precious boy as he grows, and receive all the accolades that a “tolerant” society like our is expected signal. But don’t be deceived into thinking that “love” made this family. This family exists because the most powerful members of the family chose loss for it’s most vulnerable member. And that loss will impact baby Robert… for life.
yeah, baby robert’s might feel like he was “purchased” because assholes like yourself take every opportunity to tell him he was. its YOU morons that want him to feel that way.
you people suck. and thankfully, now most of society agrees. how’s it feel to be a fringe hate group?
Did Tom Daley impregnate Dustin Lance Black (or the reverse) in order for this baby to exist? No, because that is a biological impossibility we are supposed not to notice. So how did baby Robert come to be? He was literally purchased from the bodies of 2 different women, one his genetic mother, to whom he owes 50% of his DNA, and another one his gestational mother, who literally nurtured and created him into being.
Baby Robert was born into a mess of human rights infringements and, cherry on the cake, his “parents” (only one of whom is his true parent) seem to have a daddy-son relationship going on. How swell.
Society does not really agree with this, it’s just either too passive in letting this happen or too afraid to go against the LGBT gestapo. But everyone deep down really knows that men and women are different, and a child missing on a mother or a father is missing out something precious. People deep down know that Caitlyn Jenner is not a woman and that a child can’t have two dads or two moms. I think it’s time for people to wake up and reject the queer assault on reality.
Being gay in itself can be a painful journey , you are born the way you are. I grew up with an absent father who I never got to know. Its affected me in the worst ways imaginable. So it must be tough not being able to have your ” own” child, but what affect will it have on the child.
If he really values and views himself as valuable, notes like this won’t matter to him. The power of articles pertaining to the needs of children is that so many people – adults and children alike – can relate to their unmet desires and basic needs. It’s why movements like this have surfaced in a society that can’t decide conclusively whether mothers and fathers actually matter; or it clearly knows this through the immigration issues and personal experience (good or bad) with family, but isn’t willing to face it when a friend wants to use one of these methods for children. Is it likely TBU or other Children’s Rights advocates really just hate people, especially adults, and want to spread venomous lies? No one would say that about a movement for a less controversial cause.
All it really takes for articles like this to sink in is for one person to share with peers their personal testimony of pain and suffering from such an experience as surrogacy. See AnonymousUs.org. You can’t listen to one pain and create another in response – it’s unjust.
If there’s anyone in the world who should know what it feels like to be completely socialized one way, yet despite all the socialization in the world, you feel the exact opposite, it should be the gay and lesbian parents of these donor conceived children.
We all have gay family and friends who were completely socialized to be straight. And no amount of socialization in the world could change this primal ache and intuitive knowingness that they were gay.
Yet ironically, they are putting their children in a similar predicament. These children are coming of age, and despite all this socialization telling them they don’t need a mother or a father, there’s a primal ache, an intuitive knowingness tells them that they do.
Clearly, someone is going to have to make a sacrifice. So is it going to be the adult living with the burden of longing for a child? Or the child living with the burden of longing for their mother and/or father? Neither option is great. But children have a natural right to the their mother and father. No adult has an absolute right to have a child. Just like with any right, your rights end where someone else’s begins. So it goes that an adult’s right to have a child ends where the rights of that child beings.
Most of society agrees with this author. A small but really loud portion of society agrees with two men who want to play house. The time will come when truth will defeat all the lies of LGBTQ ETC and transgenderism.
Yes Katherine there will be a day when all LGBTQ individuals are executed to your liking as you claim victory
A ridiculous and fabricated statement in order to align an unbalanced and unjust narrative. People with a sense of justice are against taking the rights of a child away in order to satisfy a “desire” of an adult. Every child has the inalienable “right” to know and love their biological parents. You can not take the necessary factor; i.e. the natural mother, or father out of the equation. The result, or product, which is the child; deserves to know how they came to be, and who their parents are. This is the desire of each of our hearts, first and foremost to see that our parents love each other and that they love between them was so great, we came to be. This is what children deserve. To do anything less is unjust and inhumane to do to the child. You know who your mother and father are/were. Most people do. To bring forth a life and intentionally deny them this very basic human right, is as unjust as it is selfish.
Actually it’s truthful when you approach the argument from the perspective that Katherine did about defeating the LGBT movement
The love that dare not speak its name just never knows when to shut up.
Ask Garcia Lorca, if you can find him, just who had the last word.
Firstly, no one forces the idea of ‘being bought’ into surrogate children, it is the parents’ sole responsibilty to reveal that piece of crucial information to the child, as that is literally how they were brought to life. If that information is withheld from the child, then that is going against the child’s rights. So, why would you bring up such absurd claims that other non-related people would tell a surrogate child that they were bought? This whole article is stating and forwarding factual and concerning points to the public about these matters, using real life people who have experienced this themselves from having being told about their origins. The parents will sooner or later have to reveal this piece of information to the child (sooner recommended if they want to avoid unwanted reactions or more intense levels of mental health issues due to the shock they’ll inevitably face), and even if they don’t state that pecuniary resources were involved, the child will have the urgency to look more into it and will inevitably find out that there was an involvment and will feel like they were ‘bought’. Don’t try to recklessly ignore everybody’s sense of humanity, and the fact that being human comes with emotions, feelings, and a mentality. You can’t blame these unavoidable circumstances (parents having to reveal the origins of the child to the child) on the people trying to help avoid these circumstances. You also can’t blame the fact that the child will find out sonner or later and will react accordingly because they are human and can’t handle it, on the people who realise this and have seen the effects and are trying to help avoid such an ordeal. Sometimes you have to put political correctness second, so you can put humanity first. Putting peoples’ humanity and mental health first is not being discriminatory in any way, and people who ignore that just because of political correctness, or for some other reason of lesser concern are being selfish and not entirely contemplative of the long term detriments.
It’s true that all this shit that surrogated children must go through. If they have “same sex parents” But! I would rather want my mother/father to go to whom they love. No child would want an unhappy family, No child would want to see their parents with another person in the house. No child would want to see their parents criticise each other. No child wants to hear their parents shouting!
All these things would traumatise them in the future!! Of course we all need a Mother’s and a father’s love. All this LGBT stuff! It may be hard to accept it and some people might never accept it, but they have no authority to comment about other people! Some might be saying it for your own good, so that you won’t have many rough times. Who says it won’t add up to whatever issue you have?! Nothing is easy in this world! We are human!! Nobody is perfect?!
But the people who have come to a conclusion on have a baby that are of the same gender, they also have to face reality that it won’t be hard! There would be many ups and downs. But if you work it through, I know you can do it!
You reap what you sow, but if you work it through. Success would be sweet. Do not take more than you can get. Give your child all your love and tell him/her that he/she is loved by those who cherish her/him! Be there when he/she needs you, be there when he/she seeks for you. Be there when he’s/she’s in a dilemma. You may be busy, but make a bit of time, explain to him/her, give her/him what he/she need, but not everything she/he wants…
When the time comes and your both ready, tell her the truth.
and because of this issue nobody makes protests now to say something about homosexuals makes you homophobic and perhaps this baby has no rights
Great article. Thank you. Children’s Lives Matter.
The baby is going to be fine
He has two parents who care for him and love him
It’s just stupid to think a person has the need for a mother
People have the need for love
And please, don’t talk about science when you reference an article from a website called “americanvalues” (with no citations or references) as “Major Study”
You clearly have no academic background to be talking about science
In other words, you just labeled “stupid” all those individuals testifying and lamenting for not knowing or having a mother in their life. It is not even bluntness of such statement, but disregard toward children’s suffering that is shocking.
If you think that maternal love is unecessary, when it is literally only possible to concieve a child through a female, and that there is proven scientific evidence that a psychological, mental, and emotional relationship and understanding is built between the mother and the child (which I don’t think I have to give you a Harvard/Oxford study on, when you can simply search it up yourself, and even better, wouldn’t need to if you actually are a mother or have seen reputable examples of motherhood), and that even a simple action such as lactation/breastfeeding is an immense emotional impactor in both the child’s and mother’s life, then you evidently need a major reality and mental check. It’s like saying your body doesn’t need water (H2O, need I cite a a study on what water is and how it is crucial to the existence of life, which I think is common sense without the citations? Just like all the things you demanded citations on) when you could be drinking other liquids to hydrate, and pish posh, you don’t need water when you could perhaps be staying hydrated with other liquids. One tiny thing you’re overlooking: YOUR BODY IS 70 PERCENT WATER, and withdrawal from it poses a major detriment to your overall health and quality of life, and in most cases leads to death. Motherhood has been going on since the beginning of the human race (also since the existence of animals of every kind), so has fatherhood in union, and sorry that political correctness has brought you to beliving that mother’s and motherhood are unecessary, and ‘love’, a very loose term and complicated matter in this day and age, with multiple diverging definitions and levels, from romance to infatuation to obsession and more, is the only thing you need to raise a child, because you’re clearly mistaken. A lot more goes into proper maternal and paternal love than you think or might have seen, and in an attempt to support something relatively new in comparison to these basic human rights, you’ve COMPLETELY disregarded something valuable and natural. If you were trying to convey your support and use this platform to speak of your opinions on this matter, without completely stripping other values and rights of their importance, and without disregarding their need for existence, I would totally tell you to go for that because you definitely have the right! But you instead did those precisely and that’s something that I don’t think any of us have the right to do, not even me. A respectful sharing of opinions and regard for already existing values and their importance is what will help a comment thread or conversation be healthy and thrive.
Thank you for an incredibly insightful article. Anyone who really cares about the needs and rights of children would give the arguments in this article thier respectful and open consideration, even if they are not sure they fully agree. We have plunged ahead with social experiments without waiting to really consider the costs, and it is the most vulnerable who are likely to pay those costs. That is not social justice. Thank you, Katy, for helping us to see this more clearly. True love is not just a feeling, it is any action that truly has the real good of the person loved in mind, and is willing to sacrifice for them. Only this kind of love can sustain a family.
This website is a complete joke. Who the fuck are you to decide what is right or wrong for a child. I follow these two and they seem like amazing people. Would you rather a child have a mother and father who are junkies. At least is a man and a woman right.. grow up.. find something productive to do with your life..
They haven’t even explicitly or even implicitly said that they are terrible for doing this, but have strictly and factually mentioned how the following circumstances will have terrible ‘side effects’, if you may, to the child, if especially they disregard all the child’s right to it’s natural and genetic maternal relations and it’s right to maternal exposure as well, as they currently are. The website and their aims also focus on childrens’ rights, and quality of life, so what do you mean by ‘value him more than his parents’? there’s plenty of value that can be given for different people in relation to the child and his parents, but that’s just straying from the matter at hand, which focuses on surrogacy, donation, and the importance of maternal and paternal exposure in particularly these family types. Are they supposed to apologise for addressing these topics that can lead to major controversies and concerns in relation to posterity? Are they supposed to apologise for thinking of the possible concerns that could rise before they do? They never even said that surrogacy or reproductive cell donations were bad or are terrible methods of concieving a child and that if a child is born that way ‘they shouldn’t exist’ or ‘they aren’t proper humans’, they CLEARLY stated that how this information is handled to the kids by their parents and how they react afterwards matters, because they might feel like they’re bought or crave the maternal or paternal exposure they haven’t recieved, and any negativity can be avoided if they are given the chance to have their rightful maternal and paternal relations at a young age and onwards. Firstly, ‘love’ is something of an excuse that’s brought up because love is such a loose term and complicated matter in this day and age, in relation to families, platonic and romatic relationships, and it is such a diverging topic, with different levels from romance infatuation, obsession and more, and a family is not just ‘love’, it is more complicated, intricate, vulnerable, and delicate than that. You can’t always bring up love, and you can’t just make statements that are supposed to be witty alongside it, because this all might seem like a joke to you, or you really only want to look at one side of an issue or a situation. I’m sorry that political correctness has hindered your abilty to appreciate and regard a person’s, let alone a child’s, humanity, rights, and mentality. Evidently seems to me like you’re major concern has to do with the parents, and their same-sex family status, rather than the health, happiness, rights and stability of the child, and the family, and humanity in general. The article provides that the child will and should live, but it’s rights, happiness, humanity and mentality should be well protected, provided, and acknowledged, and that they should have exposure to their maternal and paternal relations as well to ensure a healthy and happy growth and life.
weird thay you keep talking about how their so terrible for doing this to Robert like you somehow value him more than his parents… yet you’re arguing that he shouldn’t exist? I’m pretty sure if anything is damaging to a child it’s having people tell them they shouldn’t be allowed to exist and be loved by their parents. Have fun trying to talk your way into heaven when you have to explain that you spent your time on earth making kids feel bad about being alive and making people feel bad about loving one another.
First of all, they haven’t been deciding for anyone, they’ve been stating and forwarding factual and concerning matters to the public, and have used real people and stories to reiterate the importance of this concern. Secondly, you can’t decide automatically that surrogate children or children adopted by same-sex couples are the best option and exposure for those children and anywhere else these children land is bad for them and whoever else they might land with are ‘junkies’. You have no absolute idea about what type of parents other people can be, and I can also see that you have absolutely no regard for the natural rights of a child. If you say that then, who in the world are social services, or child services, or the government, or the court to decide what’s best for a child? If people besides the supposed parents of a child can’t see the quality of life the child is being given and can’t ensure their given the highest possible, then who are all these forms of authority to decide what’s best for a child? I think you should grow up and find something productive to do with your life, because these weak and unreasonable arguments aren’t a plausible use of your time.
What a spiteful article. This was not written with Robbie Ray’s interests at heart at all.
I’m a firm believer in nurture over nature and this little boy is clearly thriving in a tight family unit where he is dearly loved. Lance has put his film career on hold to be a stay at home Dad. One day Robbie will learn where he came from. Far from the psychological damage you predict, I think he will thrive in the knowledge of just what his parents went through in planning, research and cost to bring him in to this world. He was planned and truly wanted. And if during life he is made to feel any different because he has two Dad’s instead of a Mum and Dad, it will be the fault of bigoted people like you Katie.
And yet, we live in a society that continues to chastise women for breastfeeding in public. We live in a society that fails to offer women equal pay and career opportunity lest they choose to start a family. We live in a society that still believes it has a right to tell women what to do with their bodies, while denying adequate support for pregnancy prevention, or assistance with childcare.
Realistically, a huge number of children are growing up without a parent, simply due to the amount of strain placed on today’s relationships. Divorce is rampant amongst hetero couples, so I find it laughable to assume that children of same sex unions are suffering any more or less than their counterparts. If the parents are well balanced and happy, the children will already have an advantage in life.
Furthermore, who’s to say these children will have zero contact with their biological “donor/surrogate.” None of us know what contingencies have been discussed. Should society condemn a couple who chose to adopt, but do not support their child’s desire to contact the “missing” birth parent?
Most of those concerned enough to make rude comments, would do well to mind their own affairs.