It use to be that it was pretty easy to define a parent. Mom and Dad got married, and a short while later a little child was born into the world and they were your parents. This simple definition was extended to allow for parents to adopt other children, and thereby have the title of parent on a non-biological couple, but it was pretty much this way until we started playing God with technology.
Science decided that it had figured out how to help life be created for those couples that were having trouble. Up until this point in time, one had to rely on God, timing cycles or other means, but once man unraveled the formula of reproduction, they also decided they had the right to help it out.
Soon, IVF treatments were developed, where couples that were having trouble could have scientists create children in a test tube, then put them back into the mother’s womb in the hopes of a better chance of having a child. That produced absurd numbers of children being born to a single mother– or children that were frozen, perhaps never to be born at all.
Still– in this case you knew who the parents were. Until we started replacing a parent because of the parent’s lack of being able to fulfill their end of reproduction. So we introduced donors of each sort– where now one or both parents are replaced by someone that they do not know– or that they know nothing more than a picture or genetic information.
Take it a step farther and un-Biblical relationships like two women and two men are having children through surrogates and then stating that they are the parents. Obviously they are not– but the courts are struggling, and as the courts struggle, so do lawyers trying to justify the rights of these new relational arrangements and to give the rights people seek on children that are not flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone.
We get down to the point to where we ask if biology really matters, since marriage is under attack, devalued, and replaced by casual relationships. We wonder what responsibilities belong to the providers of the original genetic material. We marvel that people are now becoming the products of technology and not the product of a marriage relationship.
If we let technology and its definition of parenting have its way we will have designer children: screened for all different kinds of possible illness and perhaps enhanced in particular areas. We will have children created for spare parts (like the embryonic stem cell crowd is pushing for). We will have children born to service corporations– who will pay for certain characteristics. I could even envision that we might breed a class of slaves, or those to do menial work– devoid of parents because they are just products of technology.
Do you see where this is going and where it’s leading? Does it frighten you?