Front page news (at least in Toronto): the first-ever successful in-utero repair of a baby's hypoplastic left heart done in Canada. When dh & I were attending support group as clients, both one of of the facilitators and one of the other couples in the group had lost baby boys to hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It's described as a "rare congenital heart defect," but we have since met quite a few other couples who have lost babies to HLHS. I am glad that more of these babies may have a better chance at a longer & healthier life with this new procedure.
The Toronto Star had an article, but I especially liked the story in The Globe & Mail, which started off with a description of how the pregnant mother was afraid to take the clothes she'd bought out of the shopping bag for fear she'd have to return them. It summed up what so many women feel when going through a high-risk pregnancy, or pregnancy after infertility or loss. Caution: there is the usual quota of idiotic comments on the Globe article.
I haven't been able to find much coverage about the Mother's Day Pram Push at Queen's Park, but there was an article in the Toronto Star on Saturday referencing the event, featuring a young couple who held bake sales and other fundraisers to do IVF. She's now expecting twins in July.
The article debates whether people have the "right" to be parents. I'm reminded of my Grade 10 American history teacher, who pointed out to us that the Declaration of Independence only speaks of the inalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Note the qualifier: "the PURSUIT of happiness" -- not the right to BE happy. (The British North America Act of 1867, which formed Canada's first constitution, on the other hand, speaks much less excitingly of "peace, order and good government." Which just about summarizes the differences between our two countries in a nutshell, lol.)
I'm not sure any of us have the "right" to be parents -- it makes parenthood sound like it's ours for the asking, & some of us know it's not that simple. But we should certainly have the right to be treated for a medical condition, which is what infertility is.
I like what the sidebar to the article points out:
Some people already have the right to be parents – those able to have children without medical help.
Medical ethicist Udo Schuklenk of Queen's University says a couple's right or fitness to be parents tends to only be raised for those such as infertile or gay couples who can't bear children on their own.
No one, he says, tells a couple that is capable of bearing children that they have no right to do so.
Another Saturday article in The Globe & Mail points out that many couples are postponing plans for parenthood because of the current economy. Infertility is given a mention.
I loved this New York Times Room for Debate blog entry about celebrity adoptions and the real world. A few choice quotes from the experts who contributed:
"Westerners have been sold the idea that “millions” of healthy infants and toddlers in underdeveloped and war-torn countries are waiting to be rescued from poverty, abandonment and abuse. It’s not so." -- E.J. Graff
"The adoption myth is that the world is full of orphans who need families; celebrity adoptions remind us that the world is really full of poor families who need assistance." -- David Smolin
"Why should anyone be judged about their motivation to create a family whether through adoption or the old-fashioned way — who cares? If you are a responsible parent, then it shouldn’t matter why you want to have a child… Everyone should stop whining and judging and instead help provide better lives for orphaned children. That doesn’t mean you have to adopt, let’s be innovative and creative in finding ways to end the dreadful inequities in the lives of women and children around the world." -- Jane Aronson