Catering to the Whiner Generation: The Baby-Making Industry

September 2007By Michael S. Rose

Michael S. Rose is Web Editor and Book Review Editor of the NOR. His books include Goodbye, Good Men and Ugly as Sin.

A deluge of recent news items over the past year calls to mind the irritatingly memorable words of Saturday Night Live's Doug and Wendy Whiner (played by Joe Piscopo and Robin Duke): "We want our own ba-byyy!!” Since the couple can't seem to conceive a child of their own, the doctor, played by Ron Howard, suggests the Whiners try adoption:

Doug Whiner: I'm the last of the Whine-rsss! Doc-tor, my genes must live onnn.

Wendy Whiner: Is-n't there some-thing you can do-o-o? I want to be a moth-errr!

Doug Whiner: And I want to be a fath-errr!

Whiners: We want to be par-entsss!

Harried by the couple's insufferable whining, the doctor then suggests artificial insemination using a surrogate mother.

Doctor: (sticking his fingers in his ears) We take Doug's sperm, insert in an egg from Wendy, plant it in a surrogate mother, and, BOOM, you got a Whiner!

That was 25 years ago. If written today, the baby-on-demand skit might have taken a different direction -- one of many, in fact. Since 1982, when this episode was produced, the artificial-procreation industry has burgeoned. Infertility treatments are now a multi-billion-dollar industry, and have produced embryo banks, fertility brokers, and even baby farms. At the same time, the whining from infertile couples and single women (and even single men) seems an awful lot like a Saturday Night Live parody. This whining reflects the idea that everyone has a right to a baby -- whether one's own baby or not -- and to have it on demand.

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Good article. I'm disappointed at how little attention this issue receives in the Catholic media. Without the Catechism of the Catholic Church one could be forgiven for thinking the Church has no position on Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART). In particular the issue of Donor Sperm and Ova is almost never discussed. Some people conceived through ART now appear to be speaking out against it but their opponents are cashed up and powerful. Discussions on this topic by people conceived through ART can be found here: Posted by: col101
September 14, 2007 08:08 AM EDT
"...whether one's own baby or not..."
"...contracepted real kids out of their lives..."

I enjoyed this article immensely, and agree with every single sentiment within.
I realize that Mr. Rose is likely not an adoptive parent and therefore not familiar with the language of adoption.
Implying that adopted children are not our "real children" or "real babies" or are a second-best option is detrimental to the pro-adoption cause.
My daughter is my very own, very real child. She happened to come to us through adoption.
I realize that Mr. Rose supports adoption and there was no malicious intent in his choice of words, but we MUST begin to use positive adoption language so that people stop viewing it as a tragic last resort.

Posted by: wardnine
October 10, 2007 08:17 AM EDT
Wardine, you must be out-to-lunch. Rose wasn't implying anything about adoptive parents or adopted kids. The term "real" kids was obviously used in order differentiate them from "test tube" kids. Yes, "test tube" kids are real kids, too. But the term "real" in this context is used as a contrast to "artificial" reproduction. Posted by: bdunnsfo
February 09, 2010 10:11 AM EST
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