|While there's controversy about an Australian lesbian couple who are suing a Canberra based IVF doctor for unplanned twins (story here), it doesn't seem to have crossed the Tasman. Why?
Predictably, one Bill Muehlenberg of the so-called Australian Family Association is screeching terms like 'trophy child' in the general direction of the lesbian couple in question, while conservative Catholic anti-IVF campaigners are muttering imprecations against 'designer babies,' regardless of the sexual orientation of their parents. In one extreme reaction, a Victorian liberal backbencher has called for lesbian IVF access to be banned.
This story isn't much in evidence over here, apart from Garnet Milne's blog, and probably Challenge Weekly. For one thing, lesbians have had access to new reproductive technology like IVF and allied fertility treatments here for the last thirteen years. Even the Maxim Institute has acknowledged that it can't turn back the clock.
Still, does this lesbian couple have a good case to sue? One can understand why the unexpectedbirth of twins might be of concern to a lesbian couple, given that women still earn about three-quarters of what men do, even if lesbians earn more than straight women. It would be interesting to track this into research on childbearing patterns, but I suspect it would mean that lesbians have fewer children, and they're spaced more widely apart. When I was talking to my working-class parents about this, they immediately realised what was going on.
You see, I was born about six years after my parents got married. I suspect most dual income working class families from that period, with access to barrier contraception, practised much the same pattern of childbearing, so they can see the sense behind lesbians doing the same, especially given income concerns in their situation. After all, who can blame parents for behaving responsibly to insure that their kids get the best from parents who can responsibly support them?
M.V. Badgett: Money, Myths and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men: Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 2001 Craig Young - 24th September 2007