On Tuesday, a woman in Cleveland gave birth to her own grandchildren:
Jaci Dalenberg, 56, carried the children as a surrogate for her daughter, Kim Coseno, and had to be closely monitored because of her age.Slate’s William Saletan has had enough (haven't we all?):
The woman from Wooster, gave birth to two identical twins and their sister by caesarean section on October 11.
They were more than two months premature and each weighed less than three pounds . . .
The Cleveland Clinic said Mrs. Dalenberg offered herself as a surrogate when Mrs. Coseno and her husband, Joe, were waiting to adopt. The couple used in vitro fertilisation, and embryos were implanted in Mrs. Dalenberg’s uterus.
Now, I like to think of myself as an open-minded guy. And I love my mother-in-law, really. How many guys can honestly say they love both their home-renovation contractor and their mother-in-law? I am truly blessed. Still, the thought of my mother-in-law carrying my child . . . well, let’s just say it hadn’t occurred to me.
But now, here it is. Motherhood is splintering. You can have a genetic mother, a gestational mother, an adoptive mother, and God knows what else. When one of your moms is Grandma, it’s even more confusing.Take the Japanese case from a couple of years ago. Japanese law treated the child’s gestational mother—the genetic grandmother—as its legal mother. Therefore, the genetic mother had to adopt the child from her own mother. In the Virginia case, the genetic dad ended up telling reporters, “Mommy’s doing fine. Not this mommy. Grandma mommy.” Imagine looking at your mom and realizing that in a way, she’s your sister. Imagine getting into an argument with your mother-in-law over the way you’re raising your kids—religion, discipline, whatever—and realizing that in a way, she’s their mother.
God forgive us.