Monday, September 29, 2008

A Baby Girl Has Three Mamas, and Still No One Wants Her: Relevant World News

Some interesting stories from around the world:
  • Spiegel Online International featured a fascinating and troubling story about the world of Indian surrogacy. A while back I wrote of a child that was caught in limbo because her Japanese parent's marriage had broken up, and the mother, who was not a biological parent, no longer wanted the newborn, and the mother who had carried her, and was not the biological mother either (an egg donor was--yes that's three mommies at current count), had surrendered her as a "product delivered." Meanwhile, because of this mess, she was not allowed to leave India, necessitating her father's mother (grandma) to come to India to care for her while things were straightened out. Confused yet? Well, as this article expands upon, it got worse for this helpless little girl; she became really ill due to some differences in how grandma thought she should be cared for, and the realities of India. This brave new world of birth has profound implications for not only this motherless infant but thousands of others being brought into the world in this manner. An interesting and important read.
  • In light of the now over 54,000 infants sickened by tainted milk and formula products across China, breastfeeding might be the route to go. Trouble is that the rates of breastfeeding have been steadily falling, due to the difficult existence of the average Chinese worker, who works very long hours, as well as the successful marketing campaigns of the formula companies, which have now succeeded in making formula feeding a status symbol. It's a fine mess, and again, children and parents suffer across China needlessly.
  • In South Africa, although legislatively outlawed, Zulu's are still performing the controversial "virginity tests" upon its female population, and eagerly so. The Zulu feel it is an essential tool in their arsenal to combat promiscuity and the spread of AIDS, and an important cultural mark of distinction for the women, many of whom willingly embrace the practice. Those who decry the practice worry among others things that it puts women at a higher risk of rape, due to a belief that intercourse with a virgin can cure a man of AIDS. An interesting cultural debate to consider.

2 comments:

SoundHunter said...

Wow, amazing how reality, choices, oppressions on Earth can be so very different among different people. All three of these stories are intense!

Kirsten Edmondson Branch aka "Aphra" said...

Thanks for comments soundhunter!


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