Chad and David Engineer a Baby Who Will Never Know a Mother’s Tender Love

Excerpted from Ready to Be Dads, But They’re Going to Need Help, by Kevin Sack, published Oct 29, 2006, by Los Angeles Times:

Chad Hodge liked #694. She was a 21-year-old college student, 5-feet-5, 135 pounds, with straight brown hair, blue eyes and a narrow nose. She had won 16 awards in high school for academics and music, and scored a 1210 on the SAT. She was outgoing, intelligent, responsible and friendly, or at least she said she was. Chad wanted her to be the mother of his children.

But David Craig, Chad’s partner of seven years, had his heart set on #685. She was a teacher, 23, 5-feet-2, with wavy blond hair and light blue eyes. She wore a size 0. She had been a varsity tennis player in high school, a ballerina and a classical pianist.

For two hours on that day in early 2004, Chad and David sat in a small office at Genetics & IVF Institute, a fertility clinic in northern Virginia, and sifted through the dossiers of prospective egg donors. It felt more like catalog shopping than human reproduction.

The previous fall, they had decided to have a child through a gestational surrogacy arrangement. They would pay one woman to provide her eggs and then, after fertilizing them in vitro with their sperm, pay another woman to carry the resulting embryos to term…

Rather than creating a life in the privacy of a bedroom, Chad and David would plot this conception in law offices, doctors’ suites and Internet chat rooms…

Once Chad and David narrowed their choices to six, they were allowed to view adult photographs. They didn’t want to consider appearance at the exclusion of all else, but they couldn’t deny, in the privacy of that room, that it mattered.

“You can’t ignore it,” David said. “I mean, who wants an ugly child?”

…David…had serious reservations about being a parent. He liked their life as it was, he said, and he wasn’t convinced he was the nurturing kind.

He worried that having two good fathers might, in the end, be just as unfair as having one inadequate one…

“We want the life experience of having kids,” he told Chad, “but are we going to deny them the life experience of having a mother?”

Continue reading at Los Angeles Times…

This article was posted on Sunday, November 5th, 2006 at 4:38 pm and is filed under Conception, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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