Sunday, July 01, 2007

Freezing Eggs Really Early

Times Online reports that doctors have been able to extract eggs from five year-old girls and then manipulate them to make them viable and freeze them. They point out that children who undergo chemotherapy are often left sterile. And, as with all good news of human progress, there are the detractors.

But Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, a campaign group worried about some forms of in vitro fertilisation techniques, expressed concern that if the eggs were donated to a woman of childbearing age, a resulting child could have a biological mother who was only a few years older.

Quintavalle said: “Are we going to end up with a child who has a mother who is just six years older? What happens if the child dies? Could the eggs be donated to someone else?

Having a "biological mother," or really a genetic mother, who is only a few years older sounds creepy because five year-olds would not be sexually mature enough to have children. Even having twelve year-olds have children is creepy but that is also because they are only barely physically mature enough and wholly immature mentally. In the case of the egg donation, the woman who bears the child would be significantly older and should be considered the biological mother if not the genetic one. An egg is not a mother--just the necessary part of the genetic process.

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