CONCEPTION is never easy. But the growing trend of surrogate babies for celebrities severely devalues the role of modern parents and their children alike. When Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban announced the surprise birth of their new baby this week, they made special mention of “our gestational carrier”. For many people there was a moment of confusion. Was this a disease? A new type of baby sling? You have to wonder at the gross distortion of the euphemism the celebrity couple chose to describe the anonymous woman who had given birth to Faith Margaret Kidman Urban on December 28, in Nashville, USA.
The baby may have been created from the couple’s own fertilised egg but it was nurtured in the womb of its birth mother, and probably loved a little by that woman during the pregnancy. Even if she was paid, as most US surrogates are, what she did was an act of enormous personal generosity, and ought not be diminished by weasel words that seek to dehumanise the most intimate human relationship. To have carried a baby in your womb, shared a blood supply, felt its little feet kick against your abdomen, heard its little heart beat, sensed it growing bigger and stronger, while it changes your metabolism, and the way you sleep, breathe and eat, and then to have given birth to a living, breathing human child you have been longing to cuddle is not a trivial act. So to have it described in such clinical, remote terms is insensitive and thoughtless, to say the least.