On March 27, 2022, YouTube stars Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams released a video revealing their plans to create two children by purchasing an egg from one woman, and renting the womb of at least one or two others.
In the YouTube video, which has been watched over 850,000 times, the men expressed frustration and sadness, stating that the process of planning a surrogate pregnancy continuously reminds them that they aren’t women, and cannot procreate with one another. “It’s a constant reminder that we can’t do it ourselves,” Dawson noted. “I’m kind of on the line, I almost feel like we should just adopt because it’s like, I don’t know, it feels weird to look at pictures of all these girls and be like, I want that to be mom.”
Adams also mentioned adoption by saying, “That’s the thing, it’s a lot of money and there are a lot of babies that also need to find homes, but I don’t know how that process works either.” But IVF is a very expensive process, especially compared to adoption through foster care.
Yet, despite their mention of adoption and the fact that there are children in the foster care system that need a home, they have already purchased an egg donor, and intend to use the same donor for two children, spaced a couple of years apart. Each man’s sperm will be used, giving the babies different biological fathers, but the same biological mother. It is unclear whether the children would have the same birth mother.
“We chose an egg donor. It was very strange to click ‘purchase’ on our child’s mother,” Dawson said. The two mention that the experience is “depressing” and “really dark,” but overall, the video makes light of a process that commodifies babies and exploits women, as Live Action News has previously reported.
The notion of men purchasing eggs from and renting the wombs of women in order to create a child who will then be deprived of her natural right to know any mother at all is nothing less than the exploitation of women and commodification of children, and the language surrounding this process is proof of that. Posting it on YouTube makes it even worse, because it furthers this notion of women as objects to be purchased and discarded at will.
This is again made clear by Dawson’s snide comment: “We just bought your mommy.” With these words, he reveals the cavalier attitude toward egg donors and surrogates as nothing more than products that will be forgotten when the baby is born, and treated as failures if they fail to produce what the men are paying for. The baby is deprived of her natural right to know her biological mother and suffers trauma from being taken from her birth mother.
According to a Harvard University study, 62% of children conceived through donor technologies, including surrogacy, believe it to be unethical and immoral. They feel like business transactions. One woman told the pro-children’s rights organization Them Before Us, “Somehow, somewhere, my parents developed the idea that they deserved to have a baby, and it didn’t matter how much it cost, how many times it took, or how many died in the process. They deserved a child. And with an attitude like that, by the time I was born they thought they deserved to have the perfect child… as Dad defined a perfect child. And since they deserved a child, I was their property to be controlled, not a person or a gift to be treasured.”
Through egg donation and surrogacy, women are no longer treated as the valuable human beings they are, but rather as products to be bought, used, and then discarded once they’ve produced the “ideal” child. Likewise, if the children created through these means fail to live up to the intended parents’ expectations, they are often discarded as embryos or killed through abortion. It’s dehumanizing, and so is the language these men use to describe the process.
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