Thomson writes of gays becoming parents as exercising a right to have a baby, as if it were a possession, naturally and therefore unquestionably theirs. However, in her first sentence she uses the euphemistic phrase, “…with the help of a surrogate,” a reminder that a third party is involved, a third party who will turn his or her back on the baby by the time of its birth. Would this third party be available in later years to donate blood or an organ, or provide for the child in the event of some tragedy?
Children arrive as vulnerable conscripts, as a result of adult choice. Our established expectations of parents, made as it were on behalf of these children, provides for two parents, supporting one another in this greatest of responsibilities and enabling the child to form close and supportive relationships with both male and female parents.
I have no doubt at all that gay people can provide foster and adoptive homes for children in need as well as anybody else. Particularly when there is an established relationship between a needy child and a gay adult it would make a lot of sense for this relationship to become a parental one. Surrogate parenting, however, puts the claims of adults, who have choices, before those of babies who have no choice in the matter. Natural justice would require that adult rights, including gay rights, should take second place here to a child’s notional expectations of its natural parents.
It is one thing to transfer responsibilities away from natural parents child when events occur in the child’s life over which there is little or no control. It is another to set in train a process in which a child is to be separated deliberately from its natural parents, before birth, in order to satisfy the wishes of other adults.