Tinkering with the definition of ‘family’ leading to family court disasters

Tinkering with the definition of ‘family’ leading to family court disasters
"Freedom from Want," Norman Rockwell (1942)

I’ve been going back to this story a few times this week and it continues to disturb me. Yahoo News has a report of two families and one innocent child who have been essentially ripped apart through experiments in modern reproductive medicine and a court system which seems to be intractably stuck in the past and unable to deal with the complexities introduced to the definition of the family by modern technology. The entire, heartbreaking tale is too long to excerpt anything meaningful, so allow me to briefly summarize.

The pseudonymous couple “Barbara and David” were having trouble conceiving and enlisted the assistance of another married woman, “Jamie.” After many interviews and negotiations, Jamie signed a contract in which she agreed to act as a surrogate mother to a child conceived in vitro using her own egg and David’s sperm. In return she was paid a significant fee and had all of her ongoing medical costs covered. Long story short; most of what Jamie told Barbara and David about her life turned out to be fictional and when the child, Kaylee Grace, was born, Jamie bailed out on the agreement and kept the child for herself.

This led to a court battle which has run on for seven years and produced a not only emotional, but financial disaster for Barbara and David.

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