Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can you say "commodification?"

An Ottowa radio station is having a "Win a Baby" contest -- the lucky winners get a course of fertility treatments.  Lord.  I think this commenter has it right:
“I think we're crossing some morality lines with this contest ... imagine telling your child, you were a prize from a radio station because we had problems conceiving,” wrote Casey Schofield on the station’s Facebook page.
I don't often post about infertility stuff, but this kind of thing harms adopted children as well -- it turns all children into objects that can be bought and sold and given as prizes in contests . . . .

6 comments:

LilySea said...

I don't know that it crosses much of a line. The fact that medical treatment is already so exhorbitantly expensive that only rich people can access it commodifies the children born from it whether the treatment was a prize or not.

We need to level the field and make a certain amount of access to these treatments available to everyone across the board--along with, you know, annual checkups and all those goodies.

Muzik said...

I am an adoptee, and I can tell I surely do not like the sound of this regardless of it's intentions. If a child is conceived through this process due to a winning of a prize of a radio station I can only imagine. It will all depend on how that child grows up. If the child is having emotional issues growing up and they know about the circumstances of his conceiving/birth process I am willing to bet they are going to go into a deep depression thinking they are a "thing or "prize" rather than a human being.

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Which Way Is Home

Anonymous said...

I don't like it and yet I agree in part with LilySea that its more about the cost being so prohibitive for fertility treatments.

I wonder if perhaps its the tone of the ad and the visual of the baby that offends too? It does me!

On the other hand, it kind of makes sense in a world where pregnant couples "sell" the rights to naming their child, for a couple of Super Bowl tickets or monetary fee. Where are the boundaries?

Imagine telling your child (troubled or otherwise) that one day when they inquire about the origin of their name. Ack!

Anonymous said...

Is the contest only open to White people? Can you only win a White baby?

LilySea said...

So very very what anonymous said.

Sarah said...

This may seem negative or overly critical, but children as commodities is hardly new. We don't talk about it, certainly, but the commodification of children has been going on almost as long as there has been commodification of anything. And I don't mean simply the notions of buying or selling children, which unfortunately happens, but even the ideas of marketing to children, creating special products for children, encouraging children to participate in material consumption itself...so many things are part of our it that this doesn't seem so particularly beyond the pale.

Of course, I have much of a chapter on exactly this in my dissertation so...