Sex could soon exist purely for fun, as more women turn to IVF to have babies, the inventor of the contraceptive pill has claimed. Professor Carl Djerassi, 91, believes the Pill could become redundant as soon as 2050, as more men and women choose to start a family through the ‘insurance policy’ of IVF, even if they do not have fertility problems. It means would-be parents would freeze their eggs and sperms before being sterilised, rendering the Pill pointless.
The professor – who played a crucial role in developing the oral contraceptive in 1951 – says advances in fertility treatment will create a ‘generation manana’ in which people know they can control the timing of parenthood, without any repercussions. But it also means sex will become a futile exercise for those wanting to reproduce – and will instead become purely recreational.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, he said: ‘The vast majority of women who will choose IVF in the future will be fertile women who have frozen their eggs and delayed pregnancy… I predict that many of these women will be fertilised by IVF methods because of the advances in genetic screening. And once that happens then IVF will start to become a normal non-coital method of having children… For them, the separation between sex and reproductions will be 100 per cent.’
Professor Djerassi also predicted there will be more IVF fertilisation among fertile women in the next few decades – ‘say by 2050’ – than there currently is among those who are fertility-impaired. At the moment, that figure is around five million.
In other news…
A gay couple are to become fathers to three babies in just seven months after meeting three different surrogate mothers online. For the past 15 years, Daryl Lee, 41, and Luke Harris, 50, had longed to have children and joined a number of online forums in an attempt to find a suitable surrogate. They made contact with one of the women, Becky Harris, 27, and through her met Bex Harris, 32, and Viktoria Ellis, 32.
Mr Lee, 41, is the biological father of two of the children, while Mr Harris, 50, gave his sperm for the third. All three babies will be born within seven months of each other, between January and July next year. ‘We love each other very much, but despite that it has felt like something was missing from our lives – our home felt empty without children,’ Mr Harris told The Sun’s Sarah Arnold. ‘We never imagined in our wildest dreams we would have three all at once.’
Mr Lee and Mr Harris, who live in Surrey, had met online in 1999, and entered into a civil partnership in 2012. They had considered adopting a child, but decided to try surrogacy after learning that singer Elton John and his partner David Furnish had a child, Zachary, by a surrogate mother in December 2010. Their second son, Elijah, was born via the same woman in January 2013. Gay couples using a surrogate to have a child have only been able to apply for a parental order, giving them the legal rights over the child and relinquishing those of the surrogate since April 2010.
Mr Harris and Mr Lee met Becky Harris, but she was already helping another couple and was pregnant with her third surrogate child, so put them in touch with her former sister-in-law, Bex Harris. Bex, 32, conceived the first child with her own egg and Mr Lee’s sperm, which she inseminated at home. She in turn introduced them to her friend Viktoria Ellis. Ms Ellis then got pregnant using Mr Harris’s sperm. Finally Becky Harris, having recently given birth to another other couple’s baby, decided she would help them too and also became pregnant with Mr Lee’s sperm.
They decided that Mr. Harris would not inseminate Miss Harris or Ms Harris as this may lead to confusion on the birth certificates.
Mr Lee said: ‘While it is unorthodox to have three surrogates at the same time, we couldn’t turn down what could be our only chance to have the big family we’d always dreamed of.’ The couple say their families are happy for them, and are extending their three-bedroom home to add extra bedrooms and bathrooms to fit their brood, who they have dubbed the ‘twiplets’. Both Mr Harris and Mr Lee plan to work part-time, with one parent at home to care for the children, and Mr Lee’s parents will also move in to help them.
Under UK law, it is illegal to pay a surrogate mother to carry a child, other than reasonable expenses such as travel costs, maternity clothing, care for her other children or counselling. Agencies recommend these expenses amount to no more than £15,000 per pregnancy.
Ironically it seems that Mr Lee and Mr Harris are already living out Prof. Djerassi’s prediction. As Prof, Djerassi says: “Sex will become a futile exercise for those wanting to reproduce.”
With these types of stories I always wonder what will be told to the children when they start asking difficult questions about where babies come from. It is sensitive enough issue anyway without having to explain that:
“Well, we went online and found a woman who was willing to rent her body to us for money. She has done this 3 times before with other people and so you have some half brothers and sisters living out there somewhere but we don’t know who they are. Anyway, Daddy masturbated into a small pot and gave the sperm to your mummy who artificially inseminated herself and became pregnant with you. Then we found two other women who agreed to do the same thing. You and your brother have the same Daddy (Daryl Lee) but different Mummy’s (Bex and Becky Harris), but your sister is no biological relation to you because she has a different Mummy and Daddy (Luke Harris and Victoria Ellis). When you were born, your Mother signed a piece of paper saying that she had no legal right to you and she handed you over to us. We paid her £15k to do this.”
Perhaps it’s better they just stick to the Stork story…?
Is there anyone left out there who disputes my claim that NFP is THE major counter cultural evangelising message in the west in the 21st century?