Children have become just another commodity, and it is the tragic consequence of a society that has forgotten the value of human life. As reported by the New York Post, a lesbian couple from New York is suing their IVF clinic for allegedly implanting the “wrong” embryo – a boy instead of a girl.

The couple, Heather and Robin Wilhelm-Routenberg, said they were only interested in having a baby if that child was a girl. 

They decided to use Robin’s egg, and Heather would carry the baby.  

Apparently, they requested a female embryo but found out at 15-weeks gestation that the baby was a boy. The couple did genetic testing to determine if it was related or possibly a mix-up with another couple’s embryo. Seven weeks later, the test came back and confirmed that it was, indeed, their baby, and it was a boy.

The clinic offered the couple an abortion, but the couple declined and are now suing the clinic for breach of contract, medical malpractice, and battery, among other things. 

Heather said that when she found out she was carrying a boy, she assumed the embryo was someone else’s. 

She went on to say that she felt like her body was taken hostage and that “it felt like there was an alien living inside of me.”

Heather, who had been sexually assaulted twice before, then likened the unwanted baby boy growing in her womb to rape. She said, “…the baby in my body was male, and he was put there against my will, just like rape.”

The women admit they are opposed to masculinity too. They went on to explain, “We didn’t want to have a boy because of the assaults and because of the socialization of boys – there’s constant socialization of what it means to be a ‘real man.’ People say, ‘Oh, he’s a boy, let him hit you,’ and all the camouflage and guns don’t help. It reinforces masculinity, and that’s a reminder of the assaults every time.”

Once Heather found out she was carrying a boy, she admitted, “I couldn’t connect to the baby. I hate saying that. It’s painful. It was a terrible experience.”

That baby boy is now one and a half years old. Even though the women agree that their son is innocent, they also say that he’s a symbol of masculinity, and they “did not sign up for that.”  

There are many things to mourn about this story. 

First, sexual assault is a terrible crime against another person and should always be condemned. Hopefully, those who assaulted Heather were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

Second, it’s clear from her story that Heather has not found healing from her assaults. There can be hope and healing for those who have been sexually assaulted. Perhaps if Heather had gotten the help she needed before she became pregnant, she might not have rejected her son. If you are struggling to find healing after a sexual assault, please contact counselors at Focus on the Family to get help. Also, consider listening to a broadcast on this topic – “Finding Healing From Sexual Assault” Part 1 and Part 2.

Third, children aren’t commodities! You can’t just buy, sell, or return them if you decide it’s not exactly what you wanted. We must reject this line of reasoning. It’s evil because it denies the humanity of an entire class of human beings. 

In vitro fertilization has been and continues to be a blessing to many couples building families they never thought they could have, but we must tread lightly when we use science to create human life. And we should always oppose any artificial reproduction that intentionally denies a child access to their biological mother or father, which it often does in donor and surrogacy situations.

All human life is valuable. Its value is not dependent on age, location, ability, dependency, or sex. 

When science becomes a tool that turns babies into commodities, we have crossed a line too far.  


Photo from Shutterstock.