Trophy Children?

Consider the following two statements. The first is from Sarah, 91 years old, after delivering her firstborn son:

And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Compare with what Aleta St. James, who will be 57 years old this week, had to say after giving birth to twins:

“A lot of people may think I am selfish or crazy or whatever,” St. James said Wednesday. “Well, I’m a little bit crazy. I’ve never lived in the box. I just say if you have a dream, if you put your mind to it and don’t listen to other people’s negativity, you can really do incredible things.”

Both statements are remarkably similar—after all, both were post menopausal women who gave birth long after their expected time. Yet there is a significant difference in the two statements that is quite telling. Sarah’s incredulity is that God has done this for her. Ms. St. James’s is just proud she did what she set her mind to.

Granted, St. James did give credit to God, while simultaneously stressing her own achievement. She said, “This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my life. This is a miracle that God blessed me with.”

It’s difficult to question St. James’ decision, especially after it has turned out so successfully—who could say that these two wonderful children shouldn’t have been born? Nevertheless, we must question St. James decision to become pregnant at 56. Because our redemptive God often brings good out of the bad doesn’t negate the fact that the bad was bad in the first place. Unwed teenage parents should rejoice in the birth of their child, yet at the same time lament the decisions that brought about the pregnancy in the first place. We mustn’t focus on just the end result.

Examining what little we know of Ms. St. James, it isn’t difficult to conclude that this was a bad decision. She is a single parent who will be 75 when the children turn 18, and she is well past childbearing age (she conceived via IVF using donor eggs). I’m no physician, but it doesn’t take a medical degree to know that children carried by a 56 year old mother are at great risk of not surviving the pregnancy. By all measurable standards, it seems a foolish undertaking.

Why, then, did Ms. St. James and others like her attempt such a thing? The answer, I think, lies in how our society has come to view children. If we merely view children as something that makes our lives complete, we will do almost anything to achieve the completion of our lives. Children, however, are much more than that. They are beings created in the image of God—not just our image. Consideration for them must be given before capitulating to the “black magic” of our age. Though technology may someday enable octogenarians to bear children, ability does not equal should. Should, it seems, is the absent question in our time.

3 thoughts on “Trophy Children?”

  1. We try to prevent teenagers from getting pregnant but now everybody approves of this? She should have adopted. whats’ worse is that these babies won’t have a father & everybody approves of this?!! This is sick & it shows once again how selfish women are>

  2. If you personally knew Aleta St. James you wouldn’t feel this way. She is healthier and more youthful than most 30 year olds. She has an incredibly capacity to love. Her children are as blessed to have her for a mother as she is to have them.

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