Jennifer Roback Morse makes the perfectly sensible point that the larger and more devastating tragedy in the Nadya Suleman case is not that she has been irresponsible with other people’s money (that of the taxpayers and of her parents) and not that she is now in a the hard situation of trying to raise 14 children by herself. The real horror is in the way she got to where she is today and the attitudes our society has fostered about children and fathers that permitted it. Roback Morse shows that the view that one has a "right" to have children treats children as if they were a commodity rather than as persons with rights and obligations of their own. Artificial reproductive technology and the legal structure supporting it, untethered as they are to any kind of human good, turns fathers into "legal strangers" to their children--and all in the name of the "rights" of the mother. Of course, fathers in this situation may not particularly desire any other
rights obligations with respect to their children . . . but that might also be said for many a father who sired his children in--uhhh, shall we say the more "traditional" way? It is at least interesting that fathers are so completely cut off from their rights and obligations as parents when they sire children in this most determined and purposeful way but can be held legally bound when children are the result of an "oopsie."