Bioethics bill: Tugdual Derville invited on France Culture, September 24

Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s General Delegate was invited to speak on France Culture, on September 24th, while the bioethics bill was being debated at the French National Assembly.

Verbatim excerpts from the broadcast:

“What right do we have to deliberately deprive a child of his father, with a technique endorsed by and paid for by the state, which misappropriates medicine from its original purpose, and allows single women, or those with a female partner, to completely exclude the father.

Sometimes they travel abroad for ART, the so-called “Thalys babies”, (referring to the discount rate for children under age 12), or by various DIY scenarios. Contrary to Anglo-Saxon countries, where this subject has strong public support, and where there is a procreation market, what is emerging in France is even more crucial: a state-run marketplace. This means that the state controls all reproduction, while the entire society, including you and me, are required to be accomplices to this grave injustice which is, to deliberately deprive a child of any paternal reference.

This issue doesn’t only affect a few individuals. It affects me:  as a man, as a father, to be considered as being a disposable, maybe even a useless accessory.

Alliance VITA listens to many families facing difficult situations, including single-parent families, single women who handle everything on their own, and we see the suffering when fathers are absent or inattentive, meandering, or sometimes irresponsible.

What right does the state have to forcefully attack the societal bonds between a father and his child?

The prerequisite for ART of a male-female couple with infertility problems is relinquished. Today, only 3% of children born via ARTs are born from a donor. In the new perspective, 100% would be born from donors.

This totally alters the method of human reproduction. The whole procreation process is shifting from the bedroom towards the technicality of laboratory test tubes. Basically, it is being handed over to a national technical facility, regulated by laws and decrees. Thus instead of respecting a couple’s intimacy and privacy, procreation is controlled by state arbitrariness.

During dinner with President Macron at the Elysée Palace, I condemned this very scandal. Infertility is a major subject that needs to be faced in France since it affects 1 in 10 couples. Infertility is caused by various reasons that have to be addressed: endocrine disruptors, environmental and behavioral problems, lifestyles, increasingly advanced-age pregnancies…

There are also procedures that are often discontinued such as fallopian tube surgeries. The fight against infertility should be considered as a major national cause, and thus unite the vast majority of citizens who are concerned about this issue.

Most children living in single-parent families have a father somewhere, and they are aware of this fact. Sometimes it is due to separation or death. Now it is quite another matter; children would deliberately be created in absence of a father. There are a few cases where children have been cut off from their fathers. This doesn’t necessarily mean the children are unhappy or unloved. Nevertheless, it is a basic violation of their human rights.

We receive testimonies from children who have suffered from being cut off from half of their biological origins. Yet, we don’t hear their voices; they don’t have the right to speak out. It’s difficult to question the system that gave one life, and a lot of love. Notwithstanding, it is a painful situation; many children suffer from not knowing their father, we don’t have the right to intentionally deprive them of their father.

There are no perfect families, nor perfect parents; everything is not “smooth sailing”. Saying the opposite would be a huge denial! It is extremely valuable to have gender parity in families to equilibrate and compensate for one or the other’s omnipotence. .

The IFOP survey reported that 93% of the French esteem that the father has an essential role to play. For procreation, this reciprocal interrelationship, whereby we are begotten by a man and borne by a woman is logical in terms of human ecology.  

We are watchful of ecosystems, but the family ecosystem is composed as follows: we are all born from a man and a woman! If the law erases those facts to assert that there could be “mother and mother” labels as the bill now states, or that the father could be excluded without pain, is a violation and a denial of reality. The absence of a father is unfortunately very painful.”

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