February 26, 2016

"I've made this decision. Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo."

"I picked her and was like, 'Let's put in the girl.' I think I was most excited and allured by the fact that John would be the best father to a little girl. That excited me... It excited me to see … just the thought of seeing him with a little girl. I think he deserves a little girl. I think he deserves that bond. A boy will come along. We'll get there too, so it's not like we really have to pick. But he definitely is very lucky to have a little girl. And this girl is going to be so completely lucky to have John as her papa, it's crazy!"

Said Chrissy Teigen, the model. "John" — the man she is "excited" to picture with a baby girl — is her husband John Legend. She's come in for a lot of criticism, and one of her responses (on Twitter) is: "This is all so interesting. I said it so casually because i'm just open. I'm around so many open-minded people & forgot it's controversial." Whatever you think of her decision, her openness, and her explanations, it's funny how she ends her engagement with critics. Read from the bottom up:



ADDED: Try to analyze why people are reacting so strongly. Some of it is genuine moral principle, but if you are going to be a moralist, you need to look into you own heart and see whether it contains:
1. Envy that she has the money to do this procedure.

2. Disapproval of freely expressive speech.

3. "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." 

43 comments:

Humperdink said...

What has happened to our culture? Am I the only one that finds this utterly repulsive? It's like she is shopping at Tiffany's. For a child. A human life.

We are off the rails.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

What difference does it make to anyone but the parents? Is wealthy people exercising some degree of selection regarding their children something new? Do people criticize the Jolie-Pitt clan for their rainbow-family approach to adoption and the deliberate choice via IVF of a set of twins?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

However, Chrissy whatever could also exercise the option of keeping her mouth shut about extremely personal matters on Twitter. I'd want that between my husband and me. Cheapens that process to discuss it with the damn world.

PB said...

Get pregnant the old fashioned way or adopt

Rae said...

Assuming there is a gay gene, this will suddenly be terrible if you choose not to have a gay child.

Phil 3:14 said...

What color did she pick?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

When they "put the boy in," he grows up, Googles up Mama's Moments Of Fame, he will find he was - even before he was conceived - not Mama's favorite.

Curious George said...

"Phil 3:14 said...
What color did she pick?"

Ecru

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Seems to me there should be a rule by which a dog breeder sells the best-looking puppy to the ugliest buyer.

That's so things average out when the two of you go for a walk in the park.

Ann Althouse said...

"Get pregnant the old fashioned way or adopt"

I'll bet there are a lot of people who would love to adopt the embryos made from those two parents!

He was a child prodigy (and not bad looking) and she's one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Terry said...

Open minded people often get very open minded about whether killing people that are a pain in the ass is really murder-murder.

rehajm said...

Another data point suggesting that under threat of overpopulation species exhibit creative methods of self regulation.

sydney said...

Lucky baby, to be picked by her mother from all her other siblings so that she may have life. And to have such a God for her mother.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said..I'll bet there are a lot of people who would love to adopt the embryos made from those two parents!

Oh yeah, good point--I wonder what kind of $ those'll bring on the open market?
An embryo is a thing. All you prudes need to get over thinking there's anything special about human life. Starting a life, ending a life, blah blah blah--it's all someone's choice, and frankly the women involved aren't interested in your opinion. It's 2016, geez.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said..Try to analyze why people are reacting so strongly. Some of it is genuine moral principle, but if you are going to be a moralist, you need to look into you own heart and see whether it contains:

May I paraphrase your list?
1.) Bein' a hater. Straight up hatin' winners who got dat money.
2.) Hatin' on free speech. A person can't even speak their mind in your world? Speech hater.
3.) Crusty old Puritan hate. Can't stand to see nobody else happy 'cause you so sorry? Hater.

Renee said...

So happy I was never in a place to pick and choose between my kids, no matter their birth order or sex.


Instead of adopting, let's keep kids with their families whenever possible.

whitney said...

That's good advice to always look into your own heart first. An honest appraisal can take the sting out of your censure towards others.

Mac McConnell said...

I think they went this route to save money. The amount of coke needed to get a supermodel to actually fuck is enormous.

Birches said...

Am I the only one who thinks Crissy Tiegan is rat faced?

And John Legend looks like a mouthbreather? There.I said it. Had to get it off my chest.

Larry J said...

From a moral perspective, I see sex-based discrimination in which embryo to implant as less of a problem than sex-based abortion. If they destroyed the embryos based on sex, that wouldn't be different. As I understand it, they plan on implanting other embryos later, so the decision now is just the birth order.

tim in vermont said...

hat's so things average out when the two of you go for a walk in the park.

That's how it works with my dog, pictured in my avatar.

Caroline Walker said...

They'll choose another down the road and flush the rest down the sink, but only after they're sure the pregnancies are flawless and there might not arise the need to "select" an imperfect foetus for "termination." Everybody's doing it, so that makes it ok. dear God, please resurrect GK Chestetton.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think they should discuss this process with the world. Why do that? (I know why, because they are narcissists who like to blab on about their very important selves).

tim in vermont said...

I don't have a huge problem personally with her or her decision. It does show that America devalues boys though. Who wants one given a choice? Maybe we can kill all the male unborn children, then the US can hook up with China when the children all grow up!

chillblaine said...

I didn't see whether the IVF was done out of necessity or they chose that method so they could have a designer baby. It seems less romantic to tell your kid that they picked you out of a catalog rather than you being a happy accident. It probably won't matter to her, she will grow up in a bubble and interact with other bubble people much of her life. Mazel Tov!

Brian said...

"...every doctor knows the sex of the embryos."

This is false. Or, rather, it is true only where "every doctor" means "every doctor who has been paid extra to do preimplantation genetic diagnosis & screening."

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

"From a moral perspective, I see sex-based discrimination"

Nope. Althouse has already determined that your moral objections must be based on envy and hatred. Please provide the correct answer comrade, or this will not go easy for you.

Hey can we get a little muscle over here?

Paul Snively said...

If they were Chinese, this would be a restorative act of courage.

I am not Laslo.

sparrow said...

Why must a child be genetically yours, why not adopt? That's morally clean.

Charlie Currie said...

A mass of tissue cannot...cannot be a baby girl...period...end of discussion.

R. Chatt said...

This is like the issue of knowing the sex of your child before birth. Used to be impossible, but now only odd people don't want to know in advance. They want the mystery.

dbp said...

Even though the couple is well endowed with talent, fame and wealth; I still feel bad for them that they had to resort to technology in order to have kids. A small consolation prize is that you can choose the sex of your child.

Even if they didn't choose someone else would be choosing for them: Given the cost of IVF, the added cost of doing genetic screening is minimal and it tells the sex of each embryo. If you made 8 embryos, 5 were healthy and you were planning on having 3 children--why wouldn't you have only one of the healthy ones implanted each time?

Dude1394 said...

The times they are a-changing. I expect we will all be tall, blue-eyed and blonde hair in another 50 years or so. :)

It seems weird but I find it difficult to criticise someone who does what can be done and is hurting no one.

Stay out of her life. But on the other hand, I would have probably not broadcast it around the world to get attention either.

CatherineM said...

Twitter, like this comment thread, is a place where people can pretend they are standing on some moral high ground. It's an Internet version of the Roman Colliseum where the crowd delights in seeing people thrown to the Lions. I doubt any of these critics are fans of Tiegans. They are the people who troll their feed looking for an opening.

Tiegan is very funny, clever and does cooking tweets and videos (linked via Instagram). If you are a wit, she will engage and enjoys a joke at herself. Through this, she gains more followers. Twitter for her is a Business concern so she got some comedy appearances, cooking show gigs and a cookbook out of it. Her mom, who is Thai, also is very funny and shares her own recipes. Her dad could be every average older white guy American dad. It seems her whole family can be seen in this Twitter window. So perhaps she over shared too much, but her PLEASE CLAP was her joke calling back to Jeb Bush. She knows what she is doing. She is not a hapless victim of Twitter.

For someone who seems to have the perfect life, I don't think it's wrong to share her IVF story. It is a normal thing now with so many people marrying later in life (sorry folks). She chose one at a time because she can afford it, has time on her side and she avoids multiples. Seems smart.

She isn't choosing perfect blue eyed blond haired babies because it's their embryo and the baby will be half black, 25% Asian and 25% white.

mikee said...

Choosing a female child should garner this couple at least some sort of support, in theory.

There are tens of millions more young male adults than females in China because of sex-selective abortion of female children during one-child years. Females were aborted because with only one child allowed, many chose to have a male child, which is considered more advantageous to the family economics. Where is feminism when females really, really need some support?

Jonathan Graehl said...

0 problem with what she did (choosing a girl). You're allowed to prefer all boys all girls boy first girl first, whatever.

Her bragging, if it's directed at the public, is pathetic (she knows this and "oh I forgot the mic was on?" protests). I wouldn't hate her for telling me the story if I knew her. Oh, that's interesting, you're more excited imagining a girl than a boy. Ok. So I try to keep a lid on my reactions because of course I don't know if it was *intended* to goad.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Odd fact: marriages end sooner if the first child is a girl. (in general it's 3/4 women initiating divorce, so probably don't immediately start in with stories about how fathers don't love girls)

Jonathan Graehl said...

There are some genes that give you exceptionally successful male children (but not female) and vice versa, and not only on chromosone 23 (the X or Y one). People should choose to have girls or boys on that basis as well. Maybe that's how she felt about the father - you know, I make a better woman than he makes a man. My female relatives, and his, were all very successful+happy ... let's play the odds.

Static Ping said...

How about sex selection of children, when done on a wide scale, can be disastrous? China currently has a top heavy male to female ratio which does not appear to be going well and that was done the old fashioned way of abortion/infanticide.

But, yes, rich people can get away with this sort of thing and not wreck the place, but that's mainly because there are so few of them and they can pay for their messes. If every rich person randomly murdered someone today, society could absorb that. A definite shock to the system but very survivable. If everyone did that, well, there would be no more society. Perhaps more relevant, if every rich man has multiple mistresses who provide him with children, he can probably afford that. We've seen what the sexual revolution has done to the lower classes and it isn't pretty.

But, yes, I also think that selecting your child's sex is a bit creepy.

n.n said...

Individual dignity was the first victim of medical and moral progress.

wildswan said...

If she was Asian and chose two girls that's a statement of a kind. Maybe that was her point. Whatever she meant, I think people are going to regret this kind of openness. I don't mean that what she did (as she described it) was wrong so far from a prolife point of view but there's stupid as well as wrong. I simply can't quite imagine kids reading this about other brothers and sisters, not chosen by their parents.

cyrus83 said...

One of the reasons to draw the line at absolutely no deliberate picking and choosing of which embryos live and which die based on their genetic combination is the difficulty of setting any line once some choices are allowed.

For now, this is just an affirmative choice regarding gender - not much different than the negative choice made to kill female unborn in China due to their undesired gender. But as technology gets better, presumably more factors can be considered than just gender. People with means could someday ensure that their kids are engineered with an idea of perfection in mind, whatever that happens to be. Just picture almost all the great athletes, beauties, geniuses, scientists, and other leaders of the future all coming from the same small group of people that maintains its dominance by genetic engineering, with the children of the hoi polloi having almost no chance of moving up unless they hit the equivalent of the genetic lottery.

In the above scenario, where do the parents get to stop picking assuming science becomes capable of matching for literally any genetic trait desired? And what effect does this have on their kids? It's bad enough to have parents pushing kids to, say, be an athlete. How much worse is it for them to know that not only do their parents want them to be an athlete, but that they designed them for that express purpose? It to some extent robs children of full autonomy - they may be their own person, but there is always at least a degree in which they are chattel of their designers.