Wanted: Neanderthal Baby Mama

neanderthal
Image via Flickr/ erix

Would you be the surrogate for a baby if it meant you would go down in the history books as the woman who resurrected the Neanderthal species? Tempting, right? I mean after all who wouldn’t want to be the mother of such a scientific breakthrough? Well, if you’ve got a hospitable womb, a love of science and are willing to be a surrogate for free, you just may get your chance.

Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School thinks he can bring back the Neanderthal. One of the world’s leading geneticists has a plan to reconstruct the Neanderthal’s DNA using genetic code extracted from fossil remains. He would then put that DNA into stem cells. Those stem cells would be injected into human stem cells of an early stage embryo and then the hopes are that the embryo would be genetically predisposed toward the Neanderthal species more than the human species. If all that goes according to plan, he would then implant the embryo into a volunteer surrogate.  10 months later, Professor Church and his volunteer would have resurrected the Neanderthal species. Now, all he needs is a willing and able, “adventurous” volunteer. 

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I’m all for the advancement of science but asking someone to volunteer to take on such a task is insane. Maybe if he were offering to pay the surrogate who is going to give birth and resurrect the species that has been extinct for over 33,000 years someone would be willing to consider it.

Being pregnant and giving birth is hard work. It’s taxing on your body, your life and mentally. It truly is a labor of love that is what makes 5 months of feeling seasick and constantly vomiting bearable. In the end, the mother can hold her baby in her arms and love it and nurture it. Professor Church is asking a woman to volunteer to give birth to a child who will be nothing more than a science experiment. Professor Church is forgetting about the humanity of humans and Neanderthals.

Personally, I don’t know if I could be a surrogate. It’s a very selfless act and you have to be a big person with a lot of love and perspective to do it. I could probably be a surrogate under extenuating circumstances, perhaps in the case of one of my sisters or if I was the only hope for my best friend to have a child, but to give birth to the unknown for science, I could never do it. 

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I think the entire premise is fascinating but, honestly, I think Professor Church is going to be hard pressed to find a volunteer for the task. He may want to seriously consider offering payment to the surrogate if he wants his idea to ever have a chance to come to fruition.

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Would you consider volunteering to surrogate a new species or resurrect an old one in the name of science?

What do you think?

Wanted: Neanderthal Baby Mama

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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7 comments

  1. youngmommy26 says:

    wow, this is very interesting, but strange at the same time. I don’t know how I feel about it.

  2. I think someone would be willing. As far as ethics are concerned they wouldn’t be destroying anything but producing life..

  3. It would be like the "Truman Show" (1998) with Jim Carrey. It would be unfair for the Baby or babies. The surrogate mother would give up all rights to the baby. Yes even for science it would be unethical.

  4. Shelby says:

    There are millions of people on the planet, there’s got to be SOMEONE who will try it. I think it sounds facinating. What helped me get through my pregnancy was the unknown of what she might look like. It excited me. This would be would be a whole nother level of unknown and would sound like something that would encourage me that much more. But I don’t see how they think they will be successful at it unless they plan on having a personal relationship with it other than just sciance. Studys have proved that people (and this is half human) need affection develope properly (expecially this young).

  5. Angela says:

    I could possibly be a surrogate for a family member, or close friend. But I would never give birth to a child just to give it up to be studied and prodded in the name of science. I don’t care what discoveries they may find, it’s senseless and pointless. A curiosity factor nothing more, if there were any benefits to the species to begin with, they would not have gone extinct.

  6. JonnysMommy says:

    Does anybody think about what would happen to the child? Who would be a parent to this new life, if it actually works? Is he thinking of just putting this baby in a cage like an animal? This is such a cold, unfeeling idea that it makes me sick.

  7. Kimberly says:

    I’m going to say no, I was sick the entire time I was pregnant so I will not get pregnant again until I really want another baby and I wouldn’t be able to just hand it over to science. I would think that is too cruel

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