What’s Behind the Dolce & Gabbana “Synthetic Baby” Controversy
In an interview with the Italian magazine, Panorama, fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who are both gay and were a couple for 23 years until breaking up in 2005, said the following*:
“I’m not convinced by those I call the children of chemicals, synthetic children. Wombs for rent, sperm chosen from a catalogue … psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”
“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
“The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”
“We oppose gay adoptions…the only family is the traditional one.”
Having children should be an “act of love”.
“I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.”
“A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.”
The interview was related to the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Milan earlier this year. Motherhood was the theme with models carrying babies and walking with young children.
Dolce has said in the past that he considered surrogacy to have a child, but backed out because of his beliefs. Gabbana has said recently that he would love to be a dad if he could, but presumably he believes he can’t.
I respect that these men are living their beliefs and they are certainly entitled to their opinion, but why not just say that IVF, surrogacy or gay parenting is not for them or they wouldn’t feel comfortable with those options. We all have lines in infertility treatment or parenting that we won’t cross. There is no need to publicly disparage a lot of very real un-synthetic families. Dissing someone’s children shows a distinct lack of class.
It appears as if the intended target of Gabbana and Dolce’s statements were gay families, but their statement also belittled all families created through in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor egg, donor sperm, or surrogacy, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents.
Since 1978, the miracle of fertility treatment has made possible over 5 million children…5 million living, breathing, and anything but synthetic children and adults. The conception of these children was fueled just as much by an “act of love” as children conceived naturally. It’s hard to imagine something that has been around for over 35 years being a fad. That statement alone makes me wonder just how much either man knows about assisted reproduction.
Feeling as they do about gays and lesbians adopting, I’m glad neither Dolce nor Gabbana have chosen to adopt; however, approximately 16,000 same-sex couples in the US alone have made a different choice. (International figures are harder to come by because of laws and record keeping.)
LGBT couples and singles are four times more likely to adopt in the US than heterosexual couples or singles, and six times more likely to be fostering children from state foster care systems. Four percent of all adopted children in the US are being raised by LGBTQ parents.
Many of these children would not have parents if not for being adopted by their gay or lesbian moms and dads. I venture to say that they very much believe in gay adoption.
A Moment of Cattiness
Looking at pictures from the Dolce & Gabbana Motherhood Fashion Show, I had to laugh. Nothing screams motherhood like teenage anorexic models carrying babies. Talk about unnatural!
*I was unable to find a transcript of the exact interview, so there is always the risk that these statements were taken out of context, but neither Dolce nor Gabbana have denied making these statements.Image credit: BBC Newsbeat. To learn more about this controversy and Elton John’s campaign to boycott Dolce & Gabbana clothes, read Gabbana responds to Sir Elton’s boycott calls.