Jess Parsons

Jess Parsons

Posted April 25, 2011

Published in Celebrities

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Tradition! Breastfeeding, fathers, and families

Read More: adoption, baby, breastfeeding, Elton John, family, father, Fiddler on the Roof, homosexual, surrogacy, tradition

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Sir Elton John's new baby Zachary is being fed mother's milk - expressed and sent via plane!

As a vegan parent, breastfeeding advocate, and environmentalist, I feel like Reb Tevye who wrestles with tradition against personal choices within his traditional family of wife and many daughters in Fiddler on the Roof:

Tevye Hodel.jpg

"On the other hand...but on the other hand...." and "You are right...you are also right..."

Before reading the whole article, I thought, "Wonderful that the baby is getting breastmilk and not formula.  But it is flown overseas?  How wasteful!  Why not get milk from a local mum?"

On the other hand....
Then I read the article: it is Zachary's own mother, the surrogate, who is expressing the milk.  Still very wasteful of the earth's resources, but much better for Zachary.  And still very cool to get the breastfeeding exposure from articles like this.  Go Elton!  

But on the other hand...
Even better for Zachary would be the surrogate mother being a wet nurse in person, but presumably that would make more of a connection between baby and mother than has been arranged.  What a shame little Zachary won't know his mother better.

You are right!

This is not an ideal nuclear family.  Sir Elton is 63 and his partner David is male. Many people have expressed their discomfort with a child having such parents. 

Also clear is the discomfort at rich Sir Elton and his partner who can buy a child - they would probably be rejected as adoptive parents as more suitable couples would take priority.  Many of these suitable couples will never get the child they hope for.

You are also right!
Yes, the situation is totally wacko from any normal perspective.  But in the real wacko world (not that idealised normal one):

  • children get raised by grandparents
  • children get raised by only one parent
  • children get raised by unstable parents
  • children get raised by parents who can't afford them
  • children get fed artificial milk even when their mothers could breastfeed them
  • surrogacy already exists
  • the rich get to do pretty much anything they feel like with their money

In this context, Elton and his partner David hardly seem an automatic disaster scenario for a child.  And neither is this a dreadful way to use their essentially unlimited amount of money, compared to what other super-rich people have done.

What do you think?

Is there another hand?

This post is dedicated to all the lovely Dads I know, especially, of course, my own Dad as well as the amazing father to our own children.  L'Chaim!