Would you enter to ‘win a baby?’

An Ottawa radio station is hosting a contest where women have the chance to win three IVF treatments. The prize, valued at over $35,000, could help boost the winner’s chance of conceiving a baby.

A dream come true?
According to the Hot 89.9 web site:

“It is some people’s lifelong dream to conceive a baby, but not everyone can. If you’re in that situation The New Hot 89-9 is swooping in like a big beautiful stork to make your dreams of changing diapers a reality.”

Controversial contest
The contest has been gaining international attention, which has not always been positive. In the U.K., the Daily Mail reports:

“Hot 89.9′s Morning Hot Tub show, which is running the competition, has been unapologetic and brags on its website that it is the ‘first in history‘ to be making such an offer.

Its disturbing advert features a baby staring out at the camera holding up a sign saying: ‘Win me!’ although with the caveat underneath that ‘Baby may not be exactly as shown’.

Listeners complained that the contest was sending out the wrong message, not least to the child whose parents will have to explain the story of how he was born.”

Here at home, Andrew Lovesey has this to say in the National Post:

“Having children is not a frivolous decision. And the blessing of a new child shouldn’t be treated in the same way as a free breakfast at a pancake house, or a week-long holiday at a Cuban resort. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to an Ottawa radio station that is using a prize of in-vitro fertilization treatments as a contest promotion…

…The very premise of the contest insults the sanctity of life. The idea of “winning” a child is itself offensive in the extreme, belittling life, making childbirth into a marketing gimmick. It also has the effect of making an object (a prize) out of a human being.”

In an interview with CBC News, Jan Silverman, a member of Ontario’s expert panel on infertility, had this to say:

“I certainly dislike the commodification of babies, turning babies into products … However, I am pleased that it brings attention to the plight, to the expense that infertile couples that require IVF must go through to have a baby.”

What do you think? Does this contest leave a bad taste in your mouth? Or are you glad it’s drawing attention to the struggles some couples have conceiving? Leave a comment and let me know.