Earlier this year a charity in the United Kingdom launched a lottery, the winner of which received free in vitro fertilization treatments.
Some cried that the lottery preyed on the emotions of parents unable to conceive, most of whom would be unlucky enough to win the pricey treatments. Others argued that the upside for the winner was enough to make it worthwhile.
But what to make of a competition launched by a Canadian radio station in which they are advertising the chance to “win a baby?”
Hot 89.9 in Ottawa is offering three rounds of fertility treatments worth over $30,000 to the contestant who can convince listeners and a panel of judges in 100 words or less that they are most deserving of the chance to become parents, according to The Guardian.
So here’s the thing: Clearly it will be wonderful for the winner to receive free IVF treatments. But presumably the losers will be greatly disappointed — again (since you could argue they’re already feeling like losers since they can’t conceive naturally) — particularly since this isn’t a lottery; it’s a contest where you have to plead why your case for wanting a child is the most worthy. Is there really one person who deserves a child more than another? And is it up to a radio station to play God in such a way?
To make matters more, well, tacky, advertisements for the contest feature a baby with the slogan “She Could Be Yours,” and “Are You My Mommy?” Another marketing tactic was to broadcast messages that said, “See who you think deserves to win a baby,” which was meant to encourage listeners to vote.
While some have argued the contest is raising awareness of the high costs of treating infertility (which is not covered by insurance in Canada), others are all too aware that it will just be insult to injury to the “losers.”
To date, the contest has received 400 applicants, with the winner to be announced tomorrow. Other recent contests at the same radio station have included the chance to win breast implants, as well as one to win a Russian bride.
Do you think the radio station is doing a good thing or a bad thing?