Low Birthrate, Robotization and the Case for Test Tube Babies


Malthusians have been correct for quite a while now. Low birthrate trends in the developed world have shown no sign of abating, going by statistics.

While countries like Canada have turned to immigration to solve potential demographic problems of an ageing workforce and weak taxation, Japan is turning to robotics because of its desire to remain a homogenous society.  But other homogenous first world countries seem to be caught in a dilemma with many playing the proverbial ostrich; holding out on diversity and economic growth.

Finland for example, like most of its neighbours, has been experiencing lower birthrates on a consistent basis.  It response: state incentives for mothers; the kind that would almost certainly make it a lucrative business to have children in other climes, but no. 

2016 birthrate figures show that Finland recorded its lowest number of babies born in 150 years. Statistics Finland, the country’s team of statisticians, projected birthrate figures for last year to be a worrisome 1.57.

Be that as it may, this kind of problems could eventually lead to the rise of gestational surrogacy as a solution…with a new kind of migrant worker–the surrogate mother from the third world.

Gestational surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman just carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple. She has no biological relationship with the baby because the sperm and egg are cultured in a test tube via the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and placed in her womb to carry it to term. The woman who carries the baby is the gestational surrogate, or gestational carrier.

Governments like Finland’s, concerned about keeping their populations homogenious while improving the number of future taxer payers may jolly well consider incentivizing healthy surrogate mothers from abroad to come and help create its own Finnish baby boom. 

But that’s only the beginning. Artificially boosting the number of babies born could pose new problems like higher foster care costs and even, human right violations. This is why government cannot approach the problem of low birthrate without carefully making laws and planting a pro-family message in its citizenry by way of national orientation to help encourage adoption and healthy families.

Robotization may be Japan’s way of dealing with its ambitions to sustain a homogenous society and sustain economic growth. But the rise of ‘test tubers’ could answers the demographic questions that face the most of developed world in the years to come.

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