Whenever I hear or read something that infuriates me, it is a true test of my patience not to go off half-cocked. Doing so normally gets me into trouble and I end up eating shoe leather.
On the other hand, once I’ve cooled off or had time to research, I get bogged down by my rational side trying to convince me to be fair. To present both sides. To not offend. Unfortunately, it then loses all meaning.
This will be one of those posts that will either piss you off or it will not. I won’t apologize if it does. I will add that none of your comments on the poll, which are now also published, were taken any other way but with sincere openess.
Does becoming a sperm donor or egg donor make one a “mother” or “father”? I guess it depends on who you ask.
As I thought about this over and over again, I realized that the ONLY people NOT referring to the donors as Mother and Father were the donors themselves. So why is every one else?
If I thought about the literal sense of donation, then Fathers would be made with every one night stand. Mothers would be made every time there was unprotected sex during ovulation.
That doesn’t count, you say, because there was no intent?
OK, so for any couple who has gone through IVF, IUI or even procreative sex, they became Mothers and Fathers even if there was no conception, right?
Now I’m just being argumentative, you say?
Yes, I am, because our society has become so uptight in our pursuit of being politically correct even when it logically makes no sense to do so. What’s wrong with the donor being called a Donor?
What bug flew up my butt and inspired the poll (final results were 74.59% said no, donors do not become mothers/fathers while 24.59% said they did, which at one point was as high as 33%, and there were 51 votes)?
This comment to a thread I subscribed to. I won’t link the thread because the response really had nothing to do with the topic:
I was conceived through an anonymous sperm ‘donation’ (no money exchanged) back in the mid 1960’s through a private doctor practice. I learned of my conception origins at 18 but didn’t feel entitled to acknowledge the confusion this created for me until I had children of my own.
It was only until I saw how much my children were a part of, not only my husband and me, but our collective (bio/genetic) families. This was no long just a personal loss, this was much bigger than me. I searched for my biological father (my parents donor) after the birth of our second child and learned that because I was not of his marriage that I and my children (his grandchildren) could never be acknowledged, recognized or embraced by him – our extended bio/genetic family (grandparents/half siblings/aunts/uncles/cousins etc) or know or be a part of our family ancestry/history.
I see many reasons why donor (especially vendor) gametes/traditional surrogacy is wrong, not for religious reasons but for human dignity reasons. Knowing a name is not the same as being loved and embraced. These methods of conception are not the same as adoption, although they share many issues in common. Adoption (which has many ethical issues of its own), as an institution, is very pro-child. Adoption does not intentionally separate a person from their bio/genetic mother/father/family. It recognizes this separation as a tragedy. BUT donor/vendor/traditional surrogacy intentionally creates a child that will not be loved nurtured, unconditionally embraced or supported by one or both of their bio/genetic parents and extended family. This puts adults wants for a child (pre-conception), before the needs of a child (post- conception).
Of course people conceived through donor/vendor/surrogacy need to be accepted, loved, supported (THAT MUCH MORE SO) by the Catholic/faith community. But these methods of conception — when a child/person is intentionally created in a way that PROHIBITS them (and their future children) from being acknowledged, embraced, loved and nurtured in a fully inclusive way by ALL the people they come from and belong to — do not.
Verbatim and in its entirety.
I do feel sorry for this person as she found out what I think is too late in life that she was donor conceived, but third-party conception has a rather slow learning curve. No one knows the impact of what we tell or don’t tell our children until that moment, and usually it’s too late. In another 20 years, will the trend to tell your child as soon as they are toddling that there was a donor or they were adopted or were bore by a surrogate, come back and bite us on the ass? In some form or another, yes. That child will probably resent “feeling” different then other children. Then again, some children never have an issue. It really is a matter of perspective on life and temperament.
Also, I find myself asking, hypothetically, what right did this person have in asking to be embraced by her donor and his extended family? His donation was not intended to increase his genetic lineage so it seems a rather large leap to assume that 30 years later, he would welcome with open arms that possibility by a stranger. Not only would I never expect ZGirl’s genetic donor to ever acknowledge her if the two were ever to learn of each other’s identity, I also would never demand ZGirl to acknowledge the donor’s family as her own. The donor’s children are not my daughter’s half-sisters or half-brothers. These are terms modern society puts out there to both welcome, and yet exclude, children in a mixed marriage. They are titles to make sure that the Consanguine Family never rises again, and rightfully so.
It was this statement that pushed me over the edge, “Adoption does not intentionally separate a person from their bio/genetic mother/father/family. It recognizes this separation as a tragedy. BUT donor/vendor/traditional surrogacy intentionally creates a child that will not be loved nurtured, unconditionally embraced or supported by one or both of their bio/genetic parents and extended family.”
Adoption is the most intentional form of separation out there! While I understand her intent in the statement, there is no such thing as an “accidental adoption” unless it’s a swapping of newborns in the hospital.
And to state that donor and surrogacy intentionally creates a child that will not be loved, nurtured or unconditionally embraced or supported by the genetic parents and the extended family??!! Fuck her. And fuck her “non-bio” family for screwing her over by making her feel as if the only unconditional love she could get was from her genetic father and his family since it seems apparent that they did not provide it themselves..
I am not so arrogant to believe that my anger about the quote is directed purely at this stranger. I am angry that it made me question the choices we made. The choices we will eventually make with our own children. How dare I allow some one else’s shitty experience cloud the utter joy I have when my daughter reaches for me, smiles at me, laughs at me. Her mother. Her ONLY mother.