Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas and Donor Clinic Kids

Kids conceived via anonymous sperm donation were the subject of a study earlier this year by the Institute for American Values cited in this New York Times opinion article. The study found that donor kids had much of what we call "genealogical bewilderment" that adopted kids have, even worse, as well as other issues about accidentally marrying a sibling and concerns over the way they were brought into the world. I find it hard to believe that generally their reactions are more severe than adopted kids', as often they at least know one of their biological parents, right?

Confession: That little conservative twitch within me finds the whole donor thing a little weird and colonizer-like, and maybe unfair--to deliberately force parental anonymity. But I'm embarrassingly unknowledgeable on the donor subject and am reluctant to say much about it until I find out more and--even better--talk to a donor-conceived person in real life. Anyone have suggestions for books to read? I've only come across a few books meant for toddlers or YAs.

A donor conceived person's comment on a support group forum:
"I want to find [my father],'s just hard. The ***** banks don't see my situation as equivalent to an adoption, or a bum, runaway dad. This man gave me my life; he's a part of me, whether he intended for that to happen or not. Humans are not machines; we are emotional, we are needy, we have desires and curiosity. There's a veil over so much of who I am. How could he--and the bank--think nothing would come from all of this?"

With the holidays coming up, I'm pondering the conception of that famous guy Jesus. Christians believe his was a sort of anonymous father; Mary's hymen was still intact at his birth. Parentage was so important at that time--what tribe you descended from, etc. Surely Mary fed him the "you are special" line that all adoptees get. No doubt kids on the playground gave him heck about his shady origins. And saying that God was his father? Classic adoptee fantasizing. (My bio father was Michael Jordan or Tupac for a long time, and my mother Marilyn Monroe.) Maybe he always knew that God was his father and had no issue or struggle with not knowing the face of a human father whose blood formed his genes. Perhaps it shouldn't be such a shock that Jesus rejected familial--bio or no--ties as an adult, in favor of a worldview in which God is our "father" and everyone is family in the Spirit. 

When you don't know your roots, it's hard. And there are moments when you really do see everyone as potential family. At least I did. But we're not all Jesus. Our lives--no matter how we're conceived--are better when we have the chance to know our roots.


Amanda said...

There are different kinds of donor conception that might confound the identity issues even more (I'm not donor conceived either, so I don't really know). Like "embryo adoption" or perhaps where both egg and sperm are anonymously donated?

I read....

Sunday said...

As a second generation from adoption I still look at people with red hair or my mother’s features and think “we could be family for all I know.” It is a strange feeling.

Liberty said...

Thank you, Amanda. I found the Cryokid blog very interesting.

@Sunday: I know how that is! The search that never ends.

curling irons said...

Yea not knowing the roots is bad but is much worst to grow up only with yuor mom with no dad ...

I'm totaly against Sperm Banks