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The right to know where you came from vs the right to be a parent…

20 May
For every action we take in life there is a reaction. It is our moral obligation to consider the reaction (impact) before taking the action.
My dad was the gardener with the proverbial green thumb. He could literally just sprinkle the seeds and they would grow on command. I remember the first time he saw my pink rose bush and when he was ready to go home, he cut one rose to take with him. When he got home he planted it, (who knew you could do that?) and now there is a beautiful rose bush that rivals mine. He also did the same each year by selecting the best of the harvest, flowers or vegetables, and saving the seeds for the next year. He did not approve of the neat tidy gardeners that did not allow automatic composing into the soil of spent vegetation, and who instead picked up any clippings, leaves, stems, and flowers and disposed of them in the garbage. He said that was the wrong attitude and doing that and then having to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides to grow their gardens, would destroy the environment and was selfish and they were only thinking of themselves and not the impact on the future generations. And he was right, just like he was right about over prescribing antibiotics and many other things…we see the impact now that he saw 50 years ago…but people did not want to listen, they wanted what they wanted.
Dad’s style of gardening is just one of the many examples he taught us kids on how to be proactive thinkers and human beings. Think about what you are doing and how it will impact others in the future, before you do it.
I can take the above thoughts and apply it to how donor conception is practiced. When the science was developed no one seems to have thought about the reaction of the end product – the human being. Corporations saw profits from a seemingly unlimited supply of people wanting to become parents. So they jumped in head first and did not think of the impact on the one most desired…People were willing to “donate” for a price and they did not think of the end product – simply the money or feeling good about making a dream come true for someone else.
No one stopped and said – hey wait a minute – what if the human beings created want to know where they come from? Or maybe they did and then used the same tired old argument used on adoptees – you should be glad to be alive and that should be good enough…
I don’t know what it is like to be a donor conceived individual, but I do know what it is like to live without knowledge of where you came from.
If people think it is okay to limit that knowledge to one or two classes of individuals they are wrong. If there is no reason why anyone should need to know where they came from, then take all babies born and give them to the next in line so no one knows where they came from. Pretty sure that wouldn’t fly.
If making non-anonymous “donation” the norm means less people will be able to become parents, then they have my utmost compassion for their loss – yet their loss does not trump the DC individuals loss and right to know where they came from.
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9 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Ethics

 

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9 responses to “The right to know where you came from vs the right to be a parent…

  1. Amanda

    May 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    When people claim “parent’s rights” in opposition to DC rights or Adoptee Rights, I always scratch my head because it infers that by “parents rights” it is a normal, natural right of a parent to withhold genetic, ancestral, and basic identity rights and information from their offspring.

    Huh?

    I am a parent and I feel I have no such right that trumps those rights of my children.

    Parenting is about putting the rights and needs of our offspring foremost above our own. When my children’s rights are upheld I consider mine to be upheld too. It is a shame when what it means to be a “parent” is seen as different in both DC and adoption. A true shame.

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    • The adopted ones

      May 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      Amanda,

      “Parenting is about putting the rights and needs of our offspring foremost above our own. When my children’s rights are upheld I consider mine to be upheld too. It is a shame when what it means to be a “parent” is seen as different in both DC and adoption. A true shame.”

      You have such a gift of saying something that really says it all…

      Like

       
  2. gracelings

    May 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    This is exactly the same thing that is happening with all these frozen embryos. Technologically, we have no need to freeze embryos- current methods for egg and sperm freezing are sufficient to keep them viable for 20+ years. And yet, we continue to freeze embryos. And when couples divorce in their 8th year of marriage (which is the typical marriage length these days) with 7 frozen embryos, what happens to them? When other couples “adopt” an embryo, what happens to that child’s biological connections? Very messy, and totally avoidable, if we just thought before we acted.

    But then, thinking before we acted would remove a lot of the issues surrounding adoption…

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  3. The adopted ones

    May 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Gracelings…

    “But then, thinking before we acted would remove a lot of the issues surrounding adoption…”

    So true and one of the reasons I try to start conversations…glad you are here…why can’t we get everyone on the same page?

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  4. Margie

    May 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    The issue of the “right” to parent really has deflected the focus of adoption from children, where it should be, to competing ideologies. You get to the point where it’s, er, pointless to try to get people to stop and consider the lack of justice or logic of their particular point of view, even when it obviously contradicts both.

    *sigh*

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  5. Von

    May 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Oh the voice or sense and reason again!!What a very good argument for adoptee and snowkids rights.

    Like

     
  6. Linda Hoye

    June 9, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Well said.

    Like

     

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