Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moderating Comments to Blog Posts....

Up until this evening I had not wanted to get involved in moderating comments to this blog. At times a number of Marty's comments had been bordering on harrassment but in the past this had all been directed to me. I usually let it go, despite my feelings of being attached personally, as mixed into his barbs were some, I thought, provoking questions worth exploring.

But tonight the barbs were not directed at me but readers of this blog who felt compelled to comment on my posts. And after reading those comments I felt the barbs crossed a line as I invited these readers into my thoughts and I felt I was responsible. Now granted I was not and the individuals being bombarded handled themselves quite well. But I am now considering moderating the comments posted which is a shame. Despite the fact this is a personal web log and not a public public discussion group I have enjoyed the interaction.

Individuals need to learn that their points can be made without harrassment even if they vehemently disagree with the positions being espoused.


Marty said...

Please don't moderate over little ole me. If you want me to leave and never come back, just say so. But i hope you don't, because despite my abrasive manner, i'm still interested in the stories that i hear here, and very few other places.

I did not intend to offend Mary C., only to point out how offensive i found her own position. I'm still hoping to come to a deeper understanding of how someone in her shoes winds up this way. For now, i find it appalling, and a cruel thing to do to a child. But i'm willing to listen to other ideas.

DI_Dad said...

Marty - Just show a little judgement and restraint please. If you don't I will ask you to leave and nobody likes being attacked or harrased. And if you want to make a position it helps if people know where you are coming from like why are you so charged on these points. For example I don't think you ever answered my inquiry as to whether you yourself were conceived via DI and only learned later in life. What makes this issue so personal for you? I can't believe it's solely on ethical reasons alone. Good night. 11pm EST.

Marty said...

Where I'm coming from, and where I'm headed...

As I've explained to Di_dad before, i got interested in this topic as i became involved in the same-sex marriage debate. Deep research into that subject naturally led me into the field of donor conception, and other non-traditional family concepts. Almost all of this was foreign to me before, so I'm left with far more questions than answers, though i admit to enjoying the experience when the answer to one question opens up a dozen more. So it has been with this subject of donor conception.

Upon reflection of these many questions, I've formed a general position on the matter of DC. It is not all things to all people, nor should it be, but i think it takes into account the best of intentions, the limits of human frailty, compassion, liberty, and moral principle.

Donor conception is generally used by couples such as our host here, Di_dad and his wife, who suffer from fertility issues that prevent them from becoming pregnant naturally. So a third party, a pinch hitter if you will, is called in, and the paternity of the resulting child is assumed by the Husband of the Mother. A sort of half-adoption, where the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood are in effect, transferred in full from one man to another. Aside from my moral qualms about what i consider "institutionalized adultery", i can support this sort of DC. My compassion for DI_dad and his wife, and the unfortunate position they found themselves in, outweighs any stigma i might attach to their less than perfect choice. Were the shoes on my feet, i'd probably ask my brother to do me an eternal favor, and to keep a grave secret -- not much different really.

But what are we to make of men or women who do not have any fertility issues to speak of, but simply lack a partner to mate with? Should they be allowed to take advantage of the same donor services intended for the medically interile? At a glance you might ask "why not", and miss the point that in the classic example Fatherhood is legally transferred from one man to another -- it is not extinguished entirely.

Therefore, i have serious moral questions about those who would deliberately create a child with only half a family, half a birthright, and half a history. And they aren't even infertile!

I can only think of 4 ways a child can become legally fatherless:

1. Daddy just died.
2. Dad was abusive and had his rights (and responsibility) terminated by the court.
3. Mom met a man in a bar and refuses to tell who he is. (Clearly unethical on Mom's part, but even here if the mans identity became known, he would still be held legally liable as the childs Father -- he cannot escape it, and Mom cannot legally refuse it of him.)
4. Mom met dad in a clinic, and refuses to tell me who he is. (but it wouldn't matter anyway, he and mom signed away any rights or responsibility he had)

Even children of divorce still have a Father, who is held legally liable and responsible to the child. So while I'm willing to make exceptions for the truly infertile, i have serious concerns about the merely anti-social, and the "half orphaned" children they create at the clinic. Fathers are not "let off the hook" simply because Mommy doesn't like him anymore (even if she never knew really him). Except, somehow, at the clinic -- where it is legal for a man or a woman to disavow the children they create together.

In my opinion, there ought to be a law. All children need, deserve, and have a God Given Right to a Mother and Father of their own. I make minor exceptions that prove this rule, in the case of Di_dad and his wife, but the case of Mary C. baffles me entirely.

Please pray for her and her daughter.