Friday, January 13, 2006

Terminology: Substituting “Biological Father” for “Donor” = Feeling Threatened

Tonight I received an e-mail from a woman I met while posting on the DonorMisconception yahoo discussion group. The sender thought the information important enough that any potential US based national DC support group would want to highlight it. Within her e-mail in addition to a paragraph header labeled "God Bless Mummy and Donor" was text that referred to a member of Tangled Webs’ call, herself a donor conceived person (DCP), for replacement of the term “donor” with the term “biological parent” in an Australian set of laws currently undergoing reform. Putting aside the reasons espoused by this DCP (valid they may be and discussed below) was my own immediate threat level being elevated. It was actually amazing how fast I found this threatening. Even though this was a call to change a statute that would likely never affect my kids or me or our “donor” I found it threatening. Amazing.

The e-mail referred to an Australian blog of woman who attended on November 16, 2005 an event hosted by a group called the Rationalist Society of Australia, where a Professor Marcia Neave, Chair of the Australian Victorian Law Reform Commission, spoke about the regulation of artificial reproductive technology (ART) in Australia. The e-mail refers to the DCP’s outcry that to leave the term as donor is insulting to the children conceived via DC. The writer (and I guess the TW DCP) felt that to leave the term as donor it promoted the withholding of information from the children and protected the interests of the donor when the focus should be on the child’s or donor conceived adult’s rights.

Again I don’t have an issue in theory with the position of the woman who sent me the e-mail or the DCP member of Tangled Webs but I was just struck by how fast I felt threatened by the use of terminology. Perhaps it’s a silly response considering I read much of this stuff everyday but there it was.

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