Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Competing Rights and Concerns re Donor Conception

Earlier this evening I posted a message on the DI Dads Yahoo Group regarding contact between half siblings. One of the dads, someone whose opinion I value and who is also one of the moderators, commented that he and his wife are unsure what to tell their child or whether they will tell their child about a known half sibling. I should point out their child is very young and is no more than toddler age. Certanly not old enough to comprehend any of the issues and what it means yet to be donor conceived.

I ended up posting two messages in response to this member's comments. The first focused on my beliefs that at this point my feelings are the larger issue is that the rights of the donor conceived shoudl trump what feelings we may have as parents. The second message was posted as I was concerned that my first comment would be taken too critical of this man's views. I do firmly believe we are each entitled to our own views and I also don't believe one parent has the right to impose their views on how another parent parents.

But at the same time I am becomming more convinced that the rights of the donor conceived should trump that of parents trying to conceive. I am not yet convinced that donor conception shoudl be outlawed as I do believe individuals / families have the right to determine what reproductive methods they choose without legislation saying what they can and cannot do. That may change as I am pretty close to believing that donor anonymity in the USA should be legislatively abolished. I realize that the last two statements may not work together.

My evolution on the overall DI topic seems to be heading towards a conclusion that when infertile couples are trying to conceive that we focus only on our desire to have children without as much thought as to the issues and concerns that the donor conceived individual created may face at a later point and that has increasingly been a source of concern to me.

As a non biological parent who jointly used DI to create my family I believe that an increased responsibility exists that requires non bio fathers to protect the rights of our donor conceived children even if that means sometimes sacrificing a small bit of our pride to ensure the children grow up with as positive a self esteem as possible such that they can process whatever questions arise about their identity and all that goes along with that.

4 comments:

Ryan said...

"My evolution on the overall DI topic seems to be heading towards a conclusion that when infertile couples are trying to conceive that we focus only on our desire to have children without as much thought as to the issues and concerns that the donor conceived individual created may face at a later point and that has increasingly been a source of concern to me."

You know, I'd take a good set of DI parents that put their desire to have kids over my potential for emotional angst over a set of teenagers that had a one-night-stand in high school and never really wanted a kid.

So many of us DI kids spend so much time whining about how our parents never thought of what they "denied" us that we completely ignore how a large percentage of other people in this world were conceived by parents that didn't want them or couldn't provide for them (thus denying them opportunities) or weren't ready for parenthood.

Hey, my parents wanted me. I've got receipts to prove it.

DI_Dad said...

"Hey, my parents wanted me. I've got receipts to prove it."

Man or man do I have receipts. Never thought about putting them in the baby books before.

Ryan said...

I stumbled on a box full of syringes one time. FULL. It was terrifying to a child such as myself. When I asked my Dad about them, it turned out those were the used syringes from the shots he gave himself attempting to correct infertility. That's a big ol' box of needly love right there.

Vinnie said...

Receipts in the baby book! I love it!