Sunday, April 06, 2014

A Child's Announcement via a Lawn Sign

How Public is Public

The guest columnist writing the Motherlode column for the NY Times today writes about how open should her family be about their religion in a secular world and conversely how liberal can she be in her religious world. The two worlds colliding when her child comes homes from religious school with a lawn sign that reads Jesus Lives.

In the end she trusts in the faith that her neighbors are tolerant of all views and the knowledge who their family is that no prejudice would ensue. 

Made me think on some levels how some couples decide not to tell their children they are donor conceived. Once the child knows it might as well at times be a sign on their front lawn.  To do so might add a stigma to the couple's lives that one parent could not procreate as easily as all their neighbors or that the child may grow up with that stigma attached much as adoptees sometimes did a bit when I was a child in the 1970s. 

This post is not addressing whether DC should be used due to issues of identity, medical or abandonment that some donor conceived have experienced.  

This post is simply looking at the issue from a perspective of who
Telling or Not Telling is serving. Clearly in the world some parents might be embarrassed for their neighbors to know as opposed to the honesty of sharing the info with the child so they have that knowledge and can process it as they will as they grow up. 

The analogy to the NYT column is not perfect but with the facts of my world it is part of what I saw and how I reacted. 

(As an aside I did recently see a cartoon or something about Jesus being Donor Conceived. But that would be a whole other post to address that analogy).

Post # 572


A. said...

Obviously you have more experience than me, but as I have reasoned through this in my weighty consideration of using DE, I think it is possible to share a child's conception story with them and frame it without shame as something that stays inside the family, for the time being, until they're old enough to make informed decisions about who they want to tell. Analogy: the human body is natural and beautiful, and that includes your pee-pee, but you don't show your pee-pee to your teacher or the neighbor. In kind, they can trust grandma to see them naked when she, say, changes a diaper or gives a bath. And when they're old enough to make adult decisions about their private parts (sexuality) I think that's about the time they can make mature choices with awareness about who knows...because the world is not perfect and DC is not without its labels and stigma. Of course, as a parent, you have to be ready for whatever happens after that and handle it with grace and love.

Vinnie said...

In my opinion, donor conception is no more a stigma than any other kind of conception, and I don't need the approval (or the friendship) of anyone who thinks it is. I would like my son to feel that way as well, so we have no limit at all on who we or he can tell. We don't broadcast it, just like we don't broadcast lots of things -- because it doesn't tend to come up as a subject and we are not affirmatively advertising or promoting it, but we simply have no taboo on it.