Saturday, April 21, 2012

A voice we don't usually hear

In the last several months, I have come across several blog, articles and videos about "third party reproduction." Some of the most striking come from children of sperm donors. It's a voice we don't usually hear as we debate the merits or consequences of artificially creating life. But it's a voice we need to hear. As Jennifer Roback Morse often says when discussing same-sex adoption, we need to focus on giving children the parents they need, not on giving parents the children they want.

So, here's a moment of reflection from someone whose coming to be involved a petri dish and a biological father who is unknown:

But this question does reveal something else to me - I do feel and always, it seems to me, have felt, an ambivalence towards my very existence. I have felt worthless and depressed and unworthy of love and life and at times suicidal. A failure. Never good enough. Incapable of pleasing.

I am now convinced this has something to do with my parents' ambivalence towards my existence.

I was proof of my father's fertility in public, a source of his shame in secret.

I was my mother's dream come true, and a source of her guilt in front of her husband for getting her genetic child when he didn't get his, which is why she probably allowed him to appropriate me and sabotage my relationship with her from the very start, when he persuaded her she couldn't nurse me, although she wanted to.

I was someone who constantly had to be lied to and about.

The whole reflection is short, but sobering, and so necessary to hear.

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