Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Build-a-Baby?

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on this by any means whatsoever, but I just came across the trailer for the new documentary, Anonymous Father's Day, and it struck my heart quite deeply.

Part of God's plan for my life is that when I was five years old, my parents met. That might sound strange, but the details make it clearer. After my father's first marriage (to my biological mother) disintegrated, he met my mom. She may not have given birth to me, but she raised me, loved me, cared for my needs... she mothered me. She's my mom. The woman who gave birth to me is a person I don't even know. I've been estranged from her for the majority of my life. There are reasons for this, but suffice it to say, she had much greater interest in other things than in being a mom to my brother and me, and she had emotionally abandoned us long before my dad gathered up me, my brother, and our few belongings to leave her forever.

Now, I'm not sad at all about the way things turned out, because the path my life followed from that point gave me a mom, a sister, and a little brother that I otherwise would never have had. The blessings that I've received in my life are literally countless and I praise God always for the life he has given me.

So while there is no sadness or regret in the separation from my biological mother, there is still mystery. When I go to the doctor and they ask questions about my family's medical history, I can only provide information for one side. I wonder if she ever had other children, and I might have siblings out there somewhere. I have questions.

Any questions that my dad could answer have already been asked. Some things, however, will always left to mystery. At least I have the luxury of some answers. Imagine not having any answers about one of your biological parents. Imagine only knowing two or three simple facts. Imagine not even knowing the name of the person without whom you would not be alive.

This documentary gives a look into the hearts of people who were conceived through a sperm donor. They have questions. They have sadness. They have a longing for connection. Their very lives are shrouded in so much mystery. These are people who are products; the results of science, not sex. It's a complex issue wrought with so much emotion. It's easy to sympathize with the woman longing for a child, but how many people in this baby-making industry take the time to ponder the vast emotional repercussions their actions will have on the child - the PERSON - they are manufacturing?

Like I said, I'm by no means an expert on this, but I am a human with a heart who feels for these people as I watch this trailer:

4 comments:

  1. I think most of those scientists are probably concentrating on bringing a child who is desperately wanted into a family that loves them. While I don't pretend to know anything about not knowing my background (there's no uncertainty there), I do know about what it's like to know that you wouldn't exist without fertility drugs. I'm grateful that I had a chance and that my parents got the chance to raise a biological child. I don't feel like my birth was any less [something - wonderful, divine, whatever term someone wants to use] because it required science's assistance. Then again, I'm a believer in nurture rather than nature. Apart from medical issues (which are super important - and should be in a file from the sperm bank), I'm not so certain that the person who contributed half your DNA is as important as the person who told you what is right and what is wrong.

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  2. I, like you, truly do believe in the importance on nurture vs. nature. And I think it is a wonderful thing that there are advances in science to help couples with fertility issues. That said, I believe science can and should be used in a way that is ethical at all times, and I just don't think sperm donor babies are wholly ethical. There are frayed edges in the process and damage does get done. The moment in the trailer that gets to me... and a statement I so firmly believe in... is "everyone deserves to know and be known by their father." People do have a right to this, with both parents.

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  3. I think CA Rhoades has said it all for me.

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  4. Something about this trailor bothers me. If what they are trying to do is inform the world of the loss they have for that one parent or questions they deserve to have answered, then I think I would like to watch it. However, it is clearly something more.

    What science has brought some families is hope and there is nothing wrong with that. I think some of these people shouldn't be so upset with how they were brought into this world but just that they were. They are living, they are given the chance to make wonders and do good on this earth. I do think that it has gotten out of hand like most things concerning science and how far we can push the envelope. Having 25+ half brothers and sisters is completely ridiculous but it's important to focus on the positives of ones life.

    Why exploit the incredible things science has done for thousands of families. Families that cannot procreate, gay & lesbian couples etc. It does more good than bad. Whatever which way you were brought to this earth we have questions, questions about lost loved ones, why awful things happen to us, why you were abandoned? I consider myself extrememly lucky to have one, two, three people that truly love me. That makes living worth while, not searching for that lost love.

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