End of Anonymity: Is just knowing a name enough? (Re: Michael Jackson's children)
I cannot believe that Michael Jackson is dead. I'm still in shock. While he was alive there has been little media coverage on his children. They were always covered by either masks or veils and the public was left to wonder, do they look like their father? Who is their mother?
My parents used an anonymous 'sperm donor' to conceive me back in the mid 1960's and I've been involved in advocating for the identity rights of those conceived from the same method of conception as myself for the past 5-6 years. I and others, want to see an end to anonymous 'sperm/egg donations/vending' and 'traditional surrogacy'.
Since Michael Jackson's passing, if you Google search "sperm donor" you will find numerous articles on the nature of his children's conception. Did Michael Jackson use a 'sperm donor' and/or 'egg donor' and/or 'surrogate' to bring his children into the world?
I haven't seen pictures of his children until just recently and I have to say, they don't look much like their dad. Regardless, Michael Jackson was their dad. No one is perfect and I haven't ever spoken with his children but I'd bet that they adored him regardless of their biological/non- biological relationship with him. No doubt, they are in profound mourning and will require years to come to full (if ever) acceptance of their loss.
I do wonder though if they feel as confused over their 'donor/surrogate' conception as I and many other 'donor' conceived feel? Do they wonder who their genetic father/ mother/ grandparents/ siblings/ cousins/ ancestry/ heritage are? Do they feel a loss?
Now that their dad is gone, will they feel more open to explore what their 'donor' conception/surrogac y means to them? Will it take having children of their own to fully explore their feelings and how it relates to their own children to search for more information?
I advocate for the end of anonymity in relation to 'sperm/egg' donation/vending and surrogacy, but I also do not think that just knowing a name is enough. I believe everyone does have a responsibility for their own sperm/egg when combined to create a new (out of the womb) life (including 'sperm/egg donors' and 'surrogates' ) that includes more than just identity disclosure â€" and nothing less than open doors and open hearts.
Michael Jackson's children are not abandoned by any means but are they genetic orphans? I hope not. No doubt, there are many people willing to be involved and supportive in their lives but is that enough? I hope and pray that their genetic father/mother/ grandparents and extended family have also kept their doors wide open to these children. Love might make a family but we can't just write off genetics and the importance of genetic/biological family. They all matter.
Saturday, June 27, 2009