Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 'donor/traditional surrogate conceived' HAVE been relinquished by a birth parent

I wanted to bring attention to a HIGHLY debatable comment made in the study ("Experiences of offspring searching for and contacting their donor siblings and donor" RBM Online, 18 April 2010 regarding the dissimilarities between adoption and 'donor conception'.

Quote of reference:

"Whilst some have argued that the adoption experience may shed light on donor-conceived individuals' experiences of searching, it is important to bear in mind that there are notable differences between the two groups.

Donor-conceived individuals are usually genetically related to one of their parents and have not been relinquished by a birth parent. Also, with adoption, parents are expected and encouraged to be honest and open with their child about his/her origins. This is not the case with donor conception. Whilst there is now greater openness within donor-conceived families, many parents, particularly those from families headed by heterosexual couples, still choose to keep this information secret from the child. Donor-conceived individuals are thus more likely to learn of their origins at a later age than adopted individuals, which could have important implications for their experiences of searching for their genetic relations."

Specific quote of contention: "...have not been relinquished by a birth parent."

This is just not true.

'Donors/gamete sellers/traditional surrogates' ARE genetic fathers/mothers who have INTENTIONALLY given away/sold their gametes to INTENTIONALLY create a child (children) that in most cases they:

A) INTENTIONALLY do not want to parent
B) INTENTIONALLY do not want to take responsibility for
C) INTENTIONALLY do not want to acknowledge as their offspring (their genetic children)

This IS INTENTIONAL (pre-conception) relinquishment by a birth parent. Which, personally, I think is MUCH more unethical than the non-intentional creation of a child that is relinquished for the child's best interests through adoption.

2 Responses to "The 'donor/traditional surrogate conceived' HAVE been relinquished by a birth parent"

Hanen (visit their site)

Interesting post - I hadn't thought of gamete donation from this perspective before, but I can see how a donor giving away their gametes for donation could feel like relinquishment for a donor-conceived child.

From the donor / relinquishing mother's point of view, I think it is really hard to compare three very different experiences: donating sperm - which tends to be a relatively simple non-surgical procedure producing millions of sperm at a time, donating eggs - usually requiring weeks of injections followed by day surgery for a relatively small number of eggs, and giving birth to and relinquishing a baby which you have cared for in your belly for 9 months.

To me, it is only in the third one that the person has had a chance a) to know that a particular child has been conceived (rather than just a hypothetical child) and b) to form a relationship with that particular child. I'd consider pregnancy to be a form of social parenting, which creates emotional bonds - which must then be severed for an adoption to happen - potentially causing serious harm to both the mother and baby.

But I can see how donor-conceived children could feel abandoned or relinquished by a donor, even where there was no parenting relationship with that person - only a genetic link. Would this sense of relinquishment be different, do you think, if the child had access to information about the donor, or if their donor was a part of their life - eg as a family friend?

Anonymous (visit their site)

The decision to relinquish non-intentionally created children for adoption is frequently SAID to be in the child's best interests, but quite often isn't. I think we adoptees share a lot with you in terms of being victims of unethical practices.