Monday, March 02, 2009

Are you my father?

Remember the kid's book, Are You My Mother? where a confused baby bird tries to find its mother? Now, the UK will have even more confused kids asking, "Are you my father?" Reader Chris emailed this Daily Mail story entitled, "Another blow to fatherhood: IVF mothers can name ANYONE as 'father' on birth certificate." Get a load of this:

Family values were under attack again last night with the news that single women having IVF will be able to name anyone they like as their baby's father on the birth certificate.

New regulations mean that a mother could nominate another woman to be her child's 'father'.

The 'father' does not need to be genetically related to the baby, nor be in any sort of romantic relationship with the mother.


Isn't this more than a little confusing? What is the child going to think when he or she grows up and finds out that mom just stuck any old name on his or her birth certificate? I was recently reading an article in the Houston Press on the feelings of children of anonymous sperm donors and found that they already have a host of psychological issues: feelings of loss, not knowing where they came from, feeling robbed of half of their medical history, family and identity. The feelings were summed up by a sperm donor child called Kathleen: "I look in the mirror," she says, "and I don't know whose face is reflected back."

How can these new UK regulations do anything to help kids? At least in the book above, the baby bird happily found its real mother. It sounds like the real life babies in the UK will now have an even harder time finding dad.

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54 Comments:

Blogger DADvocate said...

How can these new UK regulations do anything to help kids?

It's not about the kids. It's about appeasing militant feminists who only care about themselves.

The medical history issue could become very big down the road. All sorts of maladies are hereditary.

1:18 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

I would name my son William Shakespeare.

1:31 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

I'd name my kid's father Prince Charles, sue and get rich!

1:37 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

I'd name my kid's father Prince Charles, sue and get rich!

1:38 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

Sorry 'bout the double post. =(

1:38 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Kevin M said...

I was reading this little article and was struck by a conversation I had with someone a few years ago. A coworker and I were talking about the possible scenarios that the country could endure/engage with regard to terrorism, and I expressed some measure of disbelief. My coworker asked me, "If I told you, on September 10, 2001, that Muslim terrorists could possibly fly passenger jets into the Twin Towers, would you think I was crazy?"

After reading the "name of father" article, I wonder how many people would think I was nuts if I posited that oh, say, in 30 years there would be a nationwide coalition of men arguing for the removal of women's right to vote or enter the workplace, on the grounds that they are disposed toward mental instability and are a threat to themselves, the stability of the family unit and possibly national security.

Crazy?

I can't believe the Orwellian insanity of the above article. Maybe 30 years is a stretch. Maybe 15 is more realistic.

I wonder how many Jihadist Muslims think it's their duty to rescue Western society from its own ridiculous course of action. I wonder if they're taking donations...

1:58 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

I agree with Kevin M. Let's start by repealing the 19th Amendment. Or why not just put all the eggs and sperm in a centrifuge? Babies could be assigned by lottery. Names like "Random" would be popular.

Not having any fathers to love, and having only tenuous connections to Mom, the children would be freed to love the State exclusively.

Winston Smith

2:39 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

It seems to me that the real issue here is the that the law in the UK allows single women and lesbian couples to have IVF babies.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3972376.ece

Once that is allowed, there isn't going to be any father.

Also, the law requires the consent of the person named as the "father" (I think the actual term on the certificate when the "father" is a woman is "second parent"). That person is required to take some sort of counseling, which purports to tell her what she could be getting herself in for. Some people are looking at it as if they were being named as godparents. But, godparents, as far as I know, have no real legally enforceable obligations to their godchildren. It seems likely that, not too long from now, we are going to be seeing cases of "second parents," particularly, lesbian women who have long since ended their relationships with the woman who got the IVF treatment and bore the child, being sued for child support.

In any event, given that single and lesbian women are being given this treatment, and that there is no father (none of which I am saying is a good thing, I don't think it is), it seems to me this business about another women being named as the "father" on the birth certificate is kind of a red herring. Maybe an argument could even be made that, again, once the deed is done, it is better for the child to have two "parents" (even if they both are women) than one, and for there to be a backup parent, should anything happen to the birth mother.

3:21 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Forgetfulmuse said...

What about adoptees in closed adoptions, who don't know who either of their biological parents are and therefore are missing all of their medical history, family and identity? A similar case could be made against adoption but that's a bit of a sacred cow, isn't it. It's probably a lot more difficult to find an anonymous "donor" than parents who have given children up for adoption, I'm curious about what you think though.

I find the selling of sperm and eggs a bit creepy. If I were a man I don't know how much I'd like the idea of there being a load of my offspring out there with different mothers and who I don't know. I can't imagine selling my eggs and not thinking of the resulting child as my child, and as such I'd want to have him or her with me, not being born from an unrelated mother. It's weird, no matter how sympathetic I am to the people who use purchased baby ingredients. I'm also very skeptical about the idea that people "donate" to help others - some might be, but I'd bet the larger number is those who are in it for the money, especially the men (and not because I think women are superior, but because getting sperm into a cup is a lot simpler than harvesting eggs).

At least (one hopes) adoptees weren't conceived for payment, so it's a bit different psychologically. But a lot of them also feel they are 'missing' something, as witnessed by databases of those searching for lost parents or offspring.

3:25 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Forgetfulmuse wrote: "I'm also very skeptical about the idea that people "donate" to help others."

As a person who has three wonderful, healthy children through donated embryos, I think I can give you some more accurate information.

Typical IVF procedures result in left over embryos. Sometimes several! The couple are asked what they wish to do with the embryos, they can be saved in a frozen state, they can be disposed of, and they can be donated to other couples with fertility troubles.

Take it from me, when a doctor tells you that they can give you the child that a couple aches for, and they do that, the wellspring of goodwill and thankfullness is impressive! Wanting to help another couple reach that goal is a gift that perhaps only the recipient of the same gift can appreciate.

Also, at the fertility practice my wife and I used, they do not purchase embryos. They will accept donations, but nothing is paid in monies or considerations.

Finally, to those of us pro life folks who pick our donor embryo children up from school, we know that those embryos were alive. Frozen or not, those little circles in the microscope are my children. For people like us, disposing of the embryos would be murder. Plain, and simple. So people with similar values could not "dispose" of the embryos.

I hope that helps!

Trey

4:02 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

This is going to be a long post so bear with me. I'm also going to go off on a bit of a tangent to start but I will get to my point eventually.

I have composed 3 tenets of life for 2009 and they are as following:

1. There are a percentage of people in this world that would rather have a perfect stranger suffer a horrible and painful death if it means they themselves won't have to suffer a mild hangnail.

2. The US Government no longer represents the needs and wants of the American people.

3. Americans believe young latino and black men are an expendable resource.

The tenets come as a set so I felt obligated to mention all 3. So let's focus on #3.

For years and years black women have been having babies out of wedlock with scarcely any acknowledgment of the baby daddy. Black baby daddy does the insemination deed and floats off into the night on to the next receptacle for his sperm. This has not been a problem for our culture. As a whole, we don't care. In fact, we don't care when this results in the crime rate going through the roof, bodies lying all over the pavement, people robbed and beaten. Young black (and latino) men don't know how to process their anger because baby daddy was long gone before junior came into this world and mommy isn't much help in steering a wayward teen out of harm's way. Our society gets a special kick out of warehousing these kids in prisons for the rest of their life or close to it after they commit a prosecutable crime, never mind the financial cost.

But here we are in 2009, and the landscape is ever-changing. Educated white women see the advantages of not having a father for their kids. Okay, so you don't get a child support check but there aren't any long drawn out expensive courtroom battles either. Baby is all yours and you get to make all the decisions. No weekend shuffling and uncomfortable phone calls with an irate daddy. If you have the resources, you too can make an appointment with your favorite IVF clinic and you have a baby! Does it really matter whose name is on the birth certificate? Does the birth certificate even matter, after all it is just a piece of paper.

Sometime this week it may be completely feasible that women will compromise over 50% of the American workforce, as men are losing their jobs at a really fast rate right now. Women aren't just as educated as men, they are more educated than men in some fields. There is no shame to being a single parent household, if you can afford it you can have it.

Society doesn't have a problem when black and latino women raise their kids on their own, it's even okay for poor white women to live in their own trailer with their kids. Now we have these white uppermiddleclass crew who think that fatherless kids are the cat's meow. There is no law against this. The medical community doesn't have a problem with making a buck off of IVF and are probably encouraging this pay-per-use procedure. The IVF train has left the station and there isn't a thing we can do about this but get prepared and build more prisons, a lot more prisons. We are going to need them.

I have no clue what we are going to do with all these excess men because they don't figure in to this equation at all. Perhaps video games?

4:22 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Cham's right. The value of men has been tremendously denigrtated. Now it's blacks and latinos, soon it will be all.

After that, neither parent will matter making the way for child farms or child factories a la "Brave New World." I'll leave it up to Kevin M. to predict when.

4:34 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Forgetfulmuse said...

Thanks Trey, I hadn't thought of the left over embryos from IVF treatments. I'd say that's a true donation and closer in nature to adoption. I put quotation marks around "donate" in reference to those who are paid for their biological material since that's really selling, and as such it's harder to tell the motivations of people, hence my feeling that at least a good portion are probably strictly in it for the money. I don't doubt that there are people motivated to help others too, but how many college age males are thinking "gee, I'd like to help an infertile couple"?

I can't help feeling that offering young men money for sperm in that way is a bit exploitative, but at the same time, no one's forcing them to do it. I just wonder how well most of them think it through.

4:55 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Forgetfulmuse, I see your point. I can say that I know of absolutely zero young males who think "gee I'g like to help an infertile couple." And that is more a common occurance in the type of fertility approaches that you describe.

It reminds me of Shockley's sperm bank for geniuses!

Trey

4:59 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

Cham sez: "I have no clue what we are going to do with all these excess men because they don't figure in to this equation at all. Perhaps video games?"

------

I'll tell you something, Cham: There are lots and lots and lots of men who have jobs watching all of them.

Sooner or later, when feminists and just plain women have drained chivalry for all they can get, men are just going to say, "go at it", and step back. No more chivalry. Now what are you going to do when those video boys start coming after you, and men no longer want to have anything to do with them OR YOU (as the demanding American woman)?

You don't see that scenario at all, or maybe it is just funny to you. Me, I'm already to the point where I wouldn't lift a finger to help an American woman.

5:51 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

I have no clue what we are going to do with all these excess men because they don't figure in to this equation at all.

In the future, no man will be considered a citizen. Women will only be allowed to keep and raise their daughters.

Boys will become wards of the state. Not all will be allowed to live to maturity. Many will be neutered, and placed into hazardous and dangerous occupations. Their numbers will be dealt with by a scientific process called "attrition".

Sufficiently attractive men will be kept for stud, and taught things that women find pleasing - dance, music, poetry, manners and courtesy.

As the Chinese curse says, we live in interesting time. I'm very glad I don't have children, and I'm particularly glad I don't have any sons. It isn't that I don't want children, but I don't see the near future as being particularly enjoyable, and it is the little ones who feel the brunt of things.

6:18 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Sparks said...

The world just keeps getting more and more bizarre.

I hope that if somebody's name is going to be put on there, that they ensure that there is at least consent being given by the person being named as the father.

Not just the mother deciding to put down any person's name without them even knowing.

Then again, the way things often go with men's rights, it wouldn't surprise me if the authorities were willing to just take her word for it.

7:51 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Forgetfulmuse said...

I just found this via pro-woman pro-life. You can only watch the whole thing from within Canada though.

http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2009/biodad/

8:32 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Obama will fix it.

8:56 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

@br549 said... "Obama will fix it."
_____

It will be on page 4,956 of the next stimulus bill... It will be distributed one day and voted on and passed the next. Some time after it passes, those who voted for it may bother to read it.

11:04 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

I agree, Cham did get that one right. I doubt we'll agree on the cause, but men are being discarded, to society's peril.

What I find interesting is how, when you remove illegitimacy from the population analyzed, that the disparity between the black and white incarceration rate disappears. So it seems that the root problem is the breakdown of the black family (as cham said, the black man is expendable).

11:09 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Brandy said...

What exactly is the purpose of a birth certificate? This kind of thing drives me nuts. Your birth certificate should have the names of your actual biological parents - period. Yes, somehow we have to accommodate women who don't know who their "baby-daddy" is, babies conceived by sperm donation, and closed adoptions. But the answer isn't to let them choose any random person, male or female. This is almost as bad as the practice of letting adults go back and change their sex on their birth certificates. Seriously, what is the point of the document anymore if you can put whatever you want on it?

7:22 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

The point of a birth certificate is that there was a birth. The birth certificate has the date and the location on it which is the important information. This way one can use it to prove they exist, get a social security card, get a drivers license and a passport. Arnold Schwarzenegger can't be president because he's got the wrong location on his. I'm still confused as to why it is important to list either the biological mother or father, although it does come in helpful when applying form membership with the DAR or Colonial Dames. I would question any judge who would look to a birth certificate (which can be altered) to determine lineage. That's what DNA labs are for.

7:38 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

The birth certificate, in this case, lists the women who bore the baby (the birth mother). It does not list the woman whose fertilized egg was placed in her womb, nor the man who provided the sperm that fertilized that egg. So, the birth certificate is useless for establishing any medical information based on genetic predispositions and the like. This would be no different in a case in which a fertilized egg was placed in the womb of a married woman. Neither her, nor her husband, are the genetic parents.

The certificate indicates just which woman in the world bore the child (same as it does in cases without IVF), and where and when. All of which information is important for determining who is responsible for the child, his citizenship status, and his age (which relates to his eligibility for public school, and so forth).

The named "second parent," along with the birth mother, probably will be seen as legally (including financially) responsible for the child. The "second parent" may also have rights to go along with that responsiblity, such as visitation rights. And, contrary to what many are saying here, the person named as the "second parent" must consent to that status, and must attend counseling spelling out what her rights and responsibilities might be before consenting. So, the birth mother cannot just name a prominent or random person as the "second parent."

Again, I don't think that single women or lesbian couples should be given IVF treatment. But, if they are, and if there is no man in the picture to act as "father" anyway, I don't see how naming another woman as "second parent" actually does any harm. A child is probably better off (financially and emotionally) with two parents than with one, even if they are both women, and someone stands ready to take over as the primary parent if the birth mother becomes incapacitated or dies.

10:20 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger jayemarr said...

Actually the first thing that comes to mind is: what's to stop some random loon from naming me as the "father" of her child? Am I under some legal obligation to challenge it if she does so? Can I be sued for support later?

No good can come of this.

10:33 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger paul a'barge said...

We all have the same father ... G-d. When you look in the mirror and question your identity, that is what you should tell yourself.

These identity crises are not driven by people's lack of biological identity. These are spiritual crises. In their hearts, these folks are missing G-d.

Ask Jesus for his help and you will find your father.

10:36 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger JAL said...

Hey Trey -- I am really touched by what you did and the women (woman?) who donated their (her) embryos.

Made the resulting births even more a mystery and surprise, I would guess!

(Many of us wish Nadya Suleman had made a similar wise and loving choice.)

May your life be further blessed for you and your kids.

10:50 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Cham,

I can say that your "For years and years" paragraph is one of the wierdest things I have ever read. Nobody cares about the crime rate???? What planet are you living on?

10:51 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger JAL said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:53 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Korla said...

I am your father...

                                                _--~~|  |~~--_
                                              /          |  |      \  \
                                            |            |            |  |
                                          |              |  |              |
                                          |              |                  |
                                        /__----_  |  |  _----__\
                                      |/_-~~~-_\|  |/_-~~~-_\|
                                      //        #    \===/        #    \\
                                    //                |===|                \\
                                  /  |________|/~\|________|  \
                                /    \                |___|                /    \
                              /      ^\            /|  |  |\            /^      \
                            /          ^\      /|  |  |  |  |\      /^          \
                          /              ^\/|  |  |  |  |  |  |\/^              \
                        <                    O|_|_|_|_|_|_|O                    >
                          ~\                \      -------      /                /~
                              ~\              ~\  \_____/  /~              /~
                                  ~\              ^-_____-^              /~
                      _________>                                      <__________
/~~~~~~~~~~                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~\

10:56 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Dr, Ellen said...

I wonder how many people will choose to name Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or other Rich and Famous. Probably doesn't mean anything, but it'll be an entry into the great lottery of life.

11:00 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger JAL said...

Sorry for those who got a partial comment. I am working in an odd location and smacked the wrong key on my precariously situated laptop. Ahhem.

Back on topic -- yeah, adopted kids often have issues as they sort out their "identity." (Oops. Plural and singular there.)

Some would say since this is all constructed anyway, that the culture is guilty for putting the burden on people for knowing who they "are." BS

There is a reason Alex Haley or whoever went looking backward. It may be evolutionary or it may be spiritual (Paul's comment.) But there is a sense of tying down some things about ourselves that is important. Even if mom or dad was a "loser."

It becomes a problem for some people more than others obviously, because we are different, and within certain parameters we process and integrate information and experiences differently.

I would hope that these moms are informed that for the children it would be important to know that they are IVF babies. Especially if the "named father" does not function as a father. I can forsee a bunch of guys (gals??) so far removed from their children that it does become a problem.

The upside is it will be a growth industry for the continuing education businesses in pyschology, social work, and counseling, right Dr. Helen?

("Working with Identity Issues in IVF Population" .6 CEUs)

11:09 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger fdcol63 said...

uncle ken, quoting Orwell above, had it right:

"Not having any fathers to love, and having only tenuous connections to Mom, the children would be freed to love the State exclusively."

Winston Smith


The Left is determined to destroy the family unit so that the individual's primary fidelity and obligation belongs to the State .... which Leftists will control.

11:19 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

If people cared about the crime rate they'd do something about it. Other than handing out longer and longer prison sentences for just about every crime imaginable I don't see anything changing. The politicians, the lawyers, the media and the entire judicial system blabbers on nonstop about how bad the crime rate but they have no plans to do anything else other than what they've been doing. I judge people on their actions not their words, the actions in this case speak for themselves. Nobody is looking at the root cause of the reasons why people turn to crime. Wipe out that causes and you will wipe out crime. Those that break the law clearly aren't worried about what kind of prison sentence they are going to receive if caught and prosecuted.

11:20 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Forgetfulmuse said...

fdcol63, while that sounds like a fun paranoid fantasy, I think any element who would like that to happen didn't bank on human nature. I totally get where you're coming from, I just don't see it as something that can literally happen to the extent it does in fiction, no matter how much people engineer others. I think you'll find even a lot of leftists would find a "Brave New World" scenario repugnant.

11:32 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger fdcol63 said...

Forgetfulmuse,

I agree with your point that human nature will make such an effort unsustainable in the long term.

However, I think Orwell's point was not so much that such a system would last forever, but that people would allow such a thing to exist at all.

We've actually seen such "paranoid fantasies" in the real world:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensborn

12:00 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

fdcol63: "while that sounds like a fun paranoid fantasy, I think any element who would like that to happen didn't bank on human nature. I totally get where you're coming from, I just don't see it as something that can literally happen to the extent it does in fiction, no matter how much people engineer others. I think you'll find even a lot of leftists would find a "Brave New World" scenario repugnant"

"Barack Obama says he believes in universal preschool and if he's elected president he'll pump "billions of dollars into early childhood education." Universal preschool is now second only to universal health care on the liberal policy wish list" - WSJ

"Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year" - Obama-Biden website

1:05 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

I must add this:

http://mises.org/books/TRTS/

1:08 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Mark Lyndon said...

It's not just going to be "any old name" on the birth certificate, as the named person will be accepting the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. That's how it helps children.

The new rules are primarily designed to help families with lesbian parents. Heterosexual couples who use donor insemination to have their children have always been able to name themselves as the parents, and now lesbian couples will be able to do the same. Under the current rules, lesbian couples have to go through a lengthy and expensive process to adopt their own children.

1:52 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

I'm intrigued, Mark, how is this going to work? Some lady goes into labor and is rushed to the hospital where she gives a birth to a beautiful new baby. Then what? The hospitals will have some sort of court where people are ushered before some sort of civil servant or judge, show 2 forms of picture ID, asked to place their right hand on their favorite religious tome and agree to take on the rights and responsibilities, including finance and care, of the new child. Then the hospital will be able to print out a birth certificate.

Na, it isn't ever going to be that complicated.

2:27 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

Cham,

I'm not sure what your take is, but, yeah it could get complicated. Here is an faq pdf put out by the UK government agency involved. . .

http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/Item_6_-_Annex_E.pdf

I don't have the heart to go through it all. But, the bottom line is that both the birth mother and the "second parent" have to consent to the entire arrangement. There is some difference in procedure if the lesbian couple is a legally recognized civil union or not. And, yes, in cases of dispute, the Registry of Births is empowered to sort out the evidence.

The idea, though, is that everything is supposed to be done beforehand. The consent forms of the the birth mother and the second parent to the naming of that second parent. And the counseling of the second parent as to what her responsibilities to the child are. If that is all done, and done right, then, at birth, the whole procedure can be as pro forma as filling out a birth certificate in the typical case.

2:45 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

In the US that would be a custody agreement, and would have nothing to do with the birth certificate.

Let me tell you a story. A friend of mine had a baby 12 years ago. The baby had a birth certificate that listed my friend as the mother and her boyfriend at the time the father. My friend enjoyed copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. One day she and boyfriend decided to take a trip to the ocean and she left her baby with boyfriend's mother. After several days elapsed, my friend rolled back into town, well beyond the day she was due to be back, and went to retrieve her baby.

Boyfriend's mother refused to give the baby back. So my friend went running to the police with the birth certificate of the child. My friend learned real fast that if there is no custody agreement in place anyone can take custody of a child. Then it becomes up to the courts after the fact on who gets to take care of the kid.

After 10 years of paying child support to boyfriend's mother, my friend is still only allowed daytime visitation with her own kid. For years she had to submit to weekly drug testing, I think that is over now. You can write whatever you want on a birth certificate.

3:28 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Mark Lyndon said...

I don't know know how it works in the USA, but in the UK and Australia, the birth certificate may not be issued until weeks after the birth. One of my cousins in Australia was threatened with a fine after the birth of his first son, because he went over the six week(!) time limit. I just looked it up, and you get 42 days to register a birth in England and Wales.

3:37 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Mark Lyndon said...

I read ruddyturnstone's link, and it looks like some paperwork needs to be done before the fertility treatment.

5:03 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Ribby said...

As a mother of two daughters adopted at birth, I can certainly understand the frustration that is being expressed here. For many years adoption was a "family secret" and children weren't told of their adoption. We now know that secrecy is not in the best interest of the child, the birthparents or the adoptive parents. Our family has a semi-open adoption and we share letters and pictures with our daughters birthmothers. We know the full identity of our daughters ‘ birthfamilies and we have social/family/medical histories on them. If we needed to get in touch with them, we know how to do it. Our daughters are very young now, but we are already talking to them about adoption and about their birthfamilies through pictures and age appropriate language. Children deserve honesty about how their family was formed and they deserve honesty of their birthfamilies. Our children's original birth certificates were sealed upon the finalization of their adoption and their curent birth certificates contain me and my husband's names as their parents. By law, I don’t think my daughters are allowed access to their original birthcertificates, but I think when they turn 18 they should be allowed to have them. Honestly, I think it is a bit silly that we're on the birth certificate (since we didn’t give “birth”), but it does make it easier when we are filling out forms, social security numbers ... Don’t get me wrong, we are our daughters parents, but we know they also have other birthparents out there. We do not forget about them. I think, in time, the world of IVF and donor sperm/eggs will start to adapt to these issues much like the adoption world has, and closed donor ivf will be a thing of the past.

5:44 PM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Mark Lyndon said...

"It sounds like the real life babies in the UK will now have an even harder time finding dad."

If you're genuinely concerned about donor-conceived people being able to find their genetic parents, you could push for the USA to end anonymous gamete donation. Most children conceived with donor sperm in the USA will never be able to find out who their donor is.

In the UK though, "anonymous" sperm donation has been ended. All donor-conceived people conceived after 2006 have the right to know who their donor is. Other countries to have ended anonymous sperm donation include the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, & three states in Australia.

5:11 AM, March 04, 2009  
Blogger Kevin M said...

I don't know if this is off-topic or just plain obtuse, but here goes:

When I was a little kid, I used to ask my parents a lot of questions. They tired of this routine quickly and told me to look up things in a book or otherwise to just stop being a pest. So I wondered about a lot of stuff to little avail.

I wonder what little kids wonder about today. And if they ever get answers, I wonder who's answering them.

I wonder what little girls think when they watch TV and see all the stupid, lazy and useless dads. I wonder what they think when they see all the frustrated, angry and critical moms who yell and moan at their useless dolts that the kids call "Dad."

I wonder what little girls think when they hear of things called "Sperm Banks" and "Test Tube babies" and all the other wonderful stuff we have. And I wonder what they think when they look at the male of their species. If these little girls wonder, "What on earth are you good for, anyway?" I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised.

Explains a lot, in my experience.

On another topic, I found Cham's 3 points of modern society chillingly true, particularly #1. It is absolutely disturbing how self-centered and convenience-oriented our society is.

8:13 AM, March 04, 2009  
Blogger Kathleen R. LaBounty - KathleenRuby@aol.com said...

I wanted to add a comment, as I'm the woman (Kathleen) mentioned in this article. In February I wrote an entry in my blog about the similarities between the children's book Are You My Mother? and my own journey for my anonymous sperm donor. For those interested in reading it, you may visit my site at http://childofastranger.blogspot.com/ -Kathleen LaBounty

9:22 PM, March 05, 2009  
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10:54 PM, March 14, 2009  
Blogger peter.w said...

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10:34 AM, May 01, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

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4:06 AM, June 08, 2009  

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