The gist: titled "My Father Was An Anonymous Sperm Donor", the article is written by a young lady who is at Gaulledet University. She describes--rather clearly, in my opinion--what it was like for her growing up with absolutely no connection to her father. No stories. No memories. No family history. Nothing. The commentary...well, it runs the gamut, from folks saying, "Wow! Great article, Katrina!" to professionals (!!) saying, "My goodness, I'd never thought of that!" to other sperm donor offspring saying, "I certainly never felt like that!" (with the implication--or outright accusation--that Katrina was WRONG for feeling the way she felt) to people using her story to condemn lesbian and gay marriage, unmarried women having children, abortion, liberals, conservatives, and The Decline And Fall Of The Western World.
Read 'em, then come back.
It's interesting to see the point of view of The Man On The Street. I read the article and said to myself, "Hunh. Well-written, somewhat affecting. Nice to see another donor offspring writing this up."
But it seems that the whole concept of donor offspring--and adoptees--having (gasp!) feelings for themselves about the way they came into the world and/or came into their families is...somewhat upsetting to the outside world.
Kozmik All forbid that an adoptee should want to find his or her biological family. Why, that automatically means that the adoptee is: bitter, ungrateful, raised by bad parents, unloving, unloved, angry, rejecting his or her "real" family, immature, psychologically damaged in some way, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I read the commentary from the "outside world" and am flummoxed.
This child we were blessed to be able to raise is a full and complete human being on her own. She didn't spring, fully formed, from Zeus's forehead. We didn't find her in a cabbage patch. She wasn't delivered by the stork.
She has lots of my mannerisms. She has lots of OmegaDad's mannerisms. But there's yet another part of her that is always endlessly new and unfamiliar, which comes from her genetic makeup.
It will not be a commentary on my parenting or OmegaDad's parenting if she decides, at a later age, that she wants to try to find her biological parents. It won't mean she hates us. It won't mean she's immature or bitter or damaged or rejecting. To be fair, I have to say it could mean those things. But I've read enough commentary from adult adoptees and adult donor offspring to know that there's a very natural and very deep urge for people to want to know where they come from, what their roots are.
I grew up knowing where the notch in the back of my head came from--my dad had it, my brothers both had it, some cousins on that side of the family have it, too. I know I look almost exactly like my Aunt. I know that my mother's friends all said I looked like her, while my father's friends all said I looked like him. I know that the practical, pragmatic part of my personality echoes many women on my mother's side. I know that depression and diabetes run in my father's family. I know that uterine cancer runs on my mother's side. These are all pieces of my background that I grew up knowing...it's all part of my "place" in the world.
Love is not tied to biology--most people find someone (or multiple someones) to love in their lives who are not tied to them in any way biologically. You can love a child wildly and deeply even though you have no "blood ties".
But I had the luxury of knowing that "place" in the world, that set of physical, emotional, biological traits that are so comfortable they fit like an old shoe. Why should having my dotter want to find someone who fills in some of those gaps make me--or others--feel that she doesn't love me? That the natural urge to fill in some missing pieces means that she's bitter or angry?
I dunno. Like I say in the title, I drank the Kool-Aid long ago. None of this is new to me, none of it is shocking. But apparently it is to people who see adoption and donor conception from the outside looking in and are introduced to these concepts for the first time.
Technorati: Adoption issues