In writing these comments, my words are sometimes sharp. However, I mean no disrespect to Eric and his wife, should they read this. I am sure they are doing a great job raising their children, probably better than many other (biological) parents. I have no doubt about their love for their son. However, LOVE is not everything, despite what we hear today. The fact remains that the Schwartzmans intentionally created a child in an unethical way that violated their son's rights. Why did they do it?
"As far as I know and saw the desire of my wife was to bear her own children. The pain I saw during each failed IVF cycle and failed DI cycle was pure. She wanted that biological desire to be pregnant and give birth to a child."
This is one of the common reasons for resorting to reproductive technology. It is, as those reasons tend to be, self-focused. It's natural for a woman to want to experience pregnancy and to want to give birth. It's natural for a husband to want to fulfill that desire in his wife. On the other hand, this is still just a DESIRE. It's not a NEED; she will not die if it is not fulfilled (many other women also do not fulfill this desire). In addition, it is most certainly not a RIGHT, because no one has the RIGHT to another human being. While people do have the right to try, no one has the right to actually HAVE a child. Unfortunately, this strong emotional desire for parenting has now been taken to the level of trumping other people's fundamental rights and needs - like the right of a child to its own biological parents.
"Why was it important for my wife to be related herself? Because she could and needed to be....She wanted to be pregnant because that biological need or desire was overriding and that she / we wanted to raise a family together as one more facet of the life we wanted to gether."
Interesting...again, this glaring contradiction (sometimes called hypocrisy) has been commented on by DI children. It was SO important to the wife to be biologically related to her child, that she ripped out another equally strong biological connection from her new son's life, just to have it herself. Well, what is her son supposed to think of that? Has anyone thought about HIS "needs" for biological connections to his parents? Couldn't his need be just as strong as the wife's? Eric says it accurately here when he says that her desire was "overriding." In effect, it tanked over her own son's needs and rights. Of course, it was easier to do back then because her son didn't even exist. It's easy to eliminate the rights of someone who isn't even born yet.
"Now onto my rationale of half adoption and reconciling that need to the child’s need (and ours) for kinship. I don’t wholly believe kinship need be via blood. I believe kinship can be gained via loving relationships and shared experiences. Where blood kinship can be found it should be celebrated (via my wife’s family, via developing bonds to half siblings perhaps). Where there are no blood kinships social bonds are just as important."It's great that Eric also recognizes his son's need for kinship. Yet he follows that with another contradiction: social bonds can be "just as important" as blood kinships. So then, why the need for biological kinship? So where it CAN be found, biological relationships should be "celebrated", but where they can't, they really aren't more important than social ties? So if everything is equal after all, then why are biological ties worth celebrating?
It's interesting that Eric says, where blood ties "can be found". As if it was just accidental or something out of their control. The fact is, in this case they intentionally created that lack of kinship, they intentionally bore that kinship hole into their son's life.
"My son knows I love him and he returns that love based on our mutual actions. He accepts my role as father as he knows little beyond basic biology and only can truly appreciate that I am there for him when he needs me to be and that I am an integral part of his life as he knows it....Did he and I need the blood kinship to be father and son? No....Do I know that biologicaly I am not their father. Yes."
Saying something does not make it so...You can re-define the words "father" and "son" to include a man who is willing to pretend he is the biological father. He is willing to take on the role that actually belongs to the biological father, and assume that man's right to raise his own biological child. But he cannot really become that man. However much we twist ourselves into a verbal pretzel, the fact will always be that Eric is only a stand-in for the real father of his boy. His son is carrying the genes of a completely different man and belongs in the genealogy of that other man. His real father has, in a sense, "given him up for adoption" by donating his sperm. Eric is in fact the adoptive father to his son.
Eric's blog is a sad one to read. Don't get me wrong. He is very articulate, the blog is well-written, so interesting and good reading. However, the unethical nature of their son's conception just takes my appetite away. Nothing they can do or say can really compensate their son for that. Even if their love reaches the heavens, it can never replace the genetic father.
How many of us would willingly give up our own father? I wonder what Eric's son would have chosen, had he really been given the choice. Imagine that he had been in the room with the Schwartzmans, the doc, and the sperm donor, that he knew them all and was old enough to make rational decisions. Would he have still chosen to sever all ties with his biological father and be raised only by the Schwartzmans? Isn't it possible that he would have loved his biological father and his biological father's family, and that he would NOT have consented to the fate that befell him?
But he did not have that choice. The choice was made for him that his biological father didn't matter, and that social ties to his "social" father were just as good.
Indeed, he will never really have that choice, because for him, his real father will be an unknown. He will never know what he missed out on. But he will have missed out, because there are certain aspects that a "social" father just cannot replace. And there will surely be a hollow place in the son where there will always be a longing.