February 20, 2007

Jesus the donor conceived child

For any of you who are believers out there, this could be an interesting thought. Jesus was also, in a sense, a donor conceived child. His biological parents were Mary and God Himself, as he was conceived by God in the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was conceived with the INTENTION of being raised by on earth by Joseph, his "social" father.

Notice that Jesus clearly shows us that "natural" parents matter. He never forgot about his "natural" father, and he called God "Father." We don't know what he called Joseph, and perhaps he also called Joseph "father". However, we do know that Jesus always felt a very deep connection to his real father in Heaven. In fact, this is the connection that mattered most in his life, and it is the connection that brought mankind salvation.


LorMarie said...

I agree that biology matters. I also would not classify Christ as a donor conceived child. This does not mean that donor conception is a sin (it isn't since God is the only one who can give life). It simply means that the circumstances and purpose of Christ's conception are quite different. I personally feel that donor conceived children have a right to know who their bio parents are. As for saying no to Repro Tech, I persoally will not. The idea of going through life without biological children is unthinkable to me. In fact, it would be quite devastating for me. I didn't grow up with my father so I know what fatherlessness is like. I would have to say that childlessness is much worse. I never cried over not having a father but I have cried many times over not having a child. I won't let anyone take my right to have a child from me (and yes, I am single and a born-again christian). At the same time, I believe it is important that my future child have complete access to his/her biological father. Thus the reason why I will only choose open/known donors. It is the least I could do for my future child. I would rather get married, but realistically speaking, I probably won't get married in time enough for me to have a child (fertility issues). Instead of being against Repro Tech, why not join the fight against donor anonymity?

Veronica Thomas said...

Hi Lomar,

Thanks so much for your comment. My blog is fairly new and I admit I am totally thrilled every time I get a sign of human life out there :-)

I'd love to respond to your points in detail. You made a lot of weighty points in your comment. Thus, this reply will be rather long.

First of all, on an unrelated note, it's cool that you're a young single woman in New York. I lived in NYC until about 2 years ago, so I've experienced the tough search for Mr. Right in the "Sex and the City" culture.

Second, I completely understand how you feel as your bio clock is ticking. Your blog profile says you were born in 1973, which is only 3 years older than me. Even with the time it takes to find, date and marry your man, I don't think you have to despair yet of having your own biological children! But perhaps I don't know the whole story.

Now to your point about Jesus. You say that you wouldn't classify him as a donor child because the circumstances an purpose of his conception were quite different. Well, you're right. My theory is only a loose analogy to donor children. The similarity between the two situations is that Jesus had a "real" father who was in heaven, and Joseph was his "social" father. But there are certainly more differences than similarities between the situation of Jesus and donor children. For one thing, yes, Jesus was conceived for a completely different purpose. Also, his conception was completely morally good.

Next you say that donor conception is not a sin (ie. that it is not immoral). Your evidence is that only God can give life. So, if God creates life in donor conception, then he must approve of donor conception. However, when good comes out of evil, it does not mean the evil was good. (If a woman conceives in rape, was the rape morally good?). In fact, God regularly uses evil to bring about good - he "converts" evil to good, you might say. A huge example of this is the crucifixion of Jesus. The murder of an innocent man on a cross (the height of sin and injustice) brought about the salvation of mankind. Even though evil can thus result in good, it is a principle of ethics that good ends never justify evil means. And although rape or donor conception can bring about new human life, this does not mean it is morally good.

I completely relate to your desire for biological children. It would indeed be devastating for most people, including myself, to not be able to have biological children. In fact, I am not sure I ever will either - my husband and I are trying, but who is to say it will work? So far nothing.

However, I don't think that my own pain gives me the right to cause others pain too. Even if I am devastated because of my own loss (due to infertility), that doesn't give me the right to cause others pain (by taking away their own biological parents).

I also don't think it's possible to decide that the pain of infertility is WORSE than the pain of not having a parent. That may be your own experience, however, there are many donor children out there who were extremely affected by their missing father (just read the blogs linked at the left). You say you never cried; but many of these children have cried. I don't think we can say that our pain is so bad that it justifies harming others, or to decide ahead of time that their pain won't be as bad as ours.

It's interesting that you say that nothing can stand in the way of your "right" to have a child. The desire to have a child can become so strong that it indeed feels like a "need" which gets transformed in our minds (and in this rights-obsessed culture) into a "right". However, there is no such thing. Everyone has the right to TRY to reproduce, but that's about it. No domestic or international law has ever recognized a human right to actually HAVE a child. We don't have a "right" to have our own biological child regardless of our own situation or fitness to be a parent and at ANY cost (though many people seem ready to pay this cost). Indeed, we don't have the "right" to own any human being.

In fact, quite the opposite is true. If anything, it is only the children who have a real right in this case - the right to know and be raised by their own biological parents. This is a right that HAS been recognized in various legal instruments, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child. It has been written into UN documents because is a right that is UNIVERSALLY recognized.

In the battle between adult desires and children's needs, it has always been recognized that children's needs come first. This is now no longer the case...today, thanks to repro tech, adults have become empowered to the extent that they can trample all over children's needs. And of course, there is hardly any opposition, since the children aren't even around yet to complain.

I agree with you that donor children have the right to know who their bio parents are. I have already joined the fight against donor anonymity. But this is just a first step. Ultimately, gamete donation has to end altogether, because it is deeply wrong. It's not about US this time. It's about our children.

LorMarie said...

"For one thing, yes, Jesus was conceived for a completely different purpose. Also, his conception was completely morally good."

Repro Tech in and of itself is morally good as well. It is some of the circumstances that can be immoral.

So, if God creates life in donor conception, then he must approve of donor conception. However, when good comes out of evil, it does not mean the evil was good. (If a woman conceives in rape, was the rape morally good?)."

Respectfully, the rape analogy doesn't work well Repro Tech. Rape is crime; sex against ones will. Donor insemination doesn't involve rape or even "willing" sex at all. The woman isn't harmed or violated in the process. If it were a woman forced into Repro Tech, that would a more appropriate analogy to rape. There is nothing immoral, evil or sinful about it. Where the bible is clear, we are clear. If it isn't clear about an issue, don't obsess over it just use your God given common sense. I could give you a whole list of things that people claim are sins with no biblical proof (some of which you probably participate in). I would rather get pregnant this way than go out and commit fornication to get pregnant. I would tell any single woman considering it that it would be more of a Godly and moral thing to do rather than fornication (which a number of single christian women I know have resorted to unfortunately). If evil (as you put it) is resulting in good, what is the good? The conception of donor concieved children? Is that the good you speak of? Then there should be no argument against it since it is a "good."

As for rights, women have the right to end their chilren's lives via abortion. Whether we like it or not, that right will not be taken away. Consequently, I will not let anyone take away my right to give life.

As for which pain is worse, it is usually those who are against DI who claim the pain of donor conceived children is worse. Most of the people making that argument have not experienced infertility in addition to being donor conceived. In my research, I have met plenty of women who grew up fatherless but still decided to use DI as singles. Those of us who grew up fatherless (whether DI or abandonment) and led happy fulfulling lives need to speak out more. Fatherlessness is by no means a dead end. Then again, neither is childfree living. The difference is, we can control whether or not we have children (if we want them). If you are fertile and can provide for a child, then have a child. We can't control fathers who don't want to be involved in their children's lives. On the same note, would you also agree that it would be better that an unmarried woman have an abortion and spare her child the heartache of growing up fatherless? What is the difference (to you) between a child crying for his/her father (as one who wasn't aborted) versus one who was donor conceived? They're both crying aren't they?

"However, I don't think that my own pain gives me the right to cause others pain too. Even if I am devastated because of my own loss (due to infertility), that doesn't give me the right to cause others pain (by taking away their own biological parents)."

My pain gives me the right to fulfill a desire I have had for a very long time. If you do not feel it is your right, it is simple; do not have children (nor adopt). It would be nice if we could meet in 30 years to see who has regrets. Unfortunatly for those who decided against using Repro Tech, it will be too late for them in 30 years. My child(ren) won't suffer any pain since I have found a donor who also believes children have the right to access both biological parents. They won't even have to wait until they reach 18. Because of his gererosity and natural fatherly insticts, my children won't grow up without knowing the bio father. I will say that some SMC's are quite selfish in not giving their children that option.

As for you and your husband not having any children, you most likely will (if there are no fertility problems). I trust that you will not violate your beliefs by using ART or adoption. You will probably live childfree. That is being consistant with what you believe.

Lastly, I was once like you. I have been a born-again christian for 15 years. In the beginning, I felt that all Repro Tech was a sin (I had and still have no Biblical basis to support that claim) and was even judgemental toward women who had children out of wedlock. How things change when you are faced with the same challenges of those you condemn. I wonder if God is allowing me to go through this trial because I was so judgemental. Something about walking a mile in someone else's shoes comes to mind. Again, I know what it is like to grow up fatherless. It isn't nearly as bad as childlessness.

Again, you will likely have your children soon. But if you face the pain of infertility, I hope that you are not met with the same negativity that you are dishing out to others.

Feel free to fight to end Repro Tech. I will see you in the "boxing ring" so to speak.

Disclaimer: don't take boxing ring literally. I mean to say that I am politically active and I plan to join the fight in favor of Repro Tech rights if things get ugly.