March 12, 2008

DI children are speaking - are infertile people listening?

DI-conceived Mywfany Walker recently said it very well in an interview for The Australian. She says of the DI-child which does not know its genetic father: "The child does not really know who they are". She also says of her genetic father (whom she eventually found), whose name is Michael:
"I know lots of facts about Michael, but I can't really 'know' him until I have a relationship with him."
Even though eventually she did find her father and now has a relationship with him, she says: "But there was a massive amount of loss there for me," she says. "There were 20 years I could never reclaim, coupled with the realisation that I could never have the genetic relationship with my own dad."

Here is what she says about gamete donation in general:

"Basically my problem is with the ethics of the practice. It doesn't protect the rights of the child. Once people understand the issues they probably wouldn't choose to conceive via donor. And also once the Government is aware of the issues I think they will inevitably either legislate against it or strictly govern its practice, that is, treat it as an adoption....It should be a question of whether it's in the interests of the child," she says. "You can't negate that, you really can't."

March 07, 2008

We deserve to be conceived in love

A wonderful new blog has caught my attention (thanks to a comment here by its owner). Lindsay, a donor-conceived young woman has started a blog called "Confessions of a cryokid," and it is an incredibly worthwhile read. She is open and frank, and goes into detail. For all those infertile adults (and other adults) who are considering using donor gametes in their quest to have a child, this blog shoud be compulsory reading.

Lindsay begins the blog, appropriately, with her own personal story. I was deeply touched by her description of her own conception:
"On May 24th, 1984 in a small town in Northeast Ohio I was conceived. There was no candlelit dinner or even conversation between my parents that day. In fact, they had never even met. My father was probably sitting through a college lecture in Georgia and had no idea that 1,000 miles away his own biological daughter was being conceived in a doctor’s office."
What a wistfully sad description of the most sacred moment in a person's life, their own beginning. It is obvious even from these three first sentences that this lovely young woman feels a regret that her own, biological parents never loved each other, and never even knew each other. Rather than a loving and special act by her parents, her conception was a mere technical procedure performed in the cold, sterile environment of a doctor's office. There is also an obvious sadness that her own biological father did not even register the fact that his own child was coming into being.

The infertility industry may say what it will, but the children speak for themselves. It is clear to me that the human heart longs to be conceived in a special way that, above all, involves love between the biological parents. This is not the first time I have read such descriptions from DI-conceived people. I remember reading something similar from Katrina Clark and from Narelle in Australia. Conception does not necessarily require intentionality by the parents, but where love is missing, where the parents do not even know each other, one feels that the "specialness" of their beginning had been somehow violated. We long to be conceived from love!

The infertility industry tries to twist this fact around. They say, "My child was indeed conceived from love, because I loved this child - even before it was conceived!" Of course, they are fighting straw tigers with this argument. The child is not asking that it be loved before it was even conceived. This does not even make sense - after all, how could the parents really love *that* child, before it was even conceived, before they knew who it would be? More truthfully, they loved the idea of having a child, any child, whoever would come into being through their efforts. The fact is, we desire to be conceived from love between our parents, not love "for us" before we are conceived.