The baby-making market

The baby-making market

There are 29 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jan 13, 2008, titled The baby-making market. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Thanks to his low sperm count, Chicago resident Jason and wife Megan were unable to conceive.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

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VHM

Chicago, IL

#1 Jan 13, 2008
"Determine whether you want your donor to be open or anonymous. And decide if you plan to tell your child of his origins."

In other words, determine whether or not you consider your future child to be a person worthy of basic human rights or not.

Anyone who choses to "protect" the adults by setting up an anonymous situation whereby there is no possibility for the child to ever find out who they are or where they came from is morally and ethically wrong.
wondering

United States

#2 Jan 13, 2008
VHM wrote:
Anyone who choses to "protect" the adults by setting up an anonymous situation whereby there is no possibility for the child to ever find out who they are or where they came from is morally and ethically wrong.
Please understand that I am not being either nosy or argumentative. But I can't help but notice you seem very adamant about this subject.

Are you a child of adoption (or of a donor) who hasn't been able to learn about your genetic parent(s)?

I have friends who adopted with now grown children. Some say they regret having told their kids that they were adopted because the kids felt that need to discover "who they were" and the results were sometimes devastating in more ways than one -- both for the adopted child and the adoptive parents.
just me

Riverside, IL

#3 Jan 13, 2008
The thought that one of these donor children might one day meet and fall in love with an unknown sibling is reason enough that these situations as well as adoptions should not be kept secret.
VHM

Chicago, IL

#4 Jan 13, 2008
wondering wrote:
Please understand that I am not being either nosy or argumentative. But I can't help but notice you seem very adamant about this subject.
Are you a child of adoption (or of a donor) who hasn't been able to learn about your genetic parent(s)?
I know my own genetics. But I'm not selfish: I believe in human and civil liberties for all, not just some. Shouldn't everyone have equal rights?
wondering wrote:
I have friends who adopted with now grown children. Some say they regret having told their kids that they were adopted because the kids felt that need to discover "who they were" and the results were sometimes devastating in more ways than one -- both for the adopted child and the adoptive parents.
They believe lying to their children would have been better than the truth? Interesting family values.

If human rights or common decency aren't good enough reasons for them (or you), what about medical issues? What about, as another poster mentioned, dating or marrying a relative?
wondering

United States

#5 Jan 13, 2008
VHM wrote:
They believe lying to their children would have been better than the truth? Interesting family values.
You will notice I did not say they lied to their children. I asked a sincere question, hoping for a sincere answer from someone who had actually been adopted or knew they were a gift at least in part from a donor. I also briefly stated my reason for being curious about this.

Implying that my/their "values" are somehow morally inferior based upon my very sincere question is arrogant, presumptious and condescending.

If you've been there, I would love to hear what you have to say. If you haven't, then your attitude is inappropriately judgemental.

And yes, as other posters pointed out, the idea of brothers and sisters eventually marrying is one good reason for telling your children the truth about their origins IF you, as adoptive parents, even KNOW the truth!!!
VHM

Chicago, IL

#6 Jan 13, 2008
wondering wrote:
You will notice I did not say they lied to their children.
No, you said they regretted telling the truth, implying that if they had it to do again, they wouldn't have told the truth:
wondering wrote:
I have friends who adopted with now grown children. Some say they regret having told their kids that they were adopted
Omitting to tell the truth is the same thing as a lie, and is ethically and morally inferior behavior, especially when it results in the denial of someone's basic human rights.
wondering wrote:
from someone who had actually been adopted or knew they were a gift at least in part from a donor.
If you do not see how arrogant, presumptuous and condescending it is to refer to the conception of a human being as a "gift" from a stranger, then you have not done the necessary research to be the parent of an adopted or donor-conceived child.

Clearly I have done more research on the subject than you. If you are not interested in learning from those who know more than you do, why bother asking questions at all?
Beth

Chicago, IL

#7 Jan 14, 2008
VHM wrote:
<quoted text>
If you do not see how arrogant, presumptuous and condescending it is to refer to the conception of a human being as a "gift" from a stranger, then you have not done the necessary research to be the parent of an adopted or donor-conceived child.
Clearly I have done more research on the subject than you. If you are not interested in learning from those who know more than you do, why bother asking questions at all?
Talk about condescending! Where do you get off? Any child is a gift, no matter if from a donor, adoption or the good Lord above.

As far as your comments above go, I do agree that kids have the right to know who/where they came from. That's why parents have to be extra vigilant when they choose their method of building a family, and to prepare themselves (as the adults) for the inevitable "who are my *real* parents?" question. Hopefully they will do a good enough job of raising their children to allow them to question without causing unnecessary strife.

Parents are who raised you, not necessarily who genetically engineered you.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#8 Jan 14, 2008
Wow, she chooses not to tell the child that she is not the biological mother?? What right does she have to make that decision?? That is very selfish and ignorant..
DrMom

Selinsgrove, PA

#9 Jan 14, 2008
You can also find health information at www.DonorOffspringHealth.com . It is a free site where donor conceived and donors can anonymously share health information.
wondering

United States

#10 Jan 14, 2008
Beth wrote:
<quoted text>
Any child is a gift, no matter if from a donor, adoption or the good Lord above.
Thank you, Beth.

I agree with you. All children are gifts.

I guess though that in fairness, I didn't do a very good job of asking the question I really intended to ask.

I have friends whose adopted children are now adults. Most have asked sought out their birth parents.

Many have had very negative and devastating experiences with this process. I know my friends have NO REGRETS about adopting, but because of their children's experiences with their personal searches, are wondering now about this issue of finding their "original" parents.

It isn't always this wonderful, uplifting experience that everyone thinks/hopes it's going to be.

Even though our friends thought they had prepared both themselves and their children well for this experience, there were many surprises and some of them were emotionally devastating, either for the adopted child or the adoptive parents.

Examples:

How healthy is is to learn you are a product of rape?

How do you deal with learning your parents eventually married and are still together and you have brothers and sisters? You're happy to learn you have siblings, but why did your birth family keep all their other children - just not YOU? And how can you not (no matter how WONDERFUL your adoptive parents are) kind of resent their all being able to grow up together, without you?

Or learning your Mom wants to find you -- because she needs a "loan" and hopes you'll give her a chunk of your college money?

On the other side, how do you feel as adoptive parents when your child, who is your everything, finds the birth mother and just completely switches to her and doesn't speak to you any more?

I'm sure there are situations that are equally difficult for the birth mothers -- especially in those cases where they may have really had (or thought they had) no choice is giving up their child.

I admit I don't know. I am not adopted and I didn't adopt. I also never gave up a child for adoption. That's why I asked the question -- because I am NOT an expert.

The experiences of my friends, though, have made me question how much information is really helpful and good for the child? NOT whether the child should know it is adopted, which unfortunately was how I originally stated the question and apparently led to some misunderstanding.
Tom

Stamford, CT

#11 Jan 14, 2008
Wow, she chooses not to tell the child that she is not the biological mother. Sounds like a Bush Republican.
marie s

Greenwood, IN

#12 Jan 14, 2008
people, if you can't have 'em, adopt. this world's already too full of waaaay too many babies. yeeccch.
Simon Says

Coal City, IL

#13 Jan 14, 2008
Interesting that the conversation regarding this article is the rights of the child. I think the question should be the morality of any type of artificial insemination.

What artificial insemination is leading to is people picking and choosing what traits they want their child to have. Soon, if not happening already as in China, people will be having their child aborted because itÂ’s the wrong sex or it has some genetic defect that they do not want to deal with.

I feel that artificial insemination is just another example of the selfishness that is pervading our world. I wrote that because I wonder how many of these artificially produced children spend their days in day care while mommy and daddy work.

There are enough children in need of a family. We need to lose the selfishness and see what difference we can make in the world.
Concerned

Freeport, Bahamas

#14 Jan 14, 2008
What about the health history of the adopted child? We tend to get what our parents got. Heart disease, specific kinds of cancer, diabetes all can and should be watched if we are aware that they are within the family. Don't deny an adopted person that right. Tell them they are adopted, and get their health history.
Dienne

United States

#15 Jan 14, 2008
* Make sure this is right for you. "This is a forever decision. You are not bringing home a puppy," said Pam Madsen, director of the American Fertility Association. "Be sure that you want to do this, as opposed to surrogacy or adoption. If you aren't sure, you aren't ready."

I don't get this one. How is sperm or egg donation different from surrogacy or adoption? You're not "bringing home a puppy" in any of these cases. Once the decision has been made and the legal papers signed, you can't back out of surrogacy or adoption either. In any of these cases, if you're not sure, you're not ready.

As for the discussion of whether or not to tell the child, if you think the child won't eventually figure it out (or at least figure out that something doesn't add up), you're crazy. Biology is a very strong pull. Studies have been done showing that babies can recognize their mothers by sight, sound and smell within minutes of birth. Now, maybe that's the result of the mother carrying the child for nine months inside her, not necessarily genetics. But studies are now showing that babies have similar (although weaker) abilities to recognize their fathers - seems to me that that can only come from genetics. Of course, even if the child never did figure it out, that doesn't negate his/her right to know - the issue of "where do I come from" is a vital existential issue on so many levels.
Dienne

United States

#16 Jan 14, 2008
marie s wrote:
people, if you can't have 'em, adopt. this world's already too full of waaaay too many babies. yeeccch.
Why "yeecch"? What do you have against babies? Where did you come from? Were you directly created by God like Adam and Eve or something?

And, contrary to popular opinion, the world is not really full of adoptable babies. About the only babies that are relatively "available" are babies with special medical needs. Older children are also available in droves. But healthy infants, of any race or national origin, are hard to come by. There are probably millions of babies in foreign countries who could be potentially adoptable, but most foreign countries have cracked down so hard on international adoption that very few infants are ever adopted. Not to mention the process is extremely expensive (as is domestic adoption) and takes a long time. Often by the time a couple can bring their child home, it's no longer a baby.
Tomas

Mishawaka, IN

#17 Jan 14, 2008
That is ridiculous. You can take any baby and give it to an unrelated parent and within a week it will be imprinted to the person.
Dienne wrote:
* Make sure this is right for you. "This is a forever decision. You are not bringing home a puppy," said Pam Madsen, director of the American Fertility Association. "Be sure that you want to do this, as opposed to surrogacy or adoption. If you aren't sure, you aren't ready."
I don't get this one. How is sperm or egg donation different from surrogacy or adoption? You're not "bringing home a puppy" in any of these cases. Once the decision has been made and the legal papers signed, you can't back out of surrogacy or adoption either. In any of these cases, if you're not sure, you're not ready.
As for the discussion of whether or not to tell the child, if you think the child won't eventually figure it out (or at least figure out that something doesn't add up), you're crazy. Biology is a very strong pull. Studies have been done showing that babies can recognize their mothers by sight, sound and smell within minutes of birth. Now, maybe that's the result of the mother carrying the child for nine months inside her, not necessarily genetics. But studies are now showing that babies have similar (although weaker) abilities to recognize their fathers - seems to me that that can only come from genetics. Of course, even if the child never did figure it out, that doesn't negate his/her right to know - the issue of "where do I come from" is a vital existential issue on so many levels.
Chris

Chicago, IL

#18 Jan 14, 2008
Tomas wrote:
That is ridiculous. You can take any baby and give it to an unrelated parent and within a week it will be imprinted to the person.
No, that is not true. People are not ducks. There is a lot of research on this subject. Dienne's post was right.
Sandy

United States

#20 Jan 14, 2008
I read about that, too. It is an trait that protects the species for social creatures.
Tomas wrote:
That is ridiculous. You can take any baby and give it to an unrelated parent and within a week it will be imprinted to the person.
<quoted text>
huh

United States

#21 Jan 14, 2008
Chris wrote:
No, that is not true. People are not ducks. There is a lot of research on this subject. Dienne's post was right.
So you're saying that a baby does not bond with adoptive parents who've had the child since birth?

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