' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Who's the IVF Daddy? Opps, I only have a 'second parent'
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Who's the IVF Daddy? Opps, I only have a 'second parent'

Rarely does FirstMother find ourselves in agreement with the religious right, but a law change in England brings us into rare, but direct, connect. As of April 6th, 2009, fathers will no longer be necessary in England, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Read about it at the UK's Sunday Times.

Well, of course some of that male sperm will be necessary, but men--not even "anonymous" men--do not have to be listed on the birth certificate. Single women undergoing fertility treatment will be able to name almost any other adult as their child's second parent on the OriginalBC. The individual so indicated as the "second parent" does not have to be a male or biologically related to the offspring. Now we are all for gay and lesbian rights, but come on! This falls into the theater of the absurd.

The Act excludes "close blood relations" from being so named on the OBC. I suppose this means that a woman's brother or father can not be a "second parent" (this sounds incestuous, just writing it), but what this ridiculous piece of legislation does is subsume the needs of the offspring to the preferences of the biological mother. And that offspring will then have an even harder time finding out whom he or she is descended from, when the day comes that curiosity springs in the heart, and come it will. Sound a bit like any other adoption legislation that was not written with the "best interests" of the child/adult in mind? I can think of one.

Critics claim family values are being further devalued, and though I am not a fan of what "family values" has come to mean, let's have some common sense and consideration of an individual's right to have a family tree--and the ability to find that tree--like the rest of us. For it is a given that this weird birth certificate will make it even harder for some individuals to one day figure out where their DNA came from, unless the "first parents" are willing to spill the beans about the true "second parents," ie, the fathers or sperm donors. This law is no more than a legal codification of a bad practice. It further strips the kids born at IVF clinics of a legal route to learn their complete and true ancestry. It is the legal obfuscation of truth in conception.

We do know--from many sources, including sister blogs--that some women/mothers are not willing to impart this vital information, and even go so far as to hide it. This weird legislation undoubtedly came about at the behest of the gay and lesbian community; we have pretty much stayed out of the fracas over such adoptions, since we at FirstMother are not fans of adoption per se, gay or straight, international or domestic. In fact, since allowing gay adoption further increases the number of all adoptions, we are against it in most cases.

England has some good rules in place--no more than two embryos can be implanted at a time (no octo-moms from implanted zygotes), sperm can not be a salable commodity (which has led to a huge decrease in the availability of anonymous sperm, figure that)--but this one oversteps the boundary of decency and common sense--lorraine

4 comments :

  1. Lorraine says:
    "we at FirstMother are not fans of adoption per se, gay or straight, international or domestic. In fact, since allowing gay adoption further increases the number of all adoptions, we are against it in most cases."

    Ain't it great to be the bedfellows of bigots, albeit for all the "right" reasons? So preventing gays from adopting decreases the total number of adoptions, and that is good? There is a bill being introduced in TN now, see http://www.bastardette.blogspot.com/
    to forbid adoptions by "unmarried couples", in other words gay couples. Are you going to support that? It will decrease the number of adoptions in TN.

    I agree the birth certificate thing is ridiculous, it should be some other form of certificate to give the other parent legal parental rights. There is a need for such a thing, but it is not correct to say the other legal parent had anything to do with the birth. " Father Unknown" still works where that is the case.

    However, you have gone beyond that in saying that you are against "most" gay adoptions. Nothing against gays and lesbians of course, just that their agenda crosses yours at this point, and your desire to abolish adoption trumps theirs to raise kids.

    Moving into the realm of science fiction, I wonder if you ever got your wish, and all adoption were outlawed, if that might not have unexpected consequences. Remember prohibition? Some people thought liquor was always evil, and succeeded in outlawing it. Many people disagreed, and still wanted to drink, and prohibition was the best thing that ever happened to the Mob. Drinking went underground and crooks got rich.

    A thriving, cut-throat and totally unregulated underground trade in babies such as already exists in some countries like Guatemala could be the end result of outlawing all adoption. People still want what they want, and those able to pay may ignore the law to get what they want.

    A better answer would be to regulate adoption much better than it has been, and take excessive fees out of it. But that would still allow for some adoptions, and that is not good enough for real anti-adoptionists.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The primary reason for the decrease in anonymous sperm in the UK is the 2005 (I think) reversal of the law that allowed anonymous donation (of both sperm and eggs).

    Donor conceived children there may now access the identity of their genetic parents when they reach age 18.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mary Anne said:

    "A thriving, cut-throat and totally unregulated underground trade in babies such as already exists in some countries like Guatemala could be the end result of outlawing all adoption. People still want what they want, and those able to pay may ignore the law to get what they want.

    "A better answer would be to regulate adoption much better than it has been, and take excessive fees out of it. But that would still allow for some adoptions, and that is not good enough for real anti-adoptionists."

    Adoption is our of control and basically unregulated now - world wide, including within the United states. Anyone can hang up a shingle and open an adoption business with less regulation than a nail salon.

    Yes, regulations are a MUST.

    In your labeling and stereotyping of people ad organizations as "anti-adoptinists" where do I stand? My position in my book is two-fold:

    Increased regulation and an end to falsified birth certificates. what does that make me? What label do you place on that?

    I think, MaryAnne things are less black and white as you seem to like them or perceive them to be.

    Origins-USA for instance is pro-family preservation and yet not opposed to all same sex adoptions, as you can read at:
    http://tinyurl.com/c99sfp

    ReplyDelete
  4. I understand that the policies of OUSA and individual members may differ, as yours and Jane's do on gay adoption. I don't know if Lorraine is a member of OUSA, but many of her writings indicate she would like to see adoption abolished.

    I also see that you support some form of adoption for older kids in foster care, and that you do favor some very good reforms in your book. But I feel your conclusions go too far.

    OUSA has clearly stated that they want ALL adoption replaced by legal guardianship where there is NO termination of parental rights,ever, including supervised visitation, even for abusive and mentally ill parents. Legal guardianship as approved by OUSA is not adoption, it is more like permanent foster care. It should be an option in some cases, not a mandate for all.

    I don't know why the term "anti-adoption" bothers you so much, as it is an apt description of the stated policies of OUSA. Calling something by a different name does not make it a different thing.

    ReplyDelete

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