A further clarification regarding donor children, and the research of the Institute for American Values, after Jessica left a comment at the previous blog: Manless Moms Equal Fatherless Children. (It was too long to be merely a comment.)
We know that the ideal two-parent family is impossible for everyone; we also believe that women today ought to be given all the help they can to be able to raise their children, with or without fathers. We do not encourage adoption except in extreme cases, and then never with sealed records. We at First Mother Forum believe that whenever possible children should full knowledge of who each parent is. This is an unalienable, unassailable right, and to deny it to anyone is to commit a grave moral failing.
But families break up, men don't marry the women they impregnate, and women often do not want to marry or live with the men whose babies they carry. One of my granddaughters did not see her own father after she was two years old--so she has no memory of him--and then he died a couple of years ago, when she was seventeen. That's not a pretty story, but it is her story, her life.
But she, just as the children of the other situations I mentioned, knows who half of her DNA and cultural heritage comes from. She was not denied a full and complete identity, as are most donor children, and adopted people. We know that is changing somewhat but not with any urgency despite the evidence; children today are still being adopted within the United States in closed, sealed adoptions, and the movement to change the laws has been mired in archaic attitudes and uninformed legislators. That is one issue. But here we are focusing on another.
It's the test-tube creation of children who will grow up without knowledge of their fathers, or mothers, in the case of purchased eggs, that we do not condone. I have no problem with single mothers per se; it's the fad to create children with whatever means possible--eggs from the U.S., or the Netherlands, wombs in India, high-priced eggs here at home from Ivy-league coeds, anonymous sperm donors, sold or donated embryos. I was watching a silly show on Bravo about a designer the other day, Flipping Out, and the unpleasant "star" of this icky reality show wanted to buy a friend's unused embryos--two for $5,000. Or $10,000 for a child. I could hardly believe how insensitive and crass he was about making the offer; he was quite aggressive about it. I believe in this new series starting he has a child; I don't know if I can bear to find out where or how he got him or her. I internally cringe when I hear that the daughter of someone I know is out shopping for anonymous sperm, and no one thinks it is unusual. Or creepy.
It is this blase attitude about throw-away origins today that leads us as a people to create a class of individuals who will never know what biological ties to the human race they have, and we decry that this is becoming an acceptable fad today. We are doing this without knowledge of what this means to the people so created in laboratories, and without any intention of giving them the basic biological information that the rest of the world has. The people so created are taking part in some grand eugenics experiment without their consent.
Your daughter, adopted from China, almost certainly is healthier being raised by you in a culture not of her birth, and by a single mother, than languishing in a Chinese orphanage and then released without ties to anyone. Some who comment here will not agree with me, but that is what I believe. Being a single parent must be a difficult and sometimes lonely road, despite its rewards. And yes, while we are aware of abuses in the system in China, I have to assume that the one-child per family led to the wholesale abandonment of girl infants, many who ended up in North America.
There are very likely positions of the Institute for American Values that we do not agree with. I said in a previous blog (When Daddy's Name is Donor...) that the name alone is worrisome because I can only imagine other positions it comes with. So be it. But as far I know, no one else is doing this kind of research; for that reason alone, it is worth reporting as it bears on the health and happiness of donor children and adopted people, and as such, needs to be publicized as the culture condones it, with comedies such as The Switch and The Kids Are All Right.
The book above, Lethal Secrets, is an earnest, thoughtful treatment of the topic. If anyone else has new research on this critical issue, I'd love to know about it.--lorraine