Thursday, August 31, 2006

Father's Day?

For once it would be nice to be able to celebrate this day with my genetic father.

Father's Day is a lovely day if you know who your father is.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What does it mean to be "Donated"?

What does it mean to be "Donated"?

And more specifically how does this term affect how we view ourselves and the
practice of donating gametes?

I have heard numerous donors (both egg and sperm) equate it to donating blood. I find this quite disturbing in that a human life, a person who carries this person's blood and genes into the next generation can just be "donated" away. Providing eggs and sperm is so dissimilar to donating blood that these donors must have a need to convince themselves of this arguement so that they can reconcile the concept that a child who is no different from any of their other children from a biological origin perspective can be given away without another thought. It is also quite demeaning that we as human beings are subject to the conceptualisation of being equated to consumable body parts such as blood.

I also feel like these donations are being viewed as a charitable cause. We are not a charitable donation that can just be given away to some "needy" person/couple, like the taxable monetary gift that many people make that also makes them feel good about themselves as caring human beings. There are strings attached and when these strings get severed (the biological connections), we don't function psychologically as well anymore.

A donation is a gift, it is a giving away. We have been given away by one or more of our biological parents. To be not wanted by ones' flesh and blood, our kin, and given away is painfull. I'm scarred.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The mirror in their eyes.

Every time I look into the eyes of my children I see the reflection of myself. Not literally, but as a reflection of my genes (looks), behaviour and personality. In each of them there is some of me. Half of who they are comes directly from who I am.

Sometimes a child will look more like one parent over the other, or may act more like one parent, or may be a more even mix of the two. For my own two children they have both definately received a lot of my features (poor souls). They both look remarkably similar to each other at the same age and to myself at that time. From this it would be easy to draw a conclusion that I would look not too dissimilar to my donor, as while I do have certain features from my mother there are a lot of differences acquired from my donor which would appear to have been passed down to my own children. I am able to draw some comfort from this assumption, yet it really does not help in anyway in dealing with the issues I have with identity, heritage and genetic connections. While my son is too young to draw behavioural cues from, my wife often says "she is so your daughter" when referring to something my daughter has done or said. This gives me great joy in the connection that we both have but it also provides me with great sorrow because I am unable to see the same thing between myself and my genetic father quite simply because I do not know him. The reflection of my donor in me is hidden by this severed connection, unlike the reflection of myself in my daughter.

I have a reflection into the future but no reflection into the past.