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Monday, November 05, 2007

Selfish Parenting???

I can’t help but think that when I read about the reasons why people choose to keep a child’s conception secret that they are being selfish. The secret is there purely to serve their own interests and are an attempt to avoid any conflict or strain while implementing a false façade of a traditional nuclear family.

After spending a relatively short period of time parenting myself, I have come to the conclusion that the whole concept of parenting is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the parent themselves and everything to do with the child. The needs and welfare of the child are paramount and those of the parent are subservient or even non-existent. This is the way it should be and is the quintessential model of true parental love. Yet it appears that in many ways that under donor conception practices and typically those keeping “the secret” that this model is turned upside down and that the needs of the parent is now above those of the child. Perhaps the intense drive to procreate and the emotional rollercoaster of infertility un-balances the scales and resets a parent’s ability to determine whose needs are paramount as the focus has been on their need for so long.

Deception of ones origin is never in the best interests of the child. The damage that can be done down the track when “the secret” is inadvertently or accidentally revealed may never be undone. Yet is just keeping “the secret the only part of selfish parenting”?

The question then would follow is: “Are people that choose to have a child via donor conception being selfish because of the possible implications for that child?”

Is the deprivation of a child’s identity, heritage and kinship with their genetic father/mother, siblings etc ever in the best interests of the child? By putting the desire to “have” a child above the welfare of the child we are once again tipping the scales towards selfish parenting. After all you never “have” a child, they are not objects to be owned, as parents we are merely guardians of another soul.

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