Monday, December 5, 2011

Parents vs. Children

When children end up in families they are partly or completely unrelated to this invariably seems to end in these parents and children somehow existentially pitted against each other.

The children have at least part of their identity concealed or unacceptable or, at best, neglected and unknown. Even the most benevolent adoptive parents cannot, say, help their adopted kids develop parts of themselves that derive from their genetic heritage.

The children's feelings of loss are not allowed and they are expected to conform to the family as defined by the parents. I see this as potentially problematic in direct proportion to the number of genetically unrelated persons that the child has to refer to as "parents" in that child's life.

On the other side are the parents. They really want to create their perfect family. They really believe they can use other people's children as materials. When those children beg to differ - even other DC adults or adoptees on the Internet - the very essence of all their hopes and dreams seems to be shaken.

This shows there's something fundamentally wrong about selling the idea that you can solve your infertility issues and create your very own perfect family out of other people's kids. You can't.

I'm not necessarily against adoption or even donor insemination in all cases. But I definitely don't believe they should be allowed to keep being touted as ways for infertile couples to become parents. Infertile couples can take care of other people's kids through adoption - and how about trying to restrict this to genuine orphans? But they should not be guaranteed the right to claim these children as their own and it is up to the children to be allowed to define their families according to their own criteria.


  1. (My goodness but you've been busy! Writing your own stories, writing translations, rolling out a new blog that spun off of your original one, and I bet that doesn't even describe the HALF of it when considering your family life away from the computer!!!)

    I don't want to sound like I'm missing the point or undermining everything you're saying in this post or even in this entire blog (because I've been following intently)- but I hope you will appreciate this little idea as a "by the way" observation. Here goes: Reread your entire post here and substitute the idea of just a "narcissistic parent or family" (blood-related) for every mention of the genetically unrelated adoptive parents or family. I went back and did just that. My mind was blown for a good minute!

    That little deviation aside, I want to return focus to your post- what exactly do you mean by your very last sentence? I think I know, but can you elaborate on that idea?

  2. Excellent point, SCW. I've been thinking about that a lot (narcissism and desiring "your own" children) and they are definitely connected. But I believe it is a healthy, or at least ordinary / common / customary level of narcissism that compels ordinary people to want to have their own biological children and to have problems when raising other people's. They don't have to have NPD in order for here to be issues. But when a social father of a donor conceived child has actual NPD, you know there's gonna be trouble!

    I basically wanted, in my final paragraph, to award the child from these intentional families the right to define for herself who her REAL parents are and how she is going to label all the potential parents in her life. No one can define his for her by force. Just because my social father insisted he be forever known as my only real father, it doesn't follow hat this is how I have to think of him.

    Thanks for reading! :)

  3. Wow, I came to find that if I'd stayed awake just a few minutes longer that night to read the next blog post of yours- I would have seen that you did cover that topic of "the neglected and unknown" in both circumstances, derp!

    Thanks for clearing that last part up, too- I guess my mind was on actual legal matters but I do now see what you mean in regards to one's own internal rights of understanding.