Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wanted, chosen, selected: oh my

So many things in ART land that are couched in positive Orwellian Newspeak are actually scary when you see them from the child's perspective.

You were wanted? Well, not you - their child was, but you'll have to do, so try extra hard to fulfill all their hopes and dreams and soothe their infertility pain. That's the reason you exist. If you're not good enough, you may just cease to exist - they made you for that, after all. How does that make you feel?

You were chosen? Well, not exactly - you were adopted because they wanted a child and you were available, although in some cases adoptive parents pass up an offered child if it has an alcoholic or addicted mother. How does that make you feel?

And if you're a product of IVF, it's possible you were selected. That is, genetic testing was done on all your brothers and sisters, and you showed no signs of abnormalities, so the doctors selected you. Your defective siblings are probably destroyed. You were lucky not to be among them. How does that make you feel?

The truth is, ART are just not pretty. So a fairy-tale ways of narrating the stories of these conceptions were developed to deny that. But reality lurks behind them all. And the children will come to know this reality when they outgrow the fairy-tale stage.

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