Saturday, December 3, 2011

"You were a child / you're an adult"

A particularly interesting and convoluted argument as to why my donor doesn't matter consists of two parts:

1. When you were a child, your legal parents had the right to define themselves as their parents for you and were thus your parents, and so you didn't lack anything, and you didn't know, anyway, and

2. Now you're an adult so you don't need a father any more. What would you want from him now, anyway? To buy you ice-cream and tell you bedtime stories?

So, before, it was too early; now it's too late.


  1. This post and the preceding ones just about say it all. I don't have these issues and I can see the validity of your take on them.

    Too disquietingly common is the mindless attitude that what children think and feel and experience doesn't matter, and that when they're adults they're still not allowed to advocate for themselves. --quartz

  2. Thank you, quartz! This means a lot coming from you :)

    Yes, we've all experienced this - the parent is always right, even if - or especially if he is narcissistic and demands to always be right.

  3. I'm donor-conceived and I get this all the time- just get over it, you're an adult now, you should be focusing on other things.

    I try desperately in my writing and communication to explain what all I went through as a child and teenager, so that they don't inflict the same kind of suffering upon THEIR children, hypothetical or real... But I'm dismissed as obsessive and/or misguided because I haven't "gotten over it" yet.

    But who are advocating for children who have no voice?
    I could never have articulated what was going on in my family back then... even when I was 17 and moving out... I could never have hired a lawyer, constructed a powerful essay, spread the word...

    Now I can.
    But the inescapable retrospection bit seems to disqualify me in many people's eyes.
    To not be able to get over it, to try and be an advocate after the fact... somehow means we are lacking in enough character to comment.

    1. I totally get that! But if Freud was able to base psychoanalysis on recollections of childhood instead of empirical research, we must be able to make at least some sort of impact, right?

      Recollections might be better than empirical research in some cases - like this one. I'm sure I'd have been the poster kid for "raise your dc child as your own and lie to her and she'll be just fine and be very grateful to her parents and think they're perfect" if they gave me a questionnaire back then. I was raised in a narcissistic family where I had to always think of them in every way perfect - and this would have been reflected in any questionnaire.