Paul McCartney once said, “all you need is love”, however despite what many in the donor conception community wish to believe, it’s not true. There seems to be an overwhelming majority of recipient mothers that truly believe that just so long as they love their child, that he or she won’t feel any loss of their biological father. I would like to stand up and say that this is nonsense.
So many times I hear people tell me that their child is so loved and so wanted, more wanted than children conceived during normal sexual intercourse since the parents had to go through so much for that child to be alive. My response is that first of all, as a couple (or a single woman) is going through treatments in order to get pregnant, they believe that this child is so loved and wanted only because THEY want a child so badly. They also cannot love that child as an individual as he or she has not even been conceived yet! This change in pretense from personal wants and needs for a child into a child that is so wanted and thus loved has occurred without little resistance. We as donor conceived offspring could not have asked to be conceived and be loved, as we did not exist at this time. And as David Velleman points out, no donor conceived child was ever wanted (in the individual sense), the parents only wanted A baby, ANY baby, regardless of who that child is or who they were from (The Gift of Life, 2007). It’s ridiculous to say we were wanted as we were wanted merely as that miracle baby and not as who we are as an individual.
My second argument of the love is all you need theory (as opposed to being raised by two genetically connected parents), is that how can genetics be a double standard?? What I mean is that we are told that genetics should not matter and that it is the parents who raise us who matter, and that nature really has little role in our identity aside from trivialities, and it’s all about nurturing and who changed our diapers. Yet at the same time these are same parents who HAD to have a child that was at least biologically related to one of them and that’s why they had to resort to donor conception instead of adoption. So you want a biologically related child because it’s important to you, but we are not allowed to feel grief that one or both of our biological parents are not raising us?!
“Adults who support the use of new technologies to bear children sometimes say that biology does not matter to children, that all children need is a loving family. Yet biology clearly matters to the adults who sometimes go to extreme lengths— undergoing high-risk medical procedures; procuring eggs, sperm, or wombs from strangers; and paying quite a lot of money—to create a child genetically related to at least one of them. In a striking contradiction, these same people will often insist that the child’s biological relationship to an absent donor father or mother should not really matter to the child” (Elizabeth Marquardt, The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Adult Rights and Children’s Needs, 2006).
Parents need to realize that their feelings towards their infertility, no matter how painful they may be, are in no way shape or form any more important or more validated than the feelings of their child towards their deliberate severing of kinship. We are not five years old and believe whatever we are told anymore, and “adults” cannot continue to make decisions for us in our ‘best interests’, when we are also adults and should be on equal footing as them. I’m not saying I don’t love my mother unconditionally, because I do, but it doesn’t mean I cannot condemn her decision to use a sperm donor. While she raised me as best she could, and loved me as much as she could, I still suffered from such a fundamental loss that no matter what she could have done it would not have soothed such grief.