This is the first draft of the letter to Fairfax on behalf of PCVAI. Please endorse it and/or give me feedback or ideas.
To Whom This May Concern:
On behalf of the group ‘People Conceived Via Artificial Insemination’ I would like to make a retort against the one and only story published on your page for children of DI, entitled “The College Essay”. With over 200 adult donor offspring members across the globe, we believe that it is biased and irresponsible to publish only a one-sided essay; and furthermore one that is insulting and demeaning towards the donor-conceived/adoptees who do feel a loss in not being allowed to know their biological roots.
Our first reaction to this story is that it sounds very fabricated, that it is likely a piece written by your PR department as a defensive move to counter the growing voices of dissent from DI adults. For instance, Monica says in her essay that the idea of being donor-conceived is something she rarely thinks about and it often slips her mind, however she makes it the focus of her college essay. An offspring who was truly ‘content’ with his or her conception I doubt would bring the subject up at all.
On the flip side, as a graduate student studying genetics, I have personally used being donor conceived on many graduate program personal statements as it’s an interesting anecdote about how I became interested in the field; however I used it because being donor conceived IS something I think about and it HAS affected me in numerous ways.
Our second criticism of this story is how the mother worried that her daughter would become a resentful, unhappy adult with psychological issues, as if people who criticize any social problem must not be content. I would rather be an activist who is socially aware and recognizes social ills and does something about it than be complacent. If everyone were less critical and judgmental we wouldn’t have such “troubled” people who changed the world, such as Rosa Parks, willing to submit themselves to the deviant labeling from “normal” society in order to act against injustice.
Our third issue with this page is the assumption that offspring should view their conception the same as their parents’ view their infertility, and subsequently that their conception is justified because it gave their parents the “gift” of having a child. By surrendering our most basic right to the wants and needs of our parents we have essentially lost any aspect of an autonomous personhood. Our disgust is that the focus of the page dedicated to answering the questions of the children created through donated gametes sounds more like an advertisement to potential recipients, spotlighting the donor recruitment and screening process and policies, and then flat-out inform any offspring that you will never contact a donor on his or her behalf. You have completely eradicated the opinion of many offspring, and have corralled donor-conceived offspring into a single self-validating opinion, which implies that anyone who feels otherwise is psychologically troubled.
In the story, Monica’s mother even acknowledges the views of the “vocal minority”, but simply writes them off as troubled and the means of dramatic and sensational journalism. These instances have been disposed of so Monica has no idea of the “negative views” from many offspring. It’s as if Monica’s mother is not protecting her children from these views because they won’t need them, but more so because she fears that if they are exposed to these views they might see them as acceptable. What is essentially being said in this paragraph of the story is that Mom is so fearful that her children might have other feelings, that she must keep her children ignorant of the world in order to justify her own decision, and assuring herself that those who are dissenting must be in the minority and are surely not “well-adjusted and content”.
As a group we feel that it is of paramount importance that the differing viewpoints of adult donor-conceived persons be represented, and that no one side be legitimatized simply because it validates their product. It is very peculiar that as a page that is supposedly focused to the donor offspring that the only story published is one that discounts the views of other offspring, and is not even written by an offspring. The current information and story only serve to embarrass and chastise a donor-conceived person who feels anything less than happy and grateful, humiliating us into silence.
Lindsay ------------, Donor-Conceived, Cleveland, Ohio
People Conceived Via Artificial Insemination