A Bit More On Who Raises You Plus The Other Side of the Balance

I know there’s a lot of discussion in the comments to the last post, and of course I’m quite happy about that.   Discussion is good, right?   But there’s a point where the comments become cluttered and it’s hard (for me, coming late anyway) to follow it all.  So I wanted to try a new post, restating some but then moving along.

At the outset, I want to highlight what I think is the critical question here:  “Is being raised by people who are not your genetic parents necessarily bad?”  To me the inclusion of the word “necessarily” is critical.

If you leave out “necessarily” and just ask “Is being raised by people who are not your genetic parents bad?” then I think the answer has to be sometimes yes and sometimes no.   Because, of course, most of us could probably imagine circumstances or even know circumstances where it has been bad and also those where it has been good.    Indeed, one could ask “Is being raised by people who are your genetic parents bad?” and you’d get the same range of answers–sometimes it is bad, sometimes it is not bad.   Unless you have some sense that the bad/not bad ratio is dramatically skewed one way or another, this doesn’t really provide any basis for making general policy on the matter.   On the other hand, if you can say something is necessarily bad, then you clearly have a basis for arguing for a broad policy solution:   Whatever the necessarily bad thing should be ought to be prohibited, say.   I hope this moves us away from overreliance on anecdote–something I think we are all prone to.

Now I’m sure it is quite clear to everyone that I don’t think it is necessarily bad.    And that means I am open to having kids raised by people who are not their genetic parents.  This leads me to look at the other side of the balance:  Is there a benefit in allowing people who are not the genetic parents to be the social/legal parents?   This is, I think, an independent question, but also an important one.

I think there is a benefit here.   There are many  people who want to have the experience of being a parent who would not be able to have that experience were parenting restricted to those who are genetically related to children.   (People who cannot produce healthy gametes, say.  Or people who want to be single parents.   Or people who are lesbian or gay.)  Being a parent is, in my experience, one of the most profound, challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.  Maybe THE most profound, challenging and rewarding.   I am loath to preclude these various groups of people from having a chance at this simply because of the circumstances in which they find themselves.  I’m not willing to say–“too bad, but you just cannot have kids, so that’s that.”

So now I’ve got two side of a balance:  on the one hand, I think it can be fine to be raised by people who are not your genetic parents.  It is not necessarily bad.  And on the other hand, allowing people who are not genetic parents to raise children has separate benefits.  For me, these two observations lead to the same conclusion–that having access to third-party gametes (and perhaps to adoption as well) is good.

This is not to say that I think there should be an unregulated free market in gametes.   I think there is a clear need for thoughtful regulation.   We need to consider what sorts of conditions will maximize the chances of a positive outcome for all concerned–and that might include screening and record keeping and who knows what all else.    We probably need to consider social conditions as well.  There’s lots to be done to get it right/make it better and that’s a task I think worthy of attention

 

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60 responses to “A Bit More On Who Raises You Plus The Other Side of the Balance

  1. Well, I am a single mom by choice to be and my child will be raised by a genetic parent just not both genetic parents, since I used my own eggs. So single parents can have a child that is their genetic child, the issue would be whether they should be required to have the other genetic parent be a legal parent – obviously I don’t think this should be required.

    • How about whether an intentionally single genetic parent should be allowed to be a legal parent?

      • That is never going to happen and I honestly think it is sad you think a planned and wanted child is worse off than an unplanned unwanted child solely because of marriage, or worse than someone entering into a marriage they do not want because it is the only “acceptable” way to have a child.

        • It’s not that the child would be worse off, it’s that the practice is bad for society and violates human rights. Your argument is the same of slave owners who would defend slavery because, for their slaves anyway, life was much better than it had been in Africa. They were in America now, on a beautiful plantation with caring owners.

          I think it is definitely going to happen that we will prohibit sperm and egg sales, it’s just a matter of time. When we realize it is eugenics and harms family bonds and marriage and children’s rights, it’ll be prohibited again. And when it’s prohibited, we won’t just be able to look the other way or impose a small fine and let them keep the baby, we’ll have to take the baby away. And it won’t harm the baby too much, because genetics don’t matter so much, it’s more about the fitness of the guardians and the health of society.

          And I think you hit on the reason you like legal sperm donation in your last sentence: you don’t want to have to have a man claiming that “your” kids are “his” kids and worse, that you are his wife. That’s also one reason I don’t like intentional single parenting and sperm donation, it disrespects fatherhood and the role of head of household and husband to a wife, and leaves men sitting around with no reason to care about anything, playing video games, or just dating with no sense of responsibility or future. That’s a harm to society.

          • Society is moving away from your restrictive definition of family, not towards it, so good luck with that.

            • Also, pressuring people so they feel they HAVE to get married or are a failure in life is far more of a harm to society and will lead to unhappy marriages, than recognizing that marriage is great for some people, but is just not for everyone.

              • But sperm banks pressure people to feel they have to have children or are a failure in life. And there is pressure that a marriage has to be “happy” or you are a failure in life, and the pressure not to be a “failure in life” in general is all manufactured. There ought to be no such feelings, people should be able to just be good people doing what they should, and not feel like they haven’t achieved enough, seen enough, been enough.

                • May I ask whether you have children you conceived yourself that you either raising or have raised? Because if you have it’s very easy to have the attitude that the childless by circumstance lifestyle is a pleasant one.

                  I disagree with you though that it’s sperm banks pressure people into having children. For me it’s our child filled society that outcasts the childless that encourages those who want children but are physically unable to pursue alternative methods to become parents.

          • If you take those kids away where would you send them? Who would raise them? There are already too many kids in Foster Care and you want to add more kids to the system?

            • Well no one would create those kids intentionally knowing they would be taken away. The sperm banks would be shut down, and people would wise up to craigslist sperm sales. Unintentional single parenthood would be treated the way it is now.

              • You said:

                “And when it’s prohibited, we won’t just be able to look the other way or impose a small fine and let them keep the baby, we’ll have to take the baby away. ”

                So what do you propose with the people who you take the baby away from? What happens to the baby?

                • It’d be adopted by another family, one with proven parenting skills and many other children. But it would be rare, more rare than other placements for other reasons. It wouldn’t be retroactive, the idea is to shut down sperm banks first, and craigslist sales, and then if anyone still tried to do it in spite of the law, we’d take custody of their children so that others didn’t think they could just ignore the law and get away with it.

                  • But again you are adding my children to a Foster Care system that is already overloaded with children who need homes. Is growing up being raised by one able and willing biological parent worse than growing up and aging out of the Foster Care system?

                  • No, but condoning crime and human trafficking is worse than single people not having children.

                  • So instead you want to make the child suffer to make an example out of their parents? Seems like an extreme thing to do IMO.

                  • But the child doesn’t suffer that much, remember? It’s no different than any other adoption.

                  • It’s a forced adoption when there was no abuse, neglect or a parent unwilling to parent the child. There was zero reason for the adoption other than to make an example out of their parents.

  2. Julie you wrote: “Being a parent is, in my experience, one of the most profound, challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Maybe THE most profound, challenging and rewarding. I am loath to preclude these various groups of people from having a chance at this simply because of the circumstances in which they find themselves.”

    if you were talking perhaps about an educational opportunity or some such, than doing whatever it takes to make such an experience available to a wider group of people, that would indeed be a laudable goal. but when we are talking about the creation of a human being… well human beings do not exist to give someone else an incredible experience. So I don’t see the crafting of laws designed to give people a chance to be parents as such a positive thing.

    • Human beings don’t exist to give someone an incredible experience but why is it that certain people who are poor parents become parents while others who would be good parents aren’t?

      • Unfortunately physical health and mental fitness are not always synonymous and the result is plenty of people physical able to produce children are not mentally capable of raising them. Society wants people to take care of their own offspring obviously we have all kinds of laws that require bio parents to take care of the kids they create but when they are not up to the task mentally for whatever reason their children are in a very vulnerable position of being either abused or exploited by them. A gamete donor is a bio parent who is not up for the job of raising their own offspring. There is nothing special about the fact that they knew they would not be up to the job before their child was even born. Thing is when they are born that is when they have a bio child in need of the State’s protection and their bio child is not getting any state protection when we as a society honor the terms of pre-birth agreements not to raise one’s own bio kids.

        I agree Greg it certainly is not fair that sometimes people with really messed up heads have perfectly healthy reproductive systems. Very young people generally have really healthy reproductive systems and young people who are not heavily invested in an educational program-path-plan working toward specific goals are less likely to practice safe sex and/or terminate pregnancies and so we wind up with children born to young parents whose employment prospects are pretty bleak. Everyone born deserves to be born its just that the laws currently do more to protect the interest and bio identity of people born in situations like that than is done for people “born to” older wealthier folks

        • Mental health isn’t the only thing that prevents people from being good parents. Some people just aren’t good parents. I know plenty of bad parents who are mentally stable people. So your post doesn’t make much sense in the context of this discussion.

    • On some level, I think all parents are selfish to have children. All children will experience death some day. And there is a certain amount of pain that comes with life.

      But life is also a a blessing. But I wouldn’t call any parent selfless. All parents chose to have children for their own reasons. And none of the parents can ask the unborn child if they actually want to be born.

      • A friend who got pregnant without planning to get pregnant told me something interesting about this. She said she thinks planning to get pregnant is a little creepy.

        If one decides to have a baby, one has to consciously weigh the pros and cons of bringing a child into the world, for the child as well. This is perhaps a selfish process. But parents who get pregnant without planning to don’t go through all of that. They don’t have a reason to have children — the child just happens to be present, and they can choose to welcome it or not. Deciding to stay pregnant rather than end the pregnancy can’t, I think, be seen as a selfish choice either. How many pregnancies are unplanned? Many, I think.

      • Well if people want to look at it as a gift or a benefit they can but in reality people are not gifts or benefits. Dependent people are dependent and are in fact, legally not a gift or benefit but a financial obligation as well as a physical obligation. So merely having offspring gives rise to parental obligation. If people want to pine after it and think of it as a gift from god they can but it’s setting themselves up to be let down. I mean if having children was a gift then the state would collect all babies at birth and give them out not based on who wanted them but based on who kept their yard neat and paid their taxes and stuff – here you’ve been good have a baby..

  3. as to the central question is being raised by non biological parents necessarily bad?
    i don’t think its necessarily bad, but not knowing who they are definitely is bad.
    also, the circumstances as to why one is being raised by non biological parents are often bad circumstances like unfitness or death.
    a child whose role in the family is to fill a parents need is not a great circumstance either, but i suppose the family can rise above that eventually.

    • “a child whose role in the family is to fill a parents need is not a great circumstance either, but i suppose the family can rise above that eventually.”

      To be fair here, this also takes place with parents who raise children they conceived.

      • certainly; and it is hoped the family rises above that in the long run.

      • Yes, I do not understand how this doesn’t apply to every planned pregnancy.

        Why is the couple choosing to get pregnant if they don’t want a child in their life? Isn’t that child filling a need to parent?

      • paradoxically, i think a person is more ready to use fertility services once they have come to terms with the possibility of not having children and can envision themselves having a nice life while remaining childless. that way, the child comes into the world loved and wanted, but not to be a solution to a parent’s desperate need.

        • I’d have to assume you have no personal experience with infertility because wag you described is easier said than done. It’s much more complicated than that. We never went through treatments because it wasn’t an option with me having no swimmers and a year later we still are not ready to make a decision. And there is no one who ends up living childless by circumstance that lives a happy life. Despite what they may say the hurt is always there.

          • while i prefer not to share my personal life in a public forum, I agree with you that this is the most difficult path, that i personally would have extreme difficulty accomplishing. yet ultimately i believe it is the most healthy.

            • Oh I wasn’t asking for your life story just was pointing out that what you are saying is easier said than done. I agree that parents of non biological children need to look at alternative ways of becoming parents as not a cure to their infertility. It does fill the void of childlessness but the scars of infertility last forever. They also need to work through their grief before moving onto pursuing alternative ways of becoming parents. That doesn’t necessarily mean envisioning a “happy life” being childless. It means they will not any unresolved grief impact their parenting of a non biological child.

  4. Well Julie possession of a person’s gametes is one thing, possession of their offspring is entirely another. Nobody should ever find themselves in the position where they are not the offspring of the people who have parental authority over them unless there has been a detailed investigation to identify the biological parents and ensure that they are not motivated to allow others to raise their offspring either by altruism (a desire to help others have children to raise by giving them one of their offspring as a gift) or by some other type of commercial trade agreement (a desire to help others have children to raise by donating one of their offspring in exchange for modest reimbursement for their time or suffering in order to produce the offspring that are trying to relinquish).

    People who have biological offspring have to be accountable for why it is that they are not raising them themselves. They should not be getting anything out of it for themselves – not even the satisfaction of having provided someone with the joy of having a family of their own. Neither should people who wish to be raising other people’s offspring be doing it to get anything out of it for themselves. If they want to privately feel that way about having kids or raising kids, that’s fine – but the law should be solely concerned with maintaining the right of the minor to care and support by their biological parents first and foremost and only interject itself if and when care by the biological parents is not possible for reasons unrelated to altruism or commerce and then attempt to transfer parental obligations for the minor to someone within their bio parents family and then if that is not possible transfer parental obligations to someone outside the minor’s immediate family. No it is not bad for the child to be raised by someone other than their biological parents or biological relatives but only if there is no other alternative and only after exhaustive attempts to maintain the child’s presence within their own family. I do not think it is fair to people who are unable to be raised within their biological families that their legal kinship be terminated and that their identities be altered as it is completely reasonable and within the realm of possibility that someone who is not a member of the minors family would be willing to accept full financial responsibility for raising a minor to adulthood without altering the child’s identity or kinship rights within their biological families.

    Minors should not have to pretend to be the offspring of other people in order to be worthy of being raised to adulthood by them. There is no reason why their birth records can’t state permanently and clearly that they are the son or daughter of their biological parents while having a separate document that states that they are the adopted son or daughter of some other individual or individuals who by virtue of the adoption decree, have parental authority over them but are not pretending on paper to be the parents who “had the child”.

    • How is any of this relevant to this topic?

      • way more on topic than a rant about you being a slave for the fertile members of society.

        • Not really. No one is talking about legalities here except yourself. If someone is going to bring up childlessness it’s a relevant discussion topic to bring up their outcasting. There is the difference.

          • Please refer to the “About the Blog” description on the right of your screen. Law. not psychology

          • Yes but legally infertile people have the same right to family leave and time off work for dependent care as everyone else and therefore people without children are momentarily in a situation where they don’t need to avail themselves of those services. If they are cured or if they adopt or if their spouse becomes ill or if they have a step child then they too will have the opportunity to exercise rights to those benefits so legally they really are not treated differently and certainly don’t qualify as slaves. Having an emotional discussion about it without backing it up with facts is a bit pointless. Of course I bring up the legalities that is all that matters for someone wanting to change the laws so people are no longer at a disadvantage

            • Also you have to remember that people with offspring or adopted kids or people who are guardians all at one time had no dependents to care for and would all certainly have been in the childless boat at one point in their working life. So it just grows more equal as you look more closely at it.

            • My feelings on the outcasting of those who are childless by circumstance are not relevant to the discussion of this piece. Therefore it’s not an appropriate topic here. But again you are welcome to start up your own blog to discuss them.

              • I’m just not as popular as you. But thanks for the vote of confidence, Besides I think I like the guidance of the professor or of someone on the receiving end of the injustice because I don’t have anything to offer I’m just pointing out inconsistencies and hoping to figure out how to change the law or keep helping people work around the law.

                • It’s not so much a vote of confidence as it is for you to have your own place where you control the topics and discussion.

                  • I am not looking for my own place and as I said I’m not as popular as you. Nobody woud isit my party

                  • Don’t you have a whole following of donor conceived children and adoptees that you’ve helped? Plus blogging is not about being popular it’s about having your own forum to express your views.

                  • not interested in blogging. I’m kinda busy saving the world and reading other people’s blogs. I just have no faith that if I threw a party anyone would show up – I could throw a keg in high school and 300 people would show up but today just not the confident girl I once was. I’m just fine reading other people’s blogs

  5. Also let’s take a realistic look at what you mean by “having children”. Having children and raising children are two totally separate activities. You can have children without raising them. You can raise children without having children. Guess what a person who has offspring has children, its a fact whether they are raising them or not, they made them, they got them, they don’t like it too bad.

    We need to clearly delineate the difference between having a child with someone and raising a child with someone. We romanticise the raising of children with a sterile partner or a totally non existent partner to the point where we wish to portray to the world that we had children with them or that we had children just with ourselves. You and the other person you reproduced with are the couple who has children. If you are not raising your child with that person it does not mean that you don’t have children with them it just means you are meeting your obligation to your child as a parent and they are not meeting that same obligation. So raising a child with a sterile partner or same sex partner does not mean that the two of you have a child together, you are raising your child together with them. Their presence in your child’s life is at your discretion and with your permission and that is not a parents position in a child’s life. Parents don’t need permission to have an obligation to take care of their own offspring. The biological parent people like to refer to as the donor chose to have offspring in this manner with each individual person they have offspring with, their choice and their action caused the creation of their offspring because they are the only person who can create their offspring. They have offspring in the world because they reproduced and hopefully it was their choice and they were not forced or tricked into it but even if they were, ultimately their offspring exist because of their body’s reproductive action. The people called donors are not being used by anyone they are in charge of their own bodies and it is their choice not to raise their kids when they are born. If they are going to choose not to take care of their own offspring they should be required to follow the very same steps as any other biological parent who is not going to be raising their own offspring and that must include giving a reason that is unrelated to wanting to provide children to people who would really enjoy raising children. That turns the child into a hot commodity a desired accessory item that bio parents can give as gifts or sell.

    So I say let people have access other people’s gametes you want so long as there is ZERO access to the children produced by those other people’s gametes and ZERO possibility of ever gaining parental authority over the people produced by those gametes and frankly ZERO possibility of ever legally adopting a person whose absent parent was a gamete donor. Egg and sperm donor agreements commonly have language that says if required to do so the person donating the gametes agrees in advance to go to court and relinquish their biological child for adoption by the commissioning party. This language is reprehensible and should not only be totally ignored by courts for the protection of the gamete donor’s offspring, I think the law should state that the existence of a gamete donation agreement is proof of consideration in exchange for parental title and custody of the donor’s offspring and so would preclude adoption by the commissioning party or adoption by any other person that might be participating in a scheme to supply people with children to raise.

    • Another comment that is not relative to this topic. FYI, this topic is about raising a child and whether it’s important who that person(s) is/are. We aren’t talking about legalities there are plenty of posts about that you are able to comment on.

    • he’s got a point marilyn, seems you are always leading the discussion back to the same point no matter what the topic

      • Ki there is no point in discussing the wishy washy emotional side of what’s best for children. You know Julie’s formula for framing her arguments as well as I do at this point and you know that she almost always will lead the audience to take the position that calls on stuff that is anecdotal or is based on opinions that differ for everyone then she’ll one two slam back with the law and how things are or are not and that things are toally subjective and we can all just agree to disagree. Yes I’m getting very good at bringing the conversation away from reproduction and away from nebulous crap like what is best for the child. The individuals involved have to be weighed to know which of them is best but one thing that we know for sure it is always best to have the same set of rules apply to everyone regardless of their wants needs or desires. So if a person does raise a kid that is not their own offspring and they get parental rights over that kid it should only be after following the same rules as anyone else wanting parental authority over another person’s offspring. Fairness and arriving at the answer using the same formula – That is what is best for the kid.

        • What you are good at is pulling the group away from discussing the relevant topic that is being discussed.

          Your stances that only biological parents should raise children and that genetics are the only thing that makes a parent are relevant to this topic. Your so called stances on “legalities” of parenting aren’t. There are other pieces that discuss that.

          • Greg one last time and then please, never misrepresent my position again. I think its great for people to raise children that are not their offspring under certain circumstances where the child’s identity and rights have been preserved and protected.

            I resent having you continuously misrepresent my position and call me a nazi and all kinds of crazy horrid things. Bio parents cannot always raise their offspring; sometimes they die or become disabled or sometimes they are addicted or incarcerated, etc. So clearly it’s inevitable that some kids won’t be raised to adulthood by their bio parents and that is just the way it has to be for them given their parent’s circumstances. So when a minor’s parents are not going to be fulfilling their parental obligations the minor deserves the State’s best attempt to ensure that the bio parent is not being coerced and to make sure the bio parent is not placing their offspring as the object of the terms of a private trade agreement because that would be an abuse of the minor’s human rights, dignity and freedom. If the bio parent does not appear to be relinquishing his parental obligations as part of any service agreement to provide someone else with his offspring to raise, then the minor further deserves the State’s protection by ensuring that the prospective adoptive party is well suited to raising them and did not collude or conspire with anyone in an attempt to influence the relinquishment of custody or parental title by the bio parent.

            I don’t have any problem at all with people raising other people’s offspring Greg. They just should not be raising them unless some very particular steps have been taken to preserve their presence in their bio families first and if that is not possible to at least maintain their identity and kinship rights if they have to be raised by someone other than a bio parent or bio relative. Nobody should have parental authority over someone else’s kid without following the court approved steps that protect not only the minor’s best interests but their own interests as well. There should never under any circumstances be a short cutting of the steps, or any attempt to circumvent the full and proper recording of the identity of the bio parents first and then secondly record the names of any other person to whom parental authority might be granted thereafter. A bio parent who is not raising their offspring has some explaining to do and that cannot be done when they are hiding like punks.

            • A lot of what you’ve said here and on other boards has said the opposite of what you just said regarding non biological parents. You’ve made it pretty clear you don’t believe non biological parents are not “real” parents. You’ve also made it clear that you believe that genetics are the most important thing in being the person to raise a child. I’m not making this up and I know others will agree with me.

              I’m just not sure what in your past has caused you to dislike non biological parents as much as you do. You still have yet to answer that so I’m guessing it’s something painful for you to discuss.

              • Greg, again, I think it is necessary and inevitable that some minors will wind up being raised by someone other than their parents and I have no qualms with that. It’s just that there should be no way for people to get parental authority over another person’s offspring unless all avenues within their own family have been exhausted first and also custody should never go to anyone who requested or orchestrated a situation where they actually wanted someone to abandon their parental obligations so that they could keep and raise that person’s abandoned kid. It should be only if they have nothing at all to do with it and just put their name on a waiting list and paid no money. And the bio parent should never have received money or have any contract at all where they privately agreed not to raise their offspring when born. That reeipt of reimbursement for a donation which is covered in the very same agreement where they agree to abandon their parental obligations for their offspring when born- that is really a contract for black market adoption and it shoould invalidate any attempt at adoption later by any of the parties. We have to protect minors from this type of exploitation. But there is nothing inherently wrong with children not being raised by their bio parents if their bio parents are found unfit or something in court. If there is nothing wrong with their bio parents and they are just relinquishing their parental obligations because they want to give childless people a chance to raise kids that is horribly wrong and exploitative.

                It is a trageduy when children cannot be cared for safely by both bio parents. As a society we should be looking to help keep the number of occurrances to a bare minimum – who cares if some people won’t get to raise kids because we keep parental abandonment to a minimum? At least people who want kids but can’t have them are only missing something they want, it’s not like they are missing something they need or something that is theirs but is being kept hidden from them. People who want kids but can’t have them are not actually loosing anything when bio parents don’t abandon their parental responsibilities. So fewer abandoned kids does not cause the childless to loose anything at all. Fewer parental abandonments means more people don’t get struck by tragedy, don’t loose their parents and relatives don’t loose their kinship rights. It is unfortunate that there are only so many minors to go around at any given moment but the reality is that their bio parents are supposed to be raising them and if they are not, it means the kid is suffering a tragic loss. I think its just unconscionable that anyone would actually want for a minor to suffer such a tragic loss only in order that they would get to experiene child rearing. If a kid has to loose a bio parent for you to get to experience child rearing, and you can’t find a kid who had already suffered that tragic loss who needs your help, what kind of A-hole would go “hey if I ask someone to make me a kid and then pay them to abandon the kid then that kid will need my help and I’ll be there to raise them and then they will love me more than their parent who abandoned them.” Twisted. Just find a kid who really needs help or take up a hobby. Bad idea to pay someone to cause a child to exist and be abandoned.

                • Again I’m going to ask what in your life has caused you to have such hate and dislike for non biological parents and those unable to have children? Please, I really believe if you are able to do that these dialogues will be more productive.

                  • Honestly, I’m also really curious.

                    You say it’s human rights, but WHY do you think it’s a human right? Not many people agree with you.

                    There’s something that makes you believe that a genetic connection is a human right.

                    We don’t understand why you think this, or care about the genetic connection so much.

                    I don’t care about the genetic connection, so I don’t “get” why you care so much. I’m genuinely curious: You see this as saving the world. But why?

                    Other people see homelessness, or working to cure AIDS (ACT-UP), or health care for poor families, or working as a foster parent or volunteering for Big Brother/Big Sisters, or donating money to doctor’s without borders as their way of helping the world. But you have chosen genetic connection as the most important thing to “help” in the world. You want mandate genetic connections between people, because you see is as so crucial.

                    Why chose this as your crusade, instead of other things that other people might chose, such as fighting poverty or improving education, or medical care for all children?

                    There must be a reason that you see this as so important. I’ve been genuinely curious for a while now.

        • well maybe you are having the opposite effect that you intended… i am sorry if this offends you but your posts have become very predictable, sometimes i even skip them because I know what you are going to say. 😦 i think they would be more interesting

          • Well Ki you KNOW me already and you also know Julie as well. You know how she frames the argument for her oponent by setting them up with questions requiring her oponents to try and “prove harm” of not being raised by bio parents, knowing the only proof anyone could possibly have woud be anecdotal and refutable with an equally convincicng anecdote in support of the opposite opinion. Julie knows full well that in order for activists on my side of the issue to actually get changes to the law made we would have to demonstrate a universally experienced harm. It’s impossible to point to a universally experienced harm of not being raised by bio parents especially with so many great examples of bio parents who suck and so many examples of people doing a great job raising other people’s offspring. Just look at the CPS docket of abuse cases and virtually all of the abuse is at the hands of a bio parent or relative. Julie has to her advantage the fact that children would appear to almost be safer cared for by unrelated people than with bio relatives. So this is how Julie sets us the audience up – it’s her formula and you should know that by now. She has a formula for winning that involves a formula for giving the opposition enough rope to hang themselves with. So go ahead and talk about whether there is harm in being raised by someone other than bio parents. Then her next post will be about how to make it easier for people who want to become parents to become parents and isn’t it in a children’s best interests to be wanted.

            Well the universal harm experienced by minors not being raised by bio parents would not be in the childrearing itself but rather in the denial of due process that allowed their bio parents to not be named on their birth records, to have no parental accountability, the denial of due process before granting any other person parental authority over them – those are the first harms done to people universally is in the uneven application of laws and justice there. Some may be very well cared for however if their abandoning parent is not an abusive drug addict or 14 year old if their abandoning parent is gainfully employed and raising three of his other offspring why the hell was he allowed to just abandon one of them without having to be named and having to support them? That is where the universal harm occurs is in the differential treatment of some people not being raised by their bio parents, even when they are being well cared for by people who wanted to raise them. You must bring the conversation back around to these same injustices to prove harm or the Julie formula works, there is no harm to be proven that cannot be refuted with anecdotes or hypothetical of her own and she then appears to have a compelling argument not only to maintain the status quo but even to make it easier for minors to be sold out of their families. Her other formula involves inviting donor offspring and those adopted to share their feelings on anonymity and to offer some end to anonymity as a compromise because it seems real sensitive to their concerns when it really is not sensitive to their concerns. Why compromise, just treat them the same as everyone else?

            • But there is no due process or differential treatment under the law.

              The law won’t see this as a due process or differential treatment problem. Don’t you understand that? You will need to change the US Constitution if you want to make that happen.

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