In today’s Salon, “Baby Daddy or Not” asks advice columnist Cary Tennis if she and her partner, who are going for donor insemination, should use an anonymous contributor. Partner wants a faceless nameless dad, the writer wonders if they should use a known donor. The question of identity, unsuprisedly, doesn’t play. “Baby Daddy,” instead, is concerned about the need of the proposed child (especially if it turns out to be a boy) to have a “father” involved his/her life. She weirdly wonders that she may be suffering from “internalized homophobia” “that we need a man to raise a child.”
Cary says, yeah, it would be nice to have a dad around, sure, but then gets to the heart of the issue:
All I know is what I would want. I would not want to know that I came from an anonymous sperm donor. I would want to know that I came from somebody. I would want to know who he is. I would want my birth to be acknowledged and celebrated by all parties responsible. If some man’s sperm were responsible for me, I would want that man to be able to look at me with pride and say, Hey, that child and are players in the same incredible story of species survival…By frankly acknowledging how we got here, we honor that whole incredible genetic history. We honor biological reality. We honor science. We honor social progress and freedom. To go the other way, toward secrecy, just doesn’t sit right with me.
There are quite a few responses to the article (76 so far), including mine, “This is not about pitching a ball. Its about identity rights.” Some responses are good. Some, of course, actually a quite a few, are not. But except for an idiot named Al who thinks that war rape is good for “the local gene pool” in the long run, the discourse is about 47 steps above the WaPo trashing of Katrina Clark.
Whenever I read one of these articles on ART I’m reminded that there is no difference between baybee entitled adopters and baybee entitled ARTsians. It’s all about them. Of course, not all parents involved in either of these family building schemes are selfish, cloddish mini-me’s. In fact, I think a lot of people get it. But as long as identity and narcissistic child acquisition are “all about me,” secrets will continue to be protected for the people who shell out the money and have the most to “lose.” And the rest of us continue to get the old screw you.