Infertility Issues - Understanding the Language - Is Assisted Conception The Same As Adoption?
A baby brought to life through reproductive assisted technology exists only because of his or her parents' dedicated yearning to procreate.
If it were not for the infertility that caused these parents to seek an alternative way to bring a child into their lives, their particular baby would not even exist.
Donors and carriers are generous participants in the fertilization and gestation process, yes.
But, they're neither the visionaries nor creators of a new life and, to my mind, they should never be accorded the status of parents.
When an adoption process occurs, there is already a living child in existence who undergoes adoption after birth.
His creation was a fait accompli, regardless of whether he remained with his birth parent(s) or was adopted.
The birth parents of origin remain as such throughout his life.
For an adopted child, his intentional or even accidental act of creation always involved the union of two adults.
With assisted conception there is no starting out with a child, nor has a union of two adults (intentional or otherwise) occurred, unless you consider the unusual situation where a couple underwent in vitro fertilization, creating a number of embryos, more than they could carry to term, and then chose to have their remaining embryos adopted by another couple.
That is the one instance involving assisted conception where the notion of adoption applies.
There was never the intent with the verb "to adopt" to take in half of a human genome, just as it would make no sense to adopt half an idea, or half a child.
The term adoption applies to people, puppies, notions, and ideas, all of which exist as whole entities, regardless of whether you adopt them as your own.
With germ cells, they cannot exist outside of the body, unless harvested, nurtured and allowed to replicate following fertilization.
Without the infertile parent's specific intent to create a child, there can be no life for isolated germ cells.
Otherwise, they would be either passed out of their host's body during menses, or during intercourse, or be reabsorbed as the result of natural atresia within the host's gonads.
Children created with the help of assisted conception do not need their parents counseled inappropriately.
Disclosure should be factual and utilize appropriate language that honors the special circumstances of their conception and/or birth.
Donors and gestational carriers certainly play an important role in assisting the process of creation/pregnancy, to be honored in whatever way the children's families feel is appropriate.
But all children deserve to know who their parents are.
They are the ones who envisioned them, who found a special way to create them and who, when all was said and done, gave them life.