Shouldn’t They Just Be Grateful to Be Alive?

by Matthew Eppinette, Director of Programs on December 17, 2014

Post image for Shouldn’t They Just Be Grateful to Be Alive?

I often hear this question when I tell someone I’ve been part of making documentary films on third-party reproduction: surrogacy, sperm donation, and egg donation. We address this in the films, but it deserves to be addressed again and again

Rebecca Taylor has done just that in an article provocatively titled, “Shut Up, and Be Grateful for Your Life.”

On the one hand, research finds that “The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.”

However, through the embrace of third-party reproduction, “society has embraced, without question, creating children who will intentionally be denied part, or all, of their family history.”

Consider the following example:

Jo Rose, a child of an anonymous sperm donor, points out in the U.K.’s The Guardian how nonsensical it is that her concerns are dismissed:

“One of the most upsetting things for me about the way I was brought into the world is the blatant double standard involved. My mother’s need to have a genetic link to her child was valued, while my need to know, love and understand the father with whom I have a genetic link was not.”

We must listen to the counsel of those who are living the experience of being born via third-party conception arrangements. There is clear harm here, and it should not continue.

Let us not compound the harm with callous dismissals of their experience.

Previous post:

Next post: