How Nice for You . . . How About the Kid?
Posted by Julie Ponzi
This emotionally wrenching and extraordinarily well-written piece by an 18 year-old girl who is the product of sperm donor, ought to give pause to anyone who thinks these matters are all just a matter of personal choice . . . for the parents.
Hat tip: Priscilla Tacujan.
6:42 PM / December 17, 2006
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"These matters." Is the story about single mothers? About artificial insemination? About the curiosity of the young regarding identity (e.g., adoption)? Or what?
It is a wrenching piece, and it reminds of Vice President Cheneys newly pregnant lesbian daughter, Mary, and her partner Heather Poe. We all want to know where we came from, and none more so than the adopted, or in Cheneys case, presumably like the author, the inseminated. I hope Cheney and Poe have made an effort to learn the fathers identity and will divulge it when it becomes an issue with their daughter, as it surely will. It would not only be wise, but humane.
OK, you got me here. Whats the big deal? Single woman decides she wants a child and is afraid she might miss her window to do so. She is artificially inseminated and has the child. She and the child endure some hardships but survive nonetheless. The kid grows up and at age 18 writes an article in the Washington Post that pretty much shows shes a bright, well-adjusted young woman. The mother did a good job. So...?
I suppose the point is the self-centered nature of the mothers actions. Your post describes it perfectly. You make the decision to have a child sound like she went out shopping for a new accessory for her wardrobe (which I suppose is how some women treat it).
Wow, an 18 year old with a grievance against her mother. How original.
Hello... "Whats the big deal?" you ask? Blow it off as one more teenagers angst, but the intent of the article is to make one CONSIDER the possible outcomes to the choices one makes. God FORBID anyone should have any accountability or consequences for choices they make. Everybody should just do what makes them happy and screw the rest of the world (or their own kid) because its all about ME!!!
This article lacks a pretty important opinion: the mothers. We dont know if she had to struggle with her decision to even have the child. Maybe she did consider what would happen to her fatherless child if she went through with it. Who knows.
Another thing to consider is a married couple could make a similar choice... perhaps they are more focused on their careers so the child suffers. I just dont see how artificial insemination changes anything.
Meanwhile the Mexicans and the Arabs are breeding like rabbits. We need more people like this woman (mother not whiny daughter). Hell, if were going to protect our ethnic viability, we ought to set up special facilities for the reproduction of our Anglo-Saxon stock.
Deb - Like you, I read the article. How do you know what you know about this mother?
As I read the article, the 18-year-old is not mad at her mother. She only wanted to know who her father was. Her mother got no more than the barest details of his appearance and education at the time of the insemination, so she couldnt help her daughter. Anonymous sperm donation seems to be the real issue. It helped the woman have a child, but it also hurt the child. Not a simple issue.
This daughter openly admires her mother, calling her a pioneer. She says they "lived on food stamps, trying to make ends meet." Many people live on foods stamps and many people struggle to make ends meet. There are no guarantees for anyone.
But whether you want a baby because youre panicked you might be getting too old, or whether you are marrying that "perfect someone" with no real guarantee of success or endurance, we live in a society where people are NOT encouraged to think about the consequences to the choices they make and simply do what makes them HAPPY at that moment, whatever THAT means.
It IS important that Ms. Clark share her story, because these "Happy" choices dont all have happy endings.
Easy listening music for Hal. They seem to be right up your alley . . .
I think the whole point of this article--or at least my point in posting it--was that adults should think long and hard about the "choices" they make for themselves. When your choices about family deviate from traditional family norms, there is going to be a price to pay--if not for you than for your children. As Deb notes above, choices calculated to make you "happy" dont always have happy endings. More often than not, the price will be paid by all of you. I do not think the girl was whiny or a typical teenager complaining about her mother. I found her to be well-spoken and thoughtful--even mature. She was careful in her rhetoric about her mother, but she did point out a side of the coin that she rightly understood her mother had not considered before making a choice for her own happiness. And to all the other posters who mock this girl I would ask this: how dare you question the raw pain that she feels if you have not also experienced it or something like it? I dont think her pain gives her license to utilize bad logic . . . but it is true that she is uniquely capable of expressing that pain and no one else can say whether or not it is genuine. It is not for you to tell her that she ought not to feel wronged.
Well put, Ms. Ponzi. It would do us well to remember that sometimes the pain or frustration one experiences can often add an important element to their argument that few others can relate to (especially in this girls case). I am pleased no one pulled the "this is just an emotional appeal" argument here. Logical "fallacies" (to the analytics, like the "appeal to emotion") can sometimes contribute to conversations that can bring us to the most important of truths.
Knowing some women who have gone the sperm-donor route, (some lesbians, but not all)I would extrapolate that the mother felt pain and the longing to have a child, could find no man who would do that WITH her, and chose to go it alone rather than go without family for her whole life. I do not blame the girl for grieving for the father she never knew, and who, apparently, does not want to know her. Nor can I blame the mother for wanting a child. Where else in life do you find unconditional love except in a child? Where else can you GIVE unconditional love, except to your child? Sometimes there is a need for that, too. The mothers I know in this type of situation give themselves to their children wholeheartedly. It is always one child and that child is the object of all of the womans affection. While the mothers do a wonderful job, the kids always seem to feel a lack. There is nothing a mother can do to replace the lack of a father for a child. You cant be manly. You cant be paternal. Maybe it is a typical 18 year-old angst expressed here, and maybe it isnt. We have experienced typical teen angst in our children and while there is some of that in the article, there is something else there and it is a pity.
Julie - Come off it. Who "mocked" this girl?
Frankly, I dont see how anyone has the right to complain about the circumstances of their birth. This girl would not exist without artificial insemination and anonymous sperm donors. If she really feels that she has been wronged by the process, she should kill herself. Honestly, Im being serious. That is the only logical thing to do. She has the right to try to meet her father, of course, but if he refuses she has not been wronged. She must either accept the system with its limitations, or reject it altogether (which would mean giving up its benefits: her own life).
Basically, what Im saying is that when someone gives you a gift, you have the right to refuse it or return it, but not to claim that the giver has violated your rights. If I give someone a broken CD Player, they have the right to refuse it, but I did not violate their "rights."
Similarly, the sperm donor gave the girl the gift of life. Even if the particular life he gave was broken or of bad quality, that does not violate the girls rights. If she does not like the gift, she can return it (kill herself), but it is illogical to claim that you can violate someones rights by giving them something.
Daniel - Im a bit confused.
You wrote: Basically, what I’m saying is that when someone gives you a gift, you have the right to refuse it or return it . . .
How could this girl have refused the gift of life? How can anyone? This is true of most gifts, but life is different, and I dont think you account for that very well here.
You talk about giving a CD player and giving "life" as if they are one and the same. Again, Im not sure youve made a convincing case. As I pointed out, I can refuse the CD player. I cant refuse to be conceived. How are they so closely related??? Just because I can "return" them both? You really need to make a better argument here . . .
I believe it used to be the fashion for single people, male or female, who did not have kids, yet wanted kids, to get a pet. Although I am sure the unconditional love a pet gives is not as great or as good as a childs, nor can the pet "parent" unconditionally love the pet as much or in the same way he or she could love a child, it makes a fairly good substitute.
I imagine that Kate will survive Steve Sparks callousness, which twists Kate off in a direction she did not take. Kate has relevant experience for her thoughtful remarks. Steve Sparks has evidently had a pet.
Ha! Getting a pet might be wiser, but then folks like Hal Holst (and Mark Steyn) would be looking at the American demographic with real despair.
Men in America have a shocking tendency not to marry women they impregnate, and the divorce rate is high. I know of four men who have abandoned their families, divorce in two cases, mere promises in the other two, and remain unemployed or under-employed so as not to have to pay child support. One of these "gave the gift of life" to seven children before leaving them because it was all too hard. At least the women who go in for artificial insemination know what the deal is going to be.
Besides, pets do not care for you in your old age. A child just might.
Matt, the two gifts are closely related because the girl, if she finds the life she was given so unsatisfactory, can simply kill herself. What you point out is a very minor discrepancy in the analogy. Getting a gift of life is like getting a gift in the mail; maybe it cannot be refused per se, but it can certainly be disposed of, and the giver cannot possibly be considered a violator of the recepients rights.
You know about white (or pink?) elephants, right?
Yes, I throw them away. ;-)