Ma Ma, Who’s My Pa?

As Christmas shopping begins in earnest, you may feel stressed thinking of your family. But if you think that’s hard, imagine what it would be like if you did not even know their names. That’s exactly what many young people face all year long, thanks to a “lifestyle” choice that ignores how life really works. The people I am talking about were conceived through donor insemination. Unlike most unwed mothers, their mothers, “single women and lesbian couples,” deliberately chose to have their children outside of marriage. To avoid the complications that would arise from knowing the identity of the father, they turned to sperm banks. And while this anonymity might have freed mom from unwanted complications, it created havoc for the kids. Lesbian parents apparently were clueless, believing that their kids would be happy with this arrangement, which is one reason an alternate lifestyle company markets T-shirts with “My Dad’s Name Is Donor” written on it. Well, as a recent article in the New York Times points out, things are not working out. Mothers may regard the men as mere sperm donors, but some of their kids had another name for them: “my father.” And as the first large group of children conceived through donor insemination enters its teen years, they are increasingly hungry to know their origins, their genetic history, where they came from. Given the way sperm banks operate, it’s next-to-impossible for kids to find out, though they may get as far as “Daddy was Donor 150.” But this meager information is enough for them to learn about the next-best thing: their siblings. A cottage industry has, thus, arisen to help connect kids with their half-siblings. Meetings between these young people often produce emotional connections. One of the kids profiled told the Times, connecting with her half-sister helped “salve” the anger she felt at being lied to about the circumstances of her birth. Both she and her half-sister described comparing male strangers they encountered against what little they knew about their own biological father. What incredible confusion for kids! But the mothers of these children assume that what’s good for their emotional well-being is good for their kids’. As long as they have a mom (or two) and their material needs are met, kids don’t need a father, or siblings, for that matter. Well, that kind of rationalizing denies the obvious: Kids need a sense of connection to something larger than themselves. And fathers and siblings are a vital part of that connection. Who of us has not wondered about our ancestors and where our families came from? Now imagine being told that these questions were completely out-of-bounds. You would feel cheated. What’s really “irrational” about all this is the belief that these yearnings and desires would not surface; and that because adults decided to “redefine” parenthood and family in a way that suited them—like gay “marriage”—their kids would feel no sense of loss. Sadly, this kind of blindness is all too common in our society today. The fact is, there is a natural created order, and wisdom in life is figuring out how it works and conforming your life accordingly. To rebel against it is not just sin, it’s dumb, because people get hurt—in this case, tragically, innocent kids.


Chuck Colson


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