In the post-father’s day review of the news, I came across one article that demands some comment. “The Gift of Being Gay and a Dad” (The New York Times) chronicles a gay man’s feelings on believing that he would never be able to have a child:
“It was the thing that broke my heart: the feeling that by coming out, I was giving up the one thing I had always wanted since I was a kid – more than any profession or any pursuit – being a dad… I believed that building a family and leaving children as a legacy would be my best-lived life.”
The author writes a touching piece about his joy at being able to use reproductive technology to obtain not one baby, but two – both boys. “And our boys are the best part of our lives. They are our little miracles,” he states.
I can understand the emotional upheaval that would come from never having children. As a heterosexual, that is the part of same-sex behavior that elicits the most thought and compassion from me regarding those who experience same-sex attraction. Yet as I read the well-written article my brain was screaming: “What about the child!?”
As wonderful as it may be for this gay man to now have his life’s dream fulfilled, what about the two boys who were intentionally stripped of their mother? Is this just about adult need? What about the children who won’t have their very real needs met – the need to know and be reared by the two people who created them? Children want their mother and their father – a very simple concept.
Psychologists have coined the term “genealogical bewilderment,” which attempts to describe the feelings that come from not being reared by or from having little information about both of your biological parents. Common sense would tell you that children have a deep longing to know where they come from, who they look like, who they belong to. Children have a deep longing to know the missing other half of them.
What about the confusion that surely must be a part of these young boy’s lives? (I’m not just talking about growing up in a home with two daddies.) There is some excellent work and research being done on surrogacy and the impact of reproductive technologies on donor-conceived children. Thankfully, the conversation is growing.
You’ll notice that I haven’t even touched on the issue of gay-parenting, a topic that has received wide-coverage recently. That is a topic for another post.
Legal expert J.C. von Krempach explains the situation this way:
The novel concept of “same-sex families” is thus a legal artifice in which the natural bond between parents and children is substituted by legal acts (such as adoption) or technical manipulations (such as the artificial insemination of a lesbian woman with a donor’s semen). This difference is what lies at the heart of the debate around the novel concept of “families”.
[T]he LGBT lobby uses human rights vocabulary to fight against human rights, notably those of the children who, as victims of gay adoption, are turned into some kind of commodity for gays and lesbians wishing to play “family”.
For the record, heterosexuals were instrumental in developing and using the technology that created this mess and homosexuals aren’t the only ones that are violating children’s rights to know and be reared by both of their parents. Nor can we ignore the astronomically high rates of unmarried child bearing, single parent homes and the continued high rate of divorce. All create hardship and dismal outcomes for children.
Bottom line: Children aren’t some type of trophy or prize – nor are they to be obtained to round out one’s life and bring fulfillment of some kind. Children need their father and their mother together for the duration. It is their right and their desperate need. This article is just one more example of children’s needs taking a back seat to adults’. It needs to stop.