Kids need a real past: Children with donor parents suffer when those raising them downplay their origins
A little boy is pictured with his hands raised high, eyes looking off camera, lips pursed pensively to show off his adorable chubby cheeks. It could be just another Internet picture of a cute 3- or 4-year-old, but this one instantly filled me with shock and anger, for his sake.
Why? Because the words on his crisp, white T-shirt read, "My daddy's name is Donor."
The T-shirt and bib are offered by a company called Family Evolutions. Their Web site says the company was founded by a lesbian couple--pictured with their two young children--who live on the Jersey shore. Their son is the boy modeling the shirt.
What troubles me is that children today are being raised in an era of increasingly flexible definitions of parenthood, definitions that often serve the interests of adults without regard for children.
When they stop to consider the child's point of view, advocates for new technologies used by homosexual and heterosexual parents alike typically insist that children growing up in alternative family arrangements are just fine. End of story.
But it's not the end of the story. Those cute 3- and 4-year-olds grow up. They look in the mirror and see features and expressions they don't share with the parents who are raising them. They see other little friends who have a mom and a dad. They start asking questions.
Elizabeth Marquardt is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values in New York City. Her book on the inner lives of children of divorce will be published by Crown in September. She lives in Highland Park.
Read this article on the American Values website (new window will open).