Who’s Your Daddy?

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Yesterday, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and regular contributor to FoxNews, published the following opinion piece titled. “A Father’s Day Plea – Let’s Stop Anonymous Sperm Donations.” Take a minute and go read it. It’s important stuff.


In the piece, he writes,

Yet, without seemingly having given it much thought to it at all, our society now allows millions of men and women to create children who will never know their biological fathers. That’s because we sanction allowing men and women to purchase sperm from anonymous donors. These donors will forever be shielded from having their identities discovered by their sons and daughters.

This policy inherently presupposes that bearing children who have no opportunity to know their biological fathers does not deprive them of anything that is inherently theirs–as a fundamental human right.

It also presupposes that the biological connection between fathers and children is without much value at all–since in a wholesale (or shall I say, retail) manner, we sanction tens of millions of kids being born who have no idea whatsoever who their biological fathers are and can never find out, period.

Up until that point, I was like, “YEEEEEESSSS, Dr. Ablow! You tell them all!!!!” And then I read this:

None of this, by the way, has anything to do with adoption. When a child is adopted, many have the option of finding their parents later on. And even if they can’t, their adoptions into (hopefully) loving homes were a solution to other problems in their early lives that needed to be solved.

Artificial insemination by anonymous sperm donors solves no problem of any child. It is a convenience to adults who are encountering fertility problems and would prefer the convenience of jettisoning part of their child’s true life history in order to commandeer that child from its true biological father.

Uh…Dr. Ablow, I beg to differ. This issue has EVERYTHING to do with adoption and I would hazard a guess there are a host of others who agree with me. Adoptees across this nation of ours have had their true life history jettisoned for the convenience and comfort of their adoptive parents. Not having factual and accurate information about their TRUE LIFE HISTORY is JUST AS WRONG for adoptees as it is for the offspring of anonymous gamete donors (sperm or egg). Adoptees are not children of a lesser God simply because their adoption was a “solution” to an artificial “problem” (in our case) or real problem. They are just as deserving of factual information about their origins as every single other human being.

True, some adoptees are eventually able to get around the system of falsified and sealed birth records to discover their true origins, but as a matter of law, most cannot. And yes, some adoptees grow up in loving homes, but that doesn’t nullify their fundamental human rights.

Towards the end of the piece, Dr. Ablow says,

In my gut, I felt it would be wrong to have many children of mine born onto the planet inherently, irrevocably, forever disconnected from me.

He’s right. It is wrong to have children walking the planet inherently, irrevocably (in Utah, immediately when the TPR is signed), and forever (especially in the LDS church) disconnected from their biological parents.  This is a Truth the adoption industry works overtime to cover up and obfuscate. It is a Truth  most relinquishing mothers know in their guts as well, a Truth we must subvert deep into our psyche so we can survive the loss.

Dr. Ablow is right in more ways than that, too.  The opportunity to know our biological parents is an inherent and “fundamental human right.” This is just as true for you and all other adoptees, too, not just offspring of anonymous gamete donations.

Much love,


9 thoughts on “Who’s Your Daddy?

  1. Ablow also writes:

    “I would wager anything that many thousands of children born in this fashion develop significant anxiety or depression, or both, because the first chapter of their life story is a manipulation. If they are lied to about their origins then they have parents who are liars, by definition.”

    And this is different from adoption how exactly?

    Adoptees are routinely lied to about our origins by the state governments that falsify our birth records. The first chapter of our lives is a complete manipulation of our life story through which we are expected to take on the role of a child who was born to our adoptive parents. For Ablow to dismiss the direct correlation between his premise and those of adoptees in our country shows that he is clearly not a well-rounded professional. He is also, clearly, an extremely biased professional who should not treat or counsel adoptees in any way.

    Thanks for sharing M.

    • And if HE is missing the point, it is a pretty good indicator MOST health professionals miss this point as well. Which, as most of us who have sought professional counseling services find out, is pretty much true (unless we are fortunate enough to live around a therapist like Verrier).

  2. I was almost to the point of saying I agreed with him (which I do on the first part) but of course adoption is “different” and we don’t have that same fundamental right that every other person has, or the abiity to intuit the disconnect or any of that that stuff…and it was probably a solution to other problems…yah – the domestic infant adoption industry would be the name for that other problem…

    I guess either it is meant to be fathers day post or he doesn’t feel that people conceived by anonymous egg donors will inuit that same disconnect (sperm donation yes / egg donation no) – or the real, inherent risks of egg “donors” pumping themselves full of hormones and having an invasive extraction performed on them…guess they don’t matter either.

    Too bad – I was ready to change my opinion of him…

    Made me grumpy – what a let down.


    • I think it was meant to be a Father’s Day post, as in the opening lines he says, “We are just a few days away from Father’s Day 2012. On Sunday, June 17, Americans will celebrate the value of fatherhood. Yet, without seemingly having given it much thought to it at all, our society now allows millions of men and women to create children who will never know their biological fathers.” To me, this explains his focus on the sperm donor aspect of it all, as opposed to the egg donors.

      BUT it doesn’t explain the “this has nothing to do with adoption.” I am so perplexed as to the disconnect between the issues of identity and human rights of people who resulted from anonymous gamete donation vs those who were adopted. Fundamentally, they are the same: Both are groups of human beings systematically and systemically denied the truth of their origins and history. If denying this information to donor babies is wrong, it is wrong for adoptees, too.

      • Of course you are right – one group deserves it and the other group doesn’t when both are equally deprived…

    • Don’t stress, my friend. The words will come when they are able to, I promise. We all go through times where we need to retreat and retrench, where we just need to *be* and not be *doing.* Honor that in yourself. In this sorry sisterhood, we must learn to be patient with our grief as it ebbs and flows in our lives. Sometimes that means not having the ability to put into words the hurt that sears our hearts. (((Ws)))

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