Last week I wrote a piece for Catholic Lane about “donor-conceived children” being deprived of a connection with their biological father. Recently I came across an article from NPR discussing the exact same thing. They interviewed donor-conceived Kathleen LaBounty who told NPR that when she looks in the mirror she feels, “like it’s a reflection of a stranger because there are just pieces of me I can’t identify.”
She’s been on a quest to find her biological father for years, but has not had much luck. Part of the reason is because the fertility clinic her mom used actually mixed sperm from two or three men, so no one knew which actually fertilized the egg. Just cruel. She also sees the hypocrisy of the whole anonymous donor process:
Couples use donor sperm or egg because they very much want at least some biological connection to their child. And yet, she says, by using anonymous donors they cut off that child’s other links.
“And not just with the biological father, but aunts, uncles, grandparents. It’s half of the family,” she says.
Another donor-conceived child, Katrina Clarke, said something similar in an op-ed for the Washington Post back in 2006:
It’s hypocritical of parents and medical professionals to assume that biological roots won’t matter to the “products” of the cryobanks’ service, when the longing for a biological relationship is what brings customers to the banks in the first place.
We offspring are recognizing the right that was stripped from us at birth — the right to know who both our parents are.
Funny how both of these women, in their own words, perfectly articulate what the Catholic Church has to say about third party reproduction:
Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. (CCC 2376, emphasis mine)
The kids get it. Why can’t the adults?
This is not just a problem with sperm donation. Many children are being conceived and born via egg donation and surrogates.