Public Discourse 2 August 2013
What are the rights of donor-conceived people? To ask this question is to suggest that we have different rights from everyone else—and so we do, because we’ve allowed it.
We’ve created a class of people who are manufactured, and treat them as less-than-fully human, demanding that they be grateful for whatever circumstances we give them. While fathers of traditionally conceived human beings are chased down and forced to make child support payments as a minimal standard of care, people conceived commercially are reprimanded when they question the anonymous voids that their biological fathers so “lovingly” left.
The crimes against the donor-conceived bend time and space. The adults that betray us do so before official personhood, which is the loophole through which this new form of human trafficking is made possible. Is gamete-selling all that different from baby-selling?
I recently discussed third-party reproduction and “the rights of donor-conceived people” at a debate at the Institute for American Values. My opponent was an older gay man, who with his male partner hired two surrogates and one egg donor in the generation of three children. He was there to argue that it’s okay to dispose of mothers and manufacture children as long as it’s done the “right” way. I was there as a representative of donor-conceived people.
When slavery was abolished, with it went the notion not only that you could own another human being, but also that you could separate a person from his biological kin. Countless historical examples teach us that human beings deeply desire connection to their biological kin, especially their biological parents and siblings. If we recognize that it’s wrong to displace human beings as if they were products, not people, then we should also see that a concept like donor-conception is wrong in principle.