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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Cons Of Egg and Embryo Donation

Embryo Adoption (as it is rightly called) is a fertilized egg with no genetic match to either parent being born to people often who otherwise do not qualify for traditional adoption. This can be due to age, lack of funds ect. Even though the child will be born to the mother it will not look like either parent and be no different to a baby adopted at birth.

The donor family is usually a husband and wife who froze eggs due to cost and saving the mother from another extraction. When they have conceived all of the children they wish to have, a surplus is left over. The new term for this is "snowflake baby". They feel they don't wish to donate them to science or otherwise destroy them so they are placed for adoption. Contact between the families can be open or closed. Laws are not in place yet to oversee this.

 The lack of knowledge of and definite relationship to one's genealogy,  “genealogical bewilderment”, and which can result in the stunting of emotional development in adopted children and can lead them to irrational rebellion against their adoptive parents and the world as a whole. Ignorance about their personal origin made adolescence more of a strain for adopted children than other children and genealogical bewilderment is a factor which frequently appears to be present in adoption stress.

Several other researchers found a predilection for impulsive behavior and acting out, antisocial symptoms in adopted children at birth. Adopted children often go through a stage of feeling like an outsider. He may fantasize about the person he would have been had he been raised by his "real " family. The child will think about his genetic parents everyday. This is true with knowing the parents and without in open and closed adoptions. When the child is asked who she looks like or how many brother or sisters he has. His cultural heritage may not be the same and his medical history will not match the parents.As the child becomes an adolescent he will have great difficulty establishing a sense of self because he will have no sense of his true history or heritage. He will not know who is supposed to be because he will not know his true origins if the adoption is closed or semi open. Not knowing another biological relative makes one feel like a misfit. The first relative most adoptees meet is their own child. The birth of a child in an adoptees life always brings the question..."how could I give this baby away"?

How would a person feel to know that they were not needed by their original family? That somewhere there is a loving mom, dad and full blood siblings that get to grow up with them while the child is born to a world where he or she should be grateful they were not destroyed. Would the donor mother feel the same if she carried the child to term and gave him away or is it a disconnection from a group of cells in a freezer? What if the child is abused or not told they are adopted? What if the adoptive family does not honor the open agreement?

The major issue here is cost. In most instances it is cheaper to create extra embryos and cheaper to adopt an embryo than a child. The Catholic Church is also debating this topic.In 2008, the Vatican released a major document on bioethics, “Dignitas Personae” (“The Dignity of a Person”), that reiterated the Catholic view that embryos should not be created in the lab and frozen, but added that embryo adoption is also not allowed. It is, the document said, “a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved.” In the United States, Congress and the Bush administration gave $1 million to promote embryo adoption.

Embryo donation is legally considered a property transfer and not an adoption by state laws. However, Georgia enacted a statute called the "Option of Adoption Act" in 2009 which provided a procedure for couples to become eligible for the federal Adoption Tax Credit.

Embryo adoption is implanting cells which could not grow on their own. If not for artificial means would die on their own. They were intentionally created in a lab and can remain frozen indefinitely."All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and are entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." There will be no original birth certificate or hospital record should the donor recipient decide to not tell the person he or she is not adopted. If there is a flood, fire or unexpected death the identity of the adopted person's ancestors will be lost forever. Not telling people they are adopted is a bad practice. Less than 5 % of adoptions are closed. The sealing of birth records is a short lived, bad practice that caused unnecessary suffering.

There is also a new way to choose the donor egg and donor sperm thus intentionally creating an orphan with no intention of ever being used for the genetic parents. If your personal or religious views support embryo donation as an alternative to destroying the embryo you must consider that creating a human being with no relation to either parent in a closed adoption who wouldn't exist otherwise is morally wrong and reprehensible. Enter the "designer baby" who is destined to be top of the class, excel in math, and have hair, eyes and other physical characteristics that fit his or her parents' wish list.The main objection to the procedure is that it opens the door to a world of unethical possibilities. A very slippery slope for future generations.

Adopted children face loss in the most loving of homes. Our ancestors and family history help give us a sense of belonging and define who we are. Adoption is a life-long issue that deals with identity and the broken thread of family continuity. Being adopted is not always a better life, but a different one. One must decide if embryo donation is adoption or it isn't. If the embryo is a person for abortion issues it must have the same rights for embryo donation issues. One must put their own wants and needs aside and consider the dignity of an adopted person even if he or she is only in the beginning stages of life.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Closed Adoption Is Child Abuse

Adoption was a social experiment in which babies born to unmarried mothers were taken at birth and given to strangers for adoption. It was claimed to be in the best interests of the child, who would be protected from the slur of illegitimacy and would have a better life in the adoptive family. Adoption enabled infertile married couples to have a family, and the State saved money on its welfare bill.
Adoption legislation was first introduced in the 1920s, but adoption was slow to be accepted, due to the belief that immorality and other evil tendencies were passed on from mother to child. After World War II, however, when environment was seen as more important than heredity in the development of the child, adoption became more popular. It was believed that mothers would not bond with their babies if the babies were taken immediately after birth, and the mothers were prevented from seeing them, and that babies would bond successfully with their adoptive families if they were placed as soon as possible after birth. All ties with the natural mother were then severed, the child was issued with a new birth certificate which showed him as being born to the adoptive parents, and the records were sealed.
Adoption was promoted as being in the best interests of the child. Mothers were expected to forget about their child and get on with their lives, get married and have children of their own. Adoption was seen as an instant cure for infertility. None of these beliefs was based on any scientific evidence.
In 1952 a British psychiatrist, Wellisch, drew attention to a problem of adoption - the lack of knowledge of and definite relationship to one's genealogy, which he termed “genealogical bewilderment”, and which could result in the stunting of emotional development in adopted children and could lead them to irrational rebellion against their adoptive parents and the world as a whole, and eventually to delinquency. Ignorance about their personal origin made adolescence more of a strain for adopted children than other children and genealogical bewilderment is a factor which frequently appears to be present in adoption stress.
Several other researchers found a predilection for impulsive behavior and acting out, antisocial symptoms in adopted children. (Simon & Senturia, 1966; Jackson, 1968) They were found to have serious adjustment problems in adolescence (McWhinnie, 1969), and all seemed to have a sense of abandonment by the birth parents irrespective of experiences. (Triseliotis, 1971) Triseliotis suggested that the wound could be healed in a loving adoptive family, but the scar always remains.

The child who does not grow up with his own biological parents, who does not even know them or any one of his own blood, is an individual who has lost the thread of family continuity. A deep identification with our forebears, as experienced originally in the mother-child relationship, gives us our most fundamental security. :xplode
However it was not until 1991 that anyone writing about adoption gave any serious consideration to the traumatic effects of separating mother and child at birth. Nancy Verrier hypothesised that the severing of the connection between the child and biological mother causes a primal wound, which often manifests in a sense of loss (depression), basic mistrust (anxiety), emotional and/or behavioral problems, and difficulties in relationships with significant others.
Studies conducted on animals, particularly other primates, indicate that there may be a biological basis for what Verrier calls the primal wound. Reite in 1978 demonstrated that when monkey infants were separated from their mothers they experienced decreases in body temperature and sleep pattern changes, even when the separated infants were immediately adopted by another adult female. Reite suggests that these physiological changes are not due to the physical absence of the mother, but are caused, at least in part, by the perception of loss of the mother on the part of the infant, i.e., the cause is essentially psychological.
Separation of newborn babies from their mothers causes a high secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. (Bowlby 1980; Noble 1993) There is physiological evidence from studies of laboratory rats that the level of maternal care given to the infant influences its response to stress: the more care, the lower the levels of hormones like adrenaline in reaction to stressful circumstances. People who are highly reactive to stress are at greater risk for the development of depression, and drug and substance abuse problems, etc. Adopted people have a greater vulnerability to stress, and are also at greater risk for depression and drug and substance related abuse problems.
Studies in primates show that if an infant is deprived of its mother soon after birth, the infant's brain does not develop normally. For example, the number and sensitivity of the infant's brain receptor sites for endorphins - the internal morphine-like chemicals that affect mood - are diminished."
Vicki M. Rummig, author of "Adoption: Trauma that Lasts a Life Time," reports that, "When the adoptee is separated from her birth mother, she undergoes extensive trauma. She will not remember this trauma, but it will stay in her subconscious as she lived it." How long the newborn will live with this trauma is unknown since a baby's memory cannot be quantified. "An event from a person's infancy can and will stay with them through life," says Nancy Verrier, author of "The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child." It's no coincidence, Rummig suggests, that many of these children grow up to be emotionally wounded. It should be noted that Rummig herself was adopted as a baby.

Adopted children often go through a stage of feeling like an outsider. He may fantasize about the person he would have been had she not been adopted. He'll come up with ideas of what his birth parents are like and may even produce a ghost-like image of what his life and family would have been like. Rummig describes the experience that he and other adoptees have as "feeling like my adoptive family is in a big circle but I am on the outside looking in.
With the adoptee not having a role model who resembles her physically or psychologically, it is more difficult to define where her life shall lead. She may come from a biologically artistic family, but adopted into a scientific family. She may not only feel the need to follow in her adoptive family’s footsteps, attending similar colleges, choosing similar careers, but she did not have the artistic role model to show her that way of life. This further complicates the identity formation of the adoptee. “One’s identity begins with the genes and family history...” (Reitz & Watson, 1992, p. 134)
Adoptees also lack the ability to see their physical characteristics as they will present themselves in the future. A natural born daughter would be able to tell how big she is going to be, if she will have a tendency to be overweight, or if she is going to go grey early in life, but the adoptee is denied this genetic role model and will not know these things until she reaches that stage in life herself. This adds to the curiosity of wanting to know their genetic background.
Rachel says that families are a hall of mirrors, “Everyone but adoptees can look in and see themselves reflected. I didn’t know what it was like to be me. I felt like someone who looks into a mirror and sees no reflection. I felt lonely, not connected to anything, floating, like a ghost.” (Lifton, 1994, p. 68)
The adoptee will feel even more dissociated when conversations regarding other family members or peers births are brought up. She is missing the story of her birth parents meeting, her conception, her birth, and in some instances, sometime after her birth. It is often commented that the adoptee feels placed on this earth, not born or that they are some type of space alien. Non-adoptees take their own life story for granted, but the adoptee is acutely aware that theirs is missing. So now, not only does the adoptee feel dissociated from her adoptive family, but also from her peers, for she is different.
Adoptees are faced with a feeling of loss and grief that they are not allowed, by society, to actively mourn. “With adoption, the child experiences a loss (like divorce or death) of an unknown person, and doesn’t know why.” (Adopting Resources, 1995) She is aware that family members are lost to her, but is expected to not mourn the loss of this family member she has never known. She will often be chastised when asking questions of her birth family from her adoptive family.
The consensus among researchers is that adoption affects development throughout life, with the fact of "being adopted," creating unique responses to significant life-events, e.g., the birth of a child
In Western culture, the dominant conception of family revolves around a heterosexual couple with biological offspring. As a consequence, research indicates, disparaging views of adoptive families exist, along with doubts concerning the strength of their family bonds
The most recent adoption attitudes survey completed by the Evan Donaldson Institute provides further evidence of this stigma. Nearly one-third of the surveyed population believed adoptees are less-well adjusted, more prone to medical issues, and predisposed to drug and alcohol problems. Additionally, 40-45% thought adoptees were more likely to have behavior problems and trouble at school. In contrast, the same study indicated adoptive parents were viewed favorably, with nearly 90% describing them as, "lucky, advantaged, and unselfish."
Not all of these issues affect adoptees to the same extent. Some may spend a lifetime dwelling on it, others may not even appear to notice. This would be true of any group of people that lived through trauma, such as Vietnam War Veterans. It should be noted that adoptees are over represented in residential treatment centers.

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