The study is here. (H/T Dr. J from RuthBlog)
Dr. J writes:
The Institute for American Values has just published a new study, My Daddy’s Name is Donor, of how donor conceived persons are doing in comparison with those who were born and raised by their biological parents and in comparison with those who were adopted.
And she notes this comment from a gay man who thinks that the fact that he and his partner PLANNED their donor-conceived child, that they are therefore justified morally in doing so.
The gay man writes:
I’m a gay man who has had a child, with my partner of 8 years, through surrogacy and egg donation. The egg donor and surrogate will be known to our son.
One way that I explain to people our experience with the artificial reproduction process is that it is the opposite of being ‘knocked-up’. We were very involved in the planning and conception and the growth and birth of our child. Our child’s conception and birth was considered, thought about, planned for, dreamed about, fantasized about. He was most definitely wanted. He is loved and treasured.
We did not have sex to have our child. We did not have wedded, heterosexual, within marriage, we-want-to-have-a-child-sex. We did not have wedded, passionate, spur-of-the-moment at the wrong time of the month (or the wrong time of our life) sex. We did not have wedded, spur-of-the-moment, right time of the month sex. We did not have any of these types heterosexual sex as unmarried heterosexuals.
But so many children are born to heterosexual couples via each of these eight scenarios. So many. Many more, around the world are born in wider range of unloving scenarios.
And then one of the authors (Elizabeth Marquardt) of the new study responds by citing evidence.
I just want to note that one way of looking at the My Daddy’s Name is Donor study is as a study of three groups: The first completely one hundred percent wanted and intended — that is, the donor offspring. The other two groups made up of a lot of unintended pregnancies — that is, the adopted and those raised by their biological parents.
Which group is faring the worst? The 100 percent wanted, planned, intended group. The donor offspring, overall, even with controls, are twice as likely to have struggled with substance abuse and delinquency, and 1.5 times as likely to have struggled with depression, compared to those raised by their biological parents (and these differences are significant). The adopted generally fall in between except with regard to depression in which case they were higher than both the donor conceived and the raised-by-biological.
No one is saying, T, that “all” of those raised by biological parents are doing great. But when you look at these populations, measured by our study, you find that, contrary to today’s conventional wisdom, being wanted isn’t enough. What the child is born into — who the child is raised by — matters.
Some more stats from Maggie Gallagher.
Forty-five percent of these young adults conceived by donor insemination agree, “The circumstances of my conception bother me.” Almost half report that they think about their donor conception a few times a week or more. Forty-five percent agree, “It bothers me that money was exchanged in order to conceive me.”
Nearly half of donor offspring (compared to about a fifth of adopted adults) agree, “When I see friends with their biological fathers and mothers, it makes me feel sad.” Similarly, 53 percent (compared to 29 percent of adoptees) agree, “It hurts when I hear other people talk about their genealogical background.”
This is not fair to children – it treats them like a commodity instead of as a gift from God to be treasured and nurtured.