osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Intriguing follow up

Awhile ago I posted that the changes in family structure in new, ahistoric patterns will produce new issues for children that we cannot predict. This is neither good or bad, but something we should accept as inevitable. The specific focus of my comments was children of same-sex couples. Politically, supporters of gay marriage feel compelled to maintain that there is NO DIFFERENCE between a loving same sex family and a loving hetero family from a child development perspective. By contrast, those that argue that children reared in such an environemnt will face a different set of issues usually argue that any changes must be BAD, and therefore we must stop this ASSAULT on family values.

Canute can't hold back the tide. But Canute also understood he would get wet when the tide came in.

In any event, I found an intriguing follow up in Sunday's Washington Post. This article written by a woman conceived by artificial insemination details her personal issues -- and she ain't happy.

Unhappy children who lament that they did not ask to be born are hardly a new phenomena. But the author makes a very good point -- she is the first in a new generation of children conceived in a wholly new process, and the blithe assumptions by all the availabe consenting adults to her conception are not necessarily born out by reality.

Whether she is really the voice of a new generation is open to debate. One data point is hardly a trend. Nor, more importantly, is it clear what to do about it. The technology exists and people want to encourage donation. Retroactively changing the rules hardly seems fair. Nor is it necessarily wrong to want to facilitate choice among adults.

But I would say the first step is t actually be open to the idea that maybe, just maybe, wholly new ideas of family and child rearing are social experiments and we should study their outcomes with care. Rather than insist that all MUST be well because we desire to facilitate a particular pateern, we would do better to say "hey, reality marches on. Let's see what happens and address it honestly."

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