Monthly Archives: January 2014

An Adoptee’s Review of MTV’s Generation Cryo

By Kristi Blazi Lado

I’ll admit that that my ignorance on donor conception was somewhat willful. The human rights abuses in adoption has occupied so much of my psychological space that I just haven’t been open to learning about something that had so much potential to be worse.
When I first saw the promos for MTV’s Generation Cryo, my first thought was for the love of all-that-is-holy, no doorstep ambushes, Jersey Shore behavior, or anything that would make people who are searching for biological relatives look like lunatics. I’m glad I gave it a chance because not only was the subject was treated respectfully but I was able to fully appreciate the parallels between adoptees and the donor-conceived.
 
Generation Cryo is a documentary series following sperm donor-conceived Breeanna Speicher in her journey to find her biological father. Bree tours the country to meet some of her 15 half-siblings that she discovered through the Donor Sibling Registry, a non-profit organization created to help siblings connect with each other and possibly their donors. A few agree to travel to California to support Bree in her search.
In watching this show, I observed family dynamics that were glaringly similar, if not identical to closed adoption situations.
 
Parental Pressure
Many of the young adults in this show were very worried about hurting their parents, particularly their fathers, and in the worst cases were saddled with managing their parents’ feelings of insecurity.  Some seemed to accept this as being their responsibility and (much like in-the-fog adoptees) modeled their parents’ attitudes toward the donor. In the worst cases, meeting the donor was seen as an act of disrespect to the parents.
It was very sad to witness Jonah and Hilit’s dad, Eric, struggle with not being their genetic father and the effect it had on his family. He admits that he was hesitant to tell his children how they were conceived because he wanted them to be “his” kids. He remarked, “Adding donor… adding siblings is not my definition of family.” Eric’s wife, Terri, is the only one in their family that expresses interest in meeting the donor. I love what she says in response to Eric’s disapproval: “I would want to know where they came from because that would help me know my children better.” Exactly. Isn’t that why adoptees search? We want to know ourselves better.
Eric wasn’t the only parent with unresolved issues. When Paige and Molly inform their mother of the donor’s name she looked less-than-pleased remarking, “This is going to hurt him [their father] a lot… more than you know,” and “You are mine. I don’t want to share you with him.”
Luckily for Breeanna, her two mothers were very supportive of her search. I couldn’t help but notice that the three siblings expressing the most interest in meeting the donor – Breeanna, Jesse, and Jayme – were the three that didn’t grow up with a father figure. I don’t feel this is a coincidence. It seemed easier for these families to deal with the idea of having the donor in their lives because there was no perceived threat to an existing father’s role.
The parents’ approval of the siblings’ relationships, while being a great thing, also (in my opinion) exposes the hypocrisy of those who disapproved of their children finding the donor. In other words, relationships with biological relatives are considered healthy & ok as long as nobody feels as if they are being replaced. It was obvious to me that the ease of which the siblings relate to one another was likely due to the fact that their parents were not threatened by these relationships.
This show has strengthened my conviction that the degree to which the parents have come to grips with their infertility and accepted the truth of their child’s origins will have a significant impact on the level of anxiety that child will feel about searching for his roots.

Divorce Corp.

Looking forward to seeing this!

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41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

When I first arrived out of high school I started volunteering one day a week at NARAL Pro-Choice America. It was an office full of women, whom I considered all to be smart. We went to Democratic conventions, handed out brochures and signs and materials. I organized the list of financial donors–which had many recognizable names. I remember asking one of the women that worked there full time why she became a feminist. She grew up in the protestant faith and one day visited her pastor to ask him what can I do to make the world a better place? His response to her was this: “If you want to make the world a better place you should be loyal and obedient to your husband.”

From there on she was put off.

When I was pro-choice I too felt a nauseous aversion to men and patriarchy. I had scar tissue from every boyfriend, every father-figure. I joined NARAL because in my world, men did everything they could to take advantage of me. In my world, I was expected to provide sex, but men were not expected to love me, nor devote themselves or their resources to raising a child. In a world like this, with so much sex, but so little love and commitment, women must be able to abort their unborn children lest we invite a landslide of chaos and poverty into women’s lives.

But now I realize, no woman should have to choose between security and her children. We can demand that guys be men.

And how about this for the business side of abortion:

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Princeton’s Love & Fidelity Network Conference

I was honored to be asked to give a presentation on the Princeton campus for Love & Fidelity Network’s annual conference, this year’s theme being: Sexual Integrity and the University. Sexual and reproductive ethics are changing rapidly not just in America but around the world and smart people are doing right by questioning these changes and asking what moral implications they bare.

The title of my presentation was The Emperor’s New Kids and the video can be viewed here.

I speak on why we should reconsider the “wanted” child and how profits and market mentality seriously interfere with children’s (and women’s) well-being.

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Youtube Series Begins

I’m beginning a series of youtube videos about donor-conception and child procurement. I’ve discovered that some people don’t like to read or rather prefer video/audio and so I’ve decided to do my best to condense certain ideas and offer them as Youtube thought nuggets.

My first four are <5 min. each and speak on fatherlessness, the difference between adoption and 3PR (third party reproduction), a recent fertility industry conference I attended, and an introduction to The Anonymous Us Project.

Enjoy!