What to me being a parent means

Over the last almost year at this point I’ve had time to reflect on why I desired to parent and what being a parent means to me. Believe it or not my wife and I made a decision this year for our never conceived child. I’ve shared info about my infertility, what I haven’t shared is that there was one chance we had to have a child and that was for me to have a biopsy done to see if any sperm extracted. We declined on that for two reasons, the first is that there has never been a reported case of any sperm being extracted from someone with my microdeletions and more importantly even if they found sperm I would pass along this condition to a male offspring. Pursuing that would have been selfish on our part. As much as I would love a little mini me running around (though I question whether my wife would) I couldn’t have lived with myself knowing that my selfish desire was the reason my son was infertile.

Which brings me to a blog post that was written by one of my favorite adoptee bloggers Kat Stanley. Her work is powerful and hits the reader with raw emotion making you think about how you would feel if you lived what she did. There are so many times reading her work where I am angry at the adults in her life and the things they said to her. Kat deserved so much more than what she got.

Today she wrote a piece that in my opinion should not only be a guide for adoptive parents but any parent for that matter. It’s about how parents at times when pursuing parenthood ignore the reality that there are going to be difficult times in a child’s life where a parent is going to need to step up check their ego at the door and be there for their child. Sure there are fun times when they are an infant and toddler but also challenging times as a child and teenager where you need to be there for them.

Was it only my childhood you wanted?

Do you have dreams of seeing me with my little friends at a slumber party? But when I get older, will you show me contempt when I get into trouble at school with friends because my issues with adoption have started to surface?

There are many parts of the piece that are powerful but this one stuck out to me. For me my parents probably didn’t imagine I was going to have the issues with ADD and social issues I did when they decided to have children. But when those problems came up they got me the help I needed and provided the support needed. My mother used to drive me to tutors and summer workshops to help with skills to help me in school. My dad used to drive me all over the state of NJ to drive me to swim practice and meets to help build my confidence as a person. That’s what being a parent means to me. Making sacrifices for your children and when things get tough for your child you step up and do everything in your power to be there for them. To answer Kat’s question, it’s not just a childhood I want to be there for them, I want to be there for the child until death due us part. Whether they want us in their lives as adults is up to them but our door will always be open no matter how good or bad things are. Being a good parent for me is how well they handle the difficult situations not just the happy ones.

4 thoughts on “What to me being a parent means

  1. Inferile Male

    I think this was a great piece. I do not only want childhood for my kid. I want the full parenthood experience. There will come a point when I won’t want to nurture anymore (at least not like I would an infant). I actually think about my child as an adolescent and young adult. I look forward to all the stages of my child’s life and the unique blessings that each stage brings. I actually think about myself giving my daughter away at her wedding. I am sure at some point I will even look forward to grandkids (and I am only 35!) I think too many parents are short term thinkers. They never think of their children as individuals who will one day grow up and be adults doing adult things. This lack of long term thought is what causes the trouble outlined in the article.

  2. marilynn

    Greg I hardly think passing along your medical condition is a reason for you not to have children of your own. As long as you take care of your own children and are responsible for them and do right by them you will have done your job. What if your parents knew in advance that you might have this condition and they chose not to have you? You’re living life, your in love, your adding something positive to the world by being present. I’m sure you have hoards of friends that feel your existence has influenced their lives in ways nobody else could. Medical conditions can be managed. Hell, they can even be cured over time. The important thing is that people who bring their offspring into the world need to be there for them personally to deal with whatever hardships their children face. I’m just saying it would be far less selfish of you to get your wife pregnant yourself and take responsibility for raising your own child that has a condition you yourself have, than it would be for her to have a child with a man she’s never met who could be her own cousin for all she knows. Far less selfish to raise a kid who has your medical condition that you understand and can empathize with them on – that aparently they could then turn around at 35 and pass to their kid, who might be a girl for all you know. Your you and you are great and more of you would be great.

    When people talk about donor offspring and say would they rather not exist when they complain about the wreckage that their mother an father created by agreeing he could abandon them, it’s like no, of course they should exist. Everyone whose ever been born should be born. It’s fantastic that all my friends whose Dads were donors exist. Of course they should have been born they just should not have been abandoned. They just should have been born with equal rights.

    Look up Kathleen Labounty. She’s donor offspring and she talks about her older brother who was also donor offspring who was born severely mentally handicapped. Her mom gave him up at birth. Their Father whoever he is had no idea that he was producing babies that were mentally handicapped. How many mentally handicapped children did he create as a donor not knowing the results of his reproductive actions? How many of his children were adopted out to be raised separately in orphanages and asylums? It’s not that his children should not exist, not that mentally handicapped persons don’t deserve to live – its that he would naturally limit the number of his offspring to a manageable amount that he could raise and care for himself within his own family and take responsibility personally for their care, had he known and been held accountable for his own children. I found Kathleen’s brother for her. Some day she will have to take over his care but they’ll be denied the federal benefits of family leave act, the tax status that a relative dependent would have. Why? Because the law says they are not siblings. This is the wreckage of what is called donor conception. It separates real families and denies they are family even when they come together as adults. He deserves to exist and he deserves to be cared for by his own family. He was very much missed dispite his disabilities. He was loved deeply though she’d never met him and knew he was disabled. They are family and she was separated from him. See this as family separation.

    1. marilynn

      Also bundled nicely in Kathleeen’s story is the wreckage that adoption can cause to the legal kinship of family members. The laws have to change across the board so that people remain legally the children of their biological parents despite becomming the legal adoptive children of their adoptive parents. Would not be so hard. And of course in the case of having children with donors – adding the non bio parents name as a parent on their birth record is just black market adoption and it should be treated that way.

    2. gsmwc02 Post author

      If my parents did do that to me I would resent them for bringing me into this world because of their selfish desire it have children yet I wouldn’t have the ability to have a biological child. Despite how thankful I am for the life they provided me I would hate them for being the cause for the pain and suffering I’ve been through for the last year and what I will have to deal with the rest of my life. On top of the mental and emotional struggles I have had growing up and living with ADD as an Adult, I would have wished they never had me. But the reality is they didn’t. My parents had no trouble conceiving me or my brother.

      What it comes done to for us is that neither of us could look at our potential biological son in the face and tell them we knew this condition would be passed along to them and decided to go through it anyway. Plus as I said in this piece there has NEVER been a reported case of any man with micro deletions of the AZFb and AZFc arms of the Y Chromosome ever having any sperm. To have my nuts sliced and diced to confirm there is no sperm is not something I need to do. I have closure on not being able to have a biological child.


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