This weekend a new movie opens which would have been unimagineable (both scientifically and morally) just a few years ago. In The Kids Are All Right, the children of two lesbians search for their biological, sperm-donor dad. I obviously haven’t seen the movie, but I suspect that it will push the typical cultural message that non-traditional families are as good if not better than husband-wife families because the children are even more loved. Unlike traditional families, where the baby might have been an “accident,” a lesbian mother chose to become pregnant. So you see honey, she really wanted you.
As Julianne Moore explained on CBS’ The Early Show, “The great thing about this family is it’s a typical American family. I mean, they’re incredibly lucky; they have one working parent, a stay-at-home parent, which is extraordinarily rare these days. Children are well cared for and loved and cherished. The partnership is — you know, it’s definitely a portrait of a middle-aged marriage.”
Sadly, our culture’s insistence on the individual right of the single mother to have a child by sperm donation does not typically consider the consequences for the child. Many of these children are now grown up and they are speaking up, and they confess that they have a huge hole in their hearts. Imagine the identity issues of learning that your father is an anonymous sperm donor. That you may have met him and didn’t realize it. That you could date and marry a blood relative without knowing it. That if you’re lucky enough to locate your dad, that he probably doesn’t want a relationship with you. He donated his sperm for money, not because he cared about you.
As this sperm donor teenager in The Washington Post explains, she was jealous of other children whose parents divorced, because at least they had a dad. These kids were often coddled and comforted for what they were losing, but no one ever noticed that she didn’t even have a dad to lose.
Now imagine ten years out, when these poor children marry and attempt to have healthy families. What have we wrought? Anyway, enjoy your movie.