Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Twenty-First Century Revolution in Parenthood

Sister Edith, a Professor of Sociology at St Scholastica in Duluth and who blogs at Monastic Musings has a sad post today commenting on the quiet 21st century revolution in parenthood that is taking place around us.

A new report looks at developments in the ways children are planned, conceived, carried in pregnancy, born, and find their way into families - and raises some difficult questions.

Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Adult Rights and Children's Need, sponsored by the Commission on Parenthood's Future, begins with an overview of changes in parenthood around the world:

* Canada replaced the term natural parent with legal parent
* Spain now records Progenitor A and Progenitor B on birth certificates, in place of mother and father
* New Zealand recognizes three or more parents for children conceived with donor sperm or eggs, allowing donors to opt in, or opt out, of parenthood
*India declared that children born through donor sperm or eggs had no rights to know about their biological parents
*Australia allows sperm donors to contact their over-18 age offspring
*In the US, conflicts regarding parenthood in donor and surrogate situations are unregulated, with a tremendous variety of complicated situations making their way through the courts.

These policies, says principal investigator Elizabeth Marquadt, focus on the desires and rights of adults who want to have children, to the neglect of the most vulnerable parties: the children themselves. But the voices of some of these children can now be heard: the first generation of children conceived through reproductive technology is now reaching adulthood, and is able to relate their experiences and feelings about the practice. [....snip] Read More

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