Yesterday’s New York Times had a fascinating article about today’s ever-evolving family tree, and the way we define the family.
Don’t have time to comment except to say that it brings to mind something I’ve raised before: we are changing social and personal configurations which took years and centuries to evolve with little regard for the price, if any, to be paid.
Are we going to wake up one day and wonder how we let this go so far, so fast without seriously considering the impact of these changes on ourselves and our societies?
For some children, having to explain their family tree can be alienating.
“It can cause kids pain in unexpected ways,” said Peggy Gillespie, a founder of Family Diversity Projects, a family education advisory group.
At Green Acres last year, Ms. Murphy said, two kindergartners were playing outside when a boy, the son of a single mother, told a classmate that he had an older sister. “You can’t have an older sister; you don’t have a dad,” Ms. Murphy recalled the girl saying. The boy protested; he said he knew his sperm donor, who had a daughter of his own.
Sue Stuever Battel and Bob Battel of Cass City, Mich., will soon have four children. The oldest, Addy, 8, was conceived naturally; Dori, 5, was conceived via a sperm donor. They are adopting two toddler boys. “All four of our kids are 100 percent in our family tree,” Ms. Battel said. “The genetic connection has never mattered.”
But the Battels understand that their children may have questions. So they have prepared two sets of baby books: one outlining life with the Battels, the other about each child’s birth parents. The children can choose which details they want to share.