It saddens me to think about the children of the next generation, and it boggles my brain that we are ruining their chances for happiness.
It’s no secret that at least half of all marriages end in divorce. While I’ve known a multitude of healthy, happy people who came from split homes, most people would agree that it isn’t easy on the children, or the parents. As a stepparent myself, I have first-hand knowledge of how difficult the situation can be for all parties involved.
What is even more troubling, is that society no longer places value on marriage at all. Take the case of Jason Patric, an actor who has lost custody of his “son.” Mr. Patric, apparently donated sperm to his ex-girlfriend so that she could have a child. He is not listed as the father on the birth certificate. At some point after the child was born, Mr. Patric renewed his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and spent a good deal of time with the child. Now that the relationship has ended with his girlfriend for the second time, he has lost custody of the child. Mr. Patric is now giving interviews about how his “son” hasn’t seen him in 20 months, and what must this child think has happened to his “father?!”
First, let me say I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Mr. Patric. Before renewing the relationship with this woman, he should have thought about what this would do to the child. It is the child who receives my empathy. Mr. Patric willingly inserted himself in this child’s life, without thinking about marrying the woman and adopting the child.
Now politicians are involved. California’s SB 115 would allow sperm donors to sue for parentage. What part of the word “donor” is unclear? According to Merriem-Webster‘s online dictionary, the word donor means “one that gives, donates, or presents something.”
What does this do to families who depend on sperm donation to grow their families? Do recipients of sperm donations now have to worry about their children being ripped from their lives? Do we even care about what happens to these children?
Admittedly, the law has not caught up with the times in the area of sperm donations and surrogate mothers, even though the practice has been widespread for a while now. It’s time to have some dialog about these issues. Let’s have this dialog centered on what is best for children. It’s not about sperm “donors” or surrogate mothers who change their minds after the fact. It’s about what is best for children in these circumstances.
To Mr. Patric I would say, “Move on.” You made your bed, and now you can lie in it. No one forced you into donating your sperm. No one forced you into inserting your little self into the child’s life. No one forced you into a relationship with a woman to whom you were not married, or a parenting situation with no adoption.
The family unit is important. We have spent many years now ripping families apart. Isn’t it time to try to make some sense out of things for the sake of children? Let’s go back about 50 years. Let’s do things in the right order: get introduced, date or “court,” get engaged, get married, and then have children. Marriage vows should not be taken lightly. How about we forget putting ourselves thousands of dollars in debt over weddings to impress others, and concentrate on learning and understanding the wedding in an eternal perspective. We must then live up to those wedding vows and give our children responsible parents who put their children first and foremost in their lives. We MUST give the next generation of children HOPE.