No reason, I just wanted to be called a Genie. Just kidding. I had an agenda. Still do. Philanthropy now, making the world a better place, one family tree at a time.
Genealogy had to be done, at first, to verify who my father was and confirm that I was not switched at birth. Not kidding. Laugh if you want but I was really hoping that was the case. If I could have disproved my own birth, I would have. I left no stone unturned, I am embarrassed by how far I went (not really). There were always rumors that my mother had several men in her life during that time period, so no one really knew what to think.
I first wanted to verify that my dad was who he thought he was without having his DNA. And this is because I wanted to know first. I don’t know how to put into words why. Shouldn’t he know as soon as I knew? Not if you ask me. Right or wrong, that is how I felt. While I was busy feeling this way, he died, so it was just as well that he didn’t know I was back on the page of questioning it. He had a heart attack, I think, and if that didn’t do it, he had a horrible liver from a lifetime of alcoholism. But, he knew. He always knew. His mom would always stop by my house & swear up & down I was her granddaughter while my mom denied it. He told me the exact evening that he thought I was conceived (in way too much detail). As it turns out, I was conceived on the hood of a muscle car in the middle of an orchard out in the sticks, for the stars & all their glory to witness. I feel kind of violated, but maybe that is why the heavens took a special interest in my well being. I’ll take it. I’m THAT kid.
So why am I still doing it?
Along the way I have met so many great people in the genealogy world. They’ve taught me so much and to quit now would be unfortunate. There are so many stories waiting to be told and as a genie I can dig them up and piece them together to personify the ancestor. It also gives history a new meaning when I find out how my people contributed to where this country is today. They contributed a great deal and this is MY country and I have every right to be happy in it. My grandfathers sacrificed a lot in order for me to inherit the freedom that I enjoy. They would be happy to know that I know what they did.
The donor conceived and adopted need my skills
I am asked every single day to look at someone’s DNA & compare it to another’s in order to determine how close that relationship is, and how likely it is a particular match would lead them to their creation. Sometime it’s a parent who placed a child for adoption who wants to know where they are, what they’ve become. Sometimes it’s the child who wants to find their parents and rely on Genetic Genealogy since the adoption records are sealing in most states. And I help them for free.
Then we have the donor conceived. I do not want to get political in this blog, but the fact that I help these people find their biological families probably gives me away as to how I feel about anonymous donor conception. Ok I will say it. I think its cruel and unethical to do this anonymously. It’s a miracle, yes, but at a really high price. The offspring of the donors come in droves to DNA Detectives to find guidance because they have a burning NEED to find their donor & bio family. This burning need consumes them. They’re often told that their feelings were decided for them when the donor agreed to ANONYMOUSLY donate. With modern technology, that donor is never going to enjoy guaranteed anonymity. DNA tests are $99 and they are selling and being submitted fast & it’s only a matter of time, the results will eventually lead the offspring right to the donors door.
So, because I know how it feels to not know who your parent is, I found myself inclined to help these people find what they are looking for in order to feel whole. Ideally, the “reunion” between donor and offspring would be smooth. It’s more often NOT the case. Yet, before I had even thought about how I feel about donor conception in general, I found myself unable to refuse to help. My mind was made up for me that I was going to be involved in upsetting an unsuspecting man’s life by leading his son or daughter to him. Yes this does bother me a little, but I do not own that problem. As with any problem, it is most desirable to seek a solution, and I prefer to be part of the solution vs part of a problem. Although it’s fair to point out that my solutions present more problems but then I get to say, “He started it!” I am actually not involved in what happens beyond identifying, so the drama is not mine, thankfully, because drama is exhausting.
So, since it’s obvious whose side I am on, what is the solution to the infertile or same sex couples problem?
I think that anonymous donation was a very bad idea. If we are going to play God & if it’s going to be done, it should be done by a donor who knows this child will have an aching desire to find them & that agrees to be forthcoming with information for that person. But in the 70s when donor conception really became a thing, who knew that the offspring were going to experience this force driven urge to find their creator? Answer: Umm, any village idiot who put half a thought into it! I can argue that humans have been searching for who or what ever is responsible for our creation ever since we became aware that we were created, so it should have been foreseen that this would happen! Like most modern day progression, no one wants to think about the consequences of what they’re doing, they just want to do it & they don’t like straw men being introduced into the conversation. They say if we tangle ourselves up in that, then progression would never happen. They’re right. That is why we are here right now, working this out as a reactive behavior. And as far as this issue goes, I found myself right smack in the middle of the controversy. It’s OK I can take it. I was built for conflict.
That is why genealogy. Well, OK, there is more. I just am not going to write it tonight.