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Thread: The morality of searching for your birth parents

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    The morality of searching for your birth parents

    https://www.facebook.com/randy.schli...57320314650769

    I saw this post about a young woman posting her picture with a sign about which town she was left in a hospital and a birth date. And I can’t help but think about the birth mother, who gave her to adoption for whatever reason. What reason? A rape? Incest? An abusive boyfriend? It being a 10th child that she couldn’t afford to keep? An unintended pregnancy that would have interrupted her future?

    Now this young person’s face is on the inernet all over the hometown of the birth mother, possibly looking like her, possibly like the father.

    And no idea whether this forced reveal will cause pain or horror.

    When I see these things, I don’t feel like it is moral to publicly announce one’s search. And even private searches seem so fraught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    https://www.facebook.com/randy.schli...57320314650769

    I saw this post about a young woman posting her picture with a sign about which town she was left in a hospital and a birth date. And I can’t help but think about the birth mother, who gave her to adoption for whatever reason. What reason? A rape? Incest? An abusive boyfriend? It being a 10th child that she couldn’t afford to keep? An unintended pregnancy that would have interrupted her future?

    Now this young person’s face is on the inernet all over the hometown of the birth mother, possibly looking like her, possibly like the father.

    And no idea whether this forced reveal will cause pain or horror.

    When I see these things, I don’t feel like it is moral to publicly announce one’s search. And even private searches seem so fraught.
    If it was an abandonment, I see no problem with it. If birth mom went through proper channels, and said no to being contacted, that's a different question.

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    Is there any real moral issue here?

    A grown person is curious about their parents and family.

    Finding out can be a good or bad experience.

    This is an issue of wisdom not morality.

    Is it wise to seek knowledge that may hurt you as opposed to living without knowing?

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Learning your birth parents' medical history can be a life-or-death decision.

    Learning your birth parents' identities is a different matter, or course.

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AirPoh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    https://www.facebook.com/randy.schli...57320314650769

    I saw this post about a young woman posting her picture with a sign about which town she was left in a hospital and a birth date. And I can’t help but think about the birth mother, who gave her to adoption for whatever reason. What reason? A rape? Incest? An abusive boyfriend? It being a 10th child that she couldn’t afford to keep? An unintended pregnancy that would have interrupted her future?

    Now this young person’s face is on the inernet all over the hometown of the birth mother, possibly looking like her, possibly like the father.

    And no idea whether this forced reveal will cause pain or horror.

    When I see these things, I don’t feel like it is moral to publicly announce one’s search. And even private searches seem so fraught.
    If it was an abandonment, I see no problem with it. If birth mom went through proper channels, and said no to being contacted, that's a different question.
    Is it really moral to bring someone into existence and then declare yourself free from all responsibility toward that person? Are there any proper channels that could resolve the ethical problem of imposing the inevitable struggles of life on someone and asking someone else to foot the bill on your behalf? I realize in many cases that may be the best outcome for the child, but it still occurs within the larger context of an act of violence and disrespect toward her. You would basically be saying, under even the most charitable circumstances: "I was unable to prevent you from being born, and now that you're born, I'm unable to support you, but if I place you in state custody until somebody volunteers to take care of you, I deserve to be left alone by you forever." Not only are all the usual sufferings of life the responsibility of the parents, but the additional pain caused by the residual social stigma of being adopted is also traceable to the parents, even if adoption was the least bad option at the time. This is not to say that they should be punished and humiliated of course, but I dispute the argument that they are entitled to invisibility.

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    It should only be permitted through a registry, contact information is provided if both sides want to find the other. Doing it publicly could cause problems for a woman who gave up a baby secretly.

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    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    My newly found granddaughter was searching for her mother's father and found me on 23andMe. I have moved to be near them, 2 grandkids 25 and 22, and great-grandkids 1 and 3. They have allowed me to be a small part of their life; Johnny and Aubrey will always know me.
    My daughter's mother did not inform me of the birth and gave her up for adoption at 3 months. She had said she was pregnant when she left me . . . and said she would "take care of it."

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post


    Is it really moral to bring someone into existence and then declare yourself free from all responsibility toward that person? Are there any proper channels that could resolve the ethical problem of imposing the inevitable struggles of life on someone and asking someone else to foot the bill on your behalf? I realize in many cases that may be the best outcome for the child, but it still occurs within the larger context of an act of violence and disrespect toward her. You would basically be saying, under even the most charitable circumstances: "I was unable to prevent you from being born, and now that you're born, I'm unable to support you, but if I place you in state custody until somebody volunteers to take care of you, I deserve to be left alone by you forever." Not only are all the usual sufferings of life the responsibility of the parents, but the additional pain caused by the residual social stigma of being adopted is also traceable to the parents, even if adoption was the least bad option at the time. This is not to say that they should be punished and humiliated of course, but I dispute the argument that they are entitled to invisibility.

    So, abortions then?


    As I outlined in the OP, in the case of rape? You gift that someone with life and that’s not enough?

    I’m surprised by those who say birth = forced parenthood.
    For those who care about abortions, this will increase them.

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post
    My newly found granddaughter was searching for her mother's father and found me on 23andMe. I have moved to be near them, 2 grandkids 25 and 22, and great-grandkids 1 and 3. They have allowed me to be a small part of their life; Johnny and Aubrey will always know me.
    My daughter's mother did not inform me of the birth and gave her up for adoption at 3 months. She had said she was pregnant when she left me . . . and said she would "take care of it."

    And if you had been a rapist? Would the woman who was raped be glad to have you at the dinner table, do you think?

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    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post
    My newly found granddaughter was searching for her mother's father and found me on 23andMe. I have moved to be near them, 2 grandkids 25 and 22, and great-grandkids 1 and 3. They have allowed me to be a small part of their life; Johnny and Aubrey will always know me.
    My daughter's mother did not inform me of the birth and gave her up for adoption at 3 months. She had said she was pregnant when she left me . . . and said she would "take care of it."

    And if you had been a rapist? Would the woman who was raped be glad to have you at the dinner table, do you think?
    Strange you should ask. Y'see good old Beth made up a story about having been raped. As it happened we lived together and I'd taken her home to meet the folks. I think she made up the story to justify her pregnancy to her family. My daughter did manage to find Beth and was told that story, too. She couldn't even tell the truth to her birth-daughter. She said she was raped by a boy named George from California at his fraternity's party. My birth-daughter never did believe the story she was told. She is very good at detecting lies. Nevertheless our meeting was held on neutral ground and she had her son with her and I had my sister. It was my sister who verified that there was no way she could have forgotten my last name. And noted that I never joined a fraternity. I had lived in California for 3 years in grade school, the rest in Wisconsin.

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