Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Genealogical Bewilderment

Melanie Boivin's seven-year-old daughter has a condition that will probably leave her infertile, so Melanie has put some of her own eggs on ice to ensure that little Flavie can someday bear a child.

Melanie said she discussed the decision with her partner and Flavie's father, Martin Cote, also 35 and a financial analyst.

"We were concerned about the ethical questions - would I look at the child as my grandchild or as my own? We were also concerned about the financial impact, the physical impact on me and the emotional impact on the family."
Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics has another concern.
"Such a baby would be a sibling of the birth mother at the same time as the direct genetic offspring of the grandmother donor.

"In psychiatry we are hearing more and more of children suffering from identity problems, and specifically a condition called 'genealogical bewilderment'. Could it possibly get more bewildering than this?" [Link]


Actually genealogical bewilderment is much more common.

When children reach their teenage, rebellious years, one often hears parents remark, "this cannot possibly be my child." Ditto for the kids about their parents.



I'd like to add another diagnosis to psychiatry's arsenal: genealogical bewilderment by proxy. It afflicts those researching the confounding relationships of other people. I'm thinking of starting a support group.

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