January 4th, 2011

Parenthood

I want to say thank you to everyone who responded to my post about surrogacy. It's been really interesting.

Here's a related issue. At the beginning of her article Melanie Thernstrom writes, "to be childless felt like being deprived of something essential: the primal human experience." This niggles me. To begin with I simply disagree. Parenthood is not the "primal human experience".   The primal human experience is engagement with the world- and whatever it happens to throw up; a childless life is not a second-class life. Secondly it comes dangerously close to asserting parenthood as a "right"- which I don't believe it is. Parenthood is a privilege- which many abuse. Children are not property or playthings or an extension of the parent, but  autonomous beings whom the parent is never going to fully understand. The greatest thing a parent can do for their child is to let it go. As Khalil Gibran wrote, "Your children are not your children."

I'd like to know what you think...