Sunday, January 16, 2011

(I'm Speechless...)

Here is a copy of a text, word for word, of an ad placed in the Jerusalem Post two weeks ago.  I feel I must respond to this misguided woman, and am formulating my thoughts, but I present this for your consideration and response.

So there's no real great way to write this so I'll just start plainly and say the following.

I've just turned 40 and I'm a Jewish Orthodox woman.  I'm warm, fun and loving and very committed to Judaism and Zionism.  I'm told that I'm pretty and I choose to believe that ;-) I don't want to give out too much information but I've got some really great and cool family members.

Bottom line is I'm not married and I really would like to have children and BH still can - I was recently tested.  So here's the story, I'm looking for a partner to become a joint-parent with me.  If you are frum (I assume you know what this means...) and doven and are a Zionist. If you've got a stable job and are normal (by my standards..which are pretty lenient..) then please free free to contact me at [her gmail address].

Of course we'd have to meet and discuss details such as where to live, send kids to school, mutual visitation rights etc. and everything would have to be written and signed in a contract.

But think about it - you get to have kids with a wonderful Mom and you're free!!  Sounds like a good deal to me.

If you're interested, drop me a note.

Yours, Me

So her criteria for a good contractual sperm donor is frum (whatever that means in real life), that he talk to G-d every once in a while and he is normal, sort of, maybe. Or was she planning on sleeping with him? 
A woman who wants to teach a child that a "normal" family means that the mother does not love the father, and that the only reason he is involved in the child's life is because he signed a contract.
A woman who thinks that any man who would agree to such a thing would be "free!!" knowing that he has responsiblity for a child.  A baby changes a parent's life forever, and no parent is ever "free" in the bachelor sense again.
The only man who would fulfill this criteria would be a gay Orthodox Zionist, not at all attracted to women but wants to be a father.  But how would this "frum" woman explain the father's preferences for intimacy?

I've said it before, I will repeat myself now:  there should be as rigorous (if not more of ) a screening process for parents as there is for driving licenses.


Abandoning Eden said...

i think that's a tad judgmental, considering that many people might say the same thing about you raising your child without a father (not that I would, but plenty of people would). By that logic no divorced couple, or no couple that never got married and did not want to continue a romantic relationship, has a "normal" family. But I know tons of families that do have co-parenting relationships, and their kids are fine.

And in this case just because the parents don't love each other, doesn't mean they are only in their own kids life because of a contract...there is love for your children as well.

Why is your way ok, but this other way of doing a similar thing drives you to speechless?

Ariela said...

Perhaps all JSMBC and potential JSMBC should be supportive of one another. In fact, perhaps all moms should be supportive of one anothers choices even if we woudl not make the same ones.
This woman would have an advantage in giving her child another set of grandparents, uncles etc...
I know a SM who did something similar. The bio father has almost nothing to do with the kid, but his mother is a total gramma.
To each their own.

koshergourmetmart said...

what makes you think she would be a terrible parent b/c she is going this way to have a baby? you should contact her and offer her some of your positive experiences about how you came to have RR. Perhaps she does not know it is halachically ok to use a sperm bank and do iui/ivf as a single woman. Don't fault her for really wanting to have a baby. Remember what you went through. People might say the same about you as you are saying about her-you were worried about your family being judgemental....

koshergourmetmart said...

Why do you feel the need to respond to her? I think it best you not respond to her at all unless you can respond to her in a warm and non judgmental way.

Doc said...

My intention was not to be judgemental, and in fact I did contact her and offer to speak to her about my own experience. I don't think my way is better or even the only way, or that she will be a bad mother, but I do think that opening herself to potential fathers who are "normal" by lenient standards is not the best start and nor is it fair, for her or her child.
Actually I only want what is best for her, as I would for anyone considering this option, and I would love to be able to offer her support and stories (and not just mine) that afford her as many quality options as possible.

koshergourmetmart said...

it is not for you to say whether "opening herself to potential fathers who are "normal" by lenient standards is not the best start and nor is it fair, for her or her child." It is up to her to make those choices. Perhaps she will meet someone truly wonderful.

Commenter Abbi said...

Bringing a father into the equation definitely complicates things (I just saw a documentary about a lesbian couple and the gay man they contracted with to father a baby. It was painful to watch at times. The father wanted to spend as much time as possible with the baby because, it's his baby! The moms just wanted to be left alone) However, it also opens up the potential for tremendous resources of love and support. Maybe she will find a gay frum guy who desperately wants kids. They do exist, certainly in Jerusalem.

Maybe she'll find somebody who's not ready to commit at first but then gradually falls in love with her as they care for their child. Then she could write a successful romantic comedy screenplay and get married, killing two birds with one stone!

Who knows, these are uncharted waters for everybody. But your first paragraph about teaching her child what a normal relationship is is a bit strange coming from you. You're teaching Raphaela that it's normal to have a baby on your own and then get married. Most people wouldn't approve of that either. And I'm sure many people would hesitate to give you a license if they were running this mythical parenting licence office, solely based on your marital status.

She really doesn't sound like she's be horrible parent at all. She's looking to provide the best for her future child, like we all are.

If you gave her the link to your blog, I would edit this or remove the post altogether. It could be embarrassing to her.

s5 said...

I think that the option known sperm donor (with or without intercourse) beats the option unknown donor in several respects.
Firstly, for the mother, I suppose she gets to know more about the donor. In anonymous sperm donations, even the collecting doctor knows hardly anything about the donor. Even if they fill out lengthy questionnaries, who will check if they told the truth?
Secondly, the children have a chance to know who their dad is. This might or might not be a burning question at a certain age.

I know someone who had a child with a married man (who cheated on his wife). I think this option beats the anonymous donor option by far.
1) the child knows the father
2) the father did baby-sitting
3) the father paid child-support and thereby reduced economic uncertainty.

Of course, it is unfair towards the wife of the father. But from an egoistic standpoint of the woman who wants a child, this is the way to go...