Friday, July 3, 2009
Sperm meets Egg
When does parenthood begin? Does it begin at the moment of conception? When you give birth to a child? Sign a birth certificate? I was all prepared NOT post about Michael Jackson (figured two was enough) when I read my 88th post in the blogosphere on the paternity of his children. There has been a shitload of snark directed at the biological beginnings Michael Jackson's children.
I could write a long winded post about phenotypes, race as a social construct as opposed to a biological one, or how racially mixed, bi-racial, multi-ethnic individuals may vary in appearance. h/t UBM. I could point out how several of my family members are like the old saying "light, bright and damned near white" with two black parents.
And after I've set forth data culled from Google, The Encyclopedia Britannica, H-NET, Jstor, and posted pics of my little cousin - we could exchange some ideas on what the hell was really going on with Mr. Jackson. We could discuss his father's alleged verbal abuse that is reported to have involved tearing down Michael's African-American features. We would perhaps attempt to dissect the possible layers of generational internalized racism and self-hatred that led him to want to look like a white woman.
We could. You can. I won't.
Michael Jackson is dead. There are three children who just lost the only parent they have ever known. Does it matter who the biological parents were? Even when it comes to custody and the state's favoring of bio-parents, (especially if they are recovering crack addicts) it does not always follow that the bio-parents will regain custody. The children will most likely be able to state who they wish to care for them. I highly doubt the two eldest will elect the woman who essentially acted as an Easy Bake Oven, took the money and ran.
As an adoptee, I have had to learn not to be offended when people ask, "Do you know your real parents?" Our society has been slow to learn that sperm and egg does not magically produce - parents. If my parents had died before I had reached the age of 18, there would not have been a massive search for the bio-parents. I would have been placed with an extended family member.
To those who would say Michael Jackson was not the father of these children: I, and the millions of other adoptees who were loved, protected, and cared for by our "real" parents - respectfully ask you to STFU.