Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Argentina and the quest for identity

Following on from the previous post which referenced a post Do You Have a Right to Know Your Father? | Clarissa's Blog, here's one on the same theme, but far worse than children merely growing up in ignorance of their real identity.

Cori's Blog: Argentina and the quest for identity:
I was in Buenos Aires last week attending a conference on genocide. One of the topics that was discussed at some length was the 30 000 people who 'dissapeared' there during the dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s. Some political activists who were kidnapped had their babies taken from them and they were then adopted by military families. We heard the stories of women who had lived their entire lives believing themselves to be the children of particular military people, only to discover in their thirties that their entire identity has been a lie.

One of the things that makes me curious was that the stories Cori heard were from women. Were there no male babies? And if there were, what happened to them? Were they all killed off with their parents? Or didn't it bother them that their adoptive fathers had killed their real fathers? Did it only bother the women?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do You Have a Right to Know Your Father? | Clarissa's Blog

One of the things I occasionally see in genealogy newsgroups and other discussion forums is how one should deal with things like adoption -- do you show a person's adoptive parents, biological parents, or both?

I found this blog post very interesting and relevant to the topic: Do You Have a Right to Know Your Father? | Clarissa's Blog:
Understanding who your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are is crucial to one’s identity. People who falsify another person’s history because they find it more convenient to themselves horrify me. One can have a gazillion spouses, lovers, casual sex partners. But there is only one set of biological parents one can ever have. They might be horrible people, one might make a choice not to have any contact with them, but that’s a decision that belongs to each person. Nobody is entitled to making it for other people.

I think people need to remember that their children are not toys. They are not objects whose only purpose is to serve the parents’ needs. They are human beings in their own right. Denying them the basic truths about themselves for whatever reason is completely wrong.

Adoptive parents, foster parents and surrogate parents are part of a person's personal history, and part of their family history. They obviously had an influence on that person's life, for good or ill, as did friends, teachers, bosses and other people one comes into contact with. They are efen part of the family history. But they are not part of the person's genealogy. Genealogy is about where you get your genes from.