In an effort to garner support from the adoption community for Allison, I was told by her supporters, that: “the DNA of the children are present in the mother for decades, and vice versa. There is a genetic component, albeit one that is atypical.” To help untangle this complex situation, following is an article explains the biological connection between mothers and children of their womb. After that is an open ended discussion I hope you will join:
Mothers 'Inherit' Some Characteristics Of Their Children
Researchers to Present Amazing Discovery
MILAN (ZENIT.org). - Mothers undergo permanent changes during pregnancy, in which they "inherit" some characteristics of the child they carry and, through the child, also receive some characteristics of the father. This is but one of the surprising discoveries to be presented at the congress entitled "At the Dawn of Human Life," organized by the Institute of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the Catholic University of Rome. The congress begins Sept. 6 in the Vatican, as part of the Jubilee of University Professors.
The child inherits half of his genetic patrimony from the mother. He also "hears" the outside world while in the womb, through the mother's body, a fact which substantially conditions the unborn child's life. Now, research indicates that the mother also undergoes long-term changes caused by the "person" of the child and, indirectly, also from her husband.
Professor Salvatore Mancuso, head of the gynecology institute, said: "We have proofs that beginning in the fifth week of gestation, in other words, when a woman realizes she is pregnant, an infinite number of messages pass from the embryo to the mother, through chemical substances like hormones, transmitters, etc. Such information serves to adapt the mother's organism to the presence of the new being.
"Moreover, it has also been discovered that the embryo sends stem cells that, thanks to the mother's immune system tolerance, colonize the maternal medulla, and adhere to it. What is more, lymphocytes are born from here and remain with the woman for the rest of her life." Mancuso continued: "From the fifth week there is clearly a passing of cells, but messages begin at conception. Even during the first phase of cellular subdivision, when the embryo is moving in the fallopian tubes, there are transmissions through contact with tissues touched by the moving embryo.
"Later, after implantation in the uterus, the dialogue is more intense through the blood and cells, and chemical substances enter the mother's bloodstream. "Finally, the child's stem cells pass to the mother in great quantity, both at the moment of birth, whether spontaneous or Cesarean, as well as at the time of abortion, whether spontaneous or voluntary. These cells are implanted in the mother's medulla and produce lymphocytes, which have a common origin with the cells of the central nervous system; they have receptors for the neurotransmitters and can make messages pass that the maternal nervous system understands."
He added, "An astonishing area of research is opening up. This is information of enormous importance on the first phases of life." When asked whether it was difficult to make rigid divisions of the phases of the embryo's development, Mancuso said, "It is a grave error to make distinctions between the embryo and pre-embryo. It is such an initial phase - one cannot of course speak of a central nervous system - but the messages the embryo sends to the mother express manifestations that are proper to the human species. The instruments used are highly specialized chemical substances and cells, such as stem cells.
"It should be remembered that if communication was lacking, the maternal organ would reject the embryo. The dialogue makes possible the perfect acceptance of an organism that is 50% foreign to the mother's genetic patrimony. In fact, these chemical substances, which express nutritional and metabolic needs of the embryo to the mother, cause an immune depression in her that facilitates the acceptance of the new being."
When asked how long the fetus' influence on the mother lasts, the professor answered: "Stem cells have been found in the mother even 30 years after the birth. It could be said, therefore, the pregnancy does not last the 40 canonical weeks, but the woman's entire life.
"This should be cause for reflection also in regard to the hypothesis of 'renting' a womb: In this case, the mother who carries the embryo accepts a being whose genetic patrimony is 100% foreign, and who will 'modify' her for the rest of her life. We have no idea of the long-term consequences of such operations.
Regarding the transfer of the father's characteristics to the mother via the unborn child, Mancuso said, "These are areas that are yet to be explored. Of course it calls for reflection on a new way of understanding pregnancy. Also, a very close tie is undoubtedly created between man and woman, because the child has 50% of the father's genetic characteristics. Moreover, the hematopoietic [blood-producing] stem cells go to the medulla and produce offspring cells, lymphocytes and neurotransmitters with the capacity to dialogue with the maternal central nervous system. It is somewhat as though the 'thoughts' of the child pass to the mother, even many years after his birth."
Genetic patrimony seems to be what the DNA ancestry projects such as the National Geographics. It traces our lineage and connects us all back to Africa.
So...does that make one the "natural" mother of donor eggs she carries? Are mother and child biologically connected through passed DNA and stem cells?
Does a mother who used donor eggs then have the same "rights" as a natural mother compared to an adoptive parent, or is she still no more related to her child than a foster care giver or adopter?
Does the fact that she has carried the child inside her and felt it move within her and the baby heard her voice for nine months create an emotional bond as mother and child? Who could carry a child, labor and birth, and not feel like a mother?
Yet, do we ever want to support a child being created with half or all of its genetic and medical history lost to it through anonymity?
These are questions courts are struggling to answer as reproductively technology continues to thrive. They questions we who work to support mothers rights are going to be forced to ask and answer more and more.
For myself. my heart tells me that a mother wh carries a child is the mother. And yet I firmly believe that the answer lies with the last posed question to which the answer is clear: None of us in Family Preservation or even adoption reform and open records would be supportive of any anonymity. We need to remain firmly against any anonymity in the creation of life.
However, do we not support children created from anonymous donors who are seeking their truth? Of course we do!
So, while choosing to support to not to support Allison Quets based on her intentional use of anonymous donor eggs might be a difficult, even heart-wrenching decision for some of us - or a clear-cut no for others of us... what happens when we focus not on Allison but on the children she birthed, Holly and Tyler. Where do we then stand? Do we not support these children's right to know the mother who carried them as well as their right to try to locate their genetic parentage?
And, in this case, do we not oppose a coercive adoption that is denying the right of the individual who birthed the children and signed a surrender to revoke her consent to have them adopted? Are the children better off with total strangers? Or does Allison not have any more tight to them as they do?
Please also see comments at:
Friday, August 17, 2007
Allison Quest Seeks Support
Friday, August 17, 2007
Allison Quest Seeks Support