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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

FAMILY • How Is It Changing?


As we pick through the remnants of the past to find our family’s history, we often learn interesting facts about its origins. The next generation will have to learn even more information and it may have profound impacts on how they see themselves as individuals. For some, this will be information that was never considered in previous generations because the ideas and technology were not in use. I’m talking about the origins of some of the next generation and the ideas for this generation as to what constitutes a family.

Let’s start with the ideas about a family.
Traditional families, in the past, have consisted of a mother, father and children. Sometimes parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all lived in the same household. This is known as a multi-generational family. Families could also include a step parent and step siblings.

Today, family units are more varied and may include, in addition to the traditional family, two mothers; a single mother or father; an unmarried couple; a group of siblings or units that do not include children.
In addition to the composition of the family units, other considerations will be genetic origins. Genealogy books have not started to consider the impact of in vitro fertilization that includes instances where both sperm and egg donors are used in infertile couples; or where the couple includes two persons of the same sex. Additionally, some of the donors may be anonymous.

To further complicate things, what will the new genealogical rules be when it comes to issues such as:

1) Children resulting from donor sperm and egg –what genealogical background do they assume… the genealogical profile of the birth parents or the donors? (What if the donors are anonymous?)

2) Children resulting from donor sperm and the egg of the mother and the donor is anonymous?

3) Children resulting from donor egg and the sperm of the father?
How do you honor actual bloodlines, when defining who we are?

In the three cases mentioned above, what do you do about medical history, physical traits, and abilities relating to their genetic origins?

For anonymous donors and the resulting children, how are the possibilities of marrying a half-sibling, unbeknownst to you handled?

While the possibility of resolving issues pertaining to infertility or the make up of the family results in using artificial means of conception, the adage about solving one problem but creating another, holds true.

Messages In This Thread

FAMILY • How Is It Changing?
Changing FAMILY • How do we deal?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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