Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jacksons' Kids "Real" Father/Mother

Is anyone else bothered by the media's search for Michael Jacksons' kids "real" parents? Michael Jackson is their real father. I know, he took an unconventional route to fatherhood but does that make him somehow a fake father?

I understand the social curiosity. I get it. But why is it important? Why do we care? Why do we feel it necessary to diminish his relationship to these children? That's what I don't get. You're idol curiosity, your flippant judgment hurts. It hurts these kids and it hurts anyone who has used 3rd-party reproduction. It's one thing to be curious but in all the coverage there is some kernel of judgment and distancing of MJ as the "real" parent. As if now the children can be reunited with their "real" parents.

The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that he did marry Debbie Rowe and her parental rights have never been completely legally terminated but as far as has been reported she's had no contact with the children. She did sign away her rights (even if that was later overturned by a court) and she has said that this was a "gift" to Michael and that she did not have any intention of parenting. Why should her genetic connection mean more than the familial connection the children have with MJ's extended family? It really bristles that what is the equivalent of a known donor is considered to be a likely/deserving recipient of custody.

This just reminds me how judgmental people are of family's that are not built via natural fertility.

I hope the emotional and heartbreaking statement by Paris Katherine shows people that family does not always mean genetics. She, very simply, loves and misses her Daddy. The only one she has ever had.


And it also really bother me that the media labels Debbie Rowe a bad/absent mother. She was an egg donor and surrogate. She was not intended to be the mother. To fault her for not mothering is unfair.


Sprogblogger said...

Yep. Whatever else you want to say about the man, he fathered those children with intention, he wanted them desperately. Which is more than many kids can claim about their dads. And whether or not it was his sperm that gave those kids half of their DNA, they are his kids and the media needs to stop suggesting otherwise.

I've been disgusted with the media circus that his death has turned into, but never more so when I imagine what it's doing to his kids. Give them some privacy, people! This time should belong to them, not to fans of the man's music.

Grrr. I'm glad you posted this.

Coco said...

I agree completely! I think that our society places way too much importance on biological families and not even on families that are made in the heart. I grew up with 3 "step" siblings and grew to hate that label. We were brothers and sisters, not stepbrothers and stepsisters.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I've been noticing as I peruse the world of donor concieved children is that there is often someone who, when one of their (non genetic) paretns die,says something like "Don't worry, he wasn't your real dad" WTF!
Of course he was! MJ is not all that intersting to me, I jsut never really clicked with his music, however, he was their father, and it is so sad that all the work he put into protecting them when he was alive, is all down teh drain. Geeze. I hope whomever gets custody of them helps them with this awful circus surrounding their father.

Bella said...

I am totally bothered by it and I agree wth everything you said. I've tried to gently relay these concepts to people who say the sperm donor should get custody, yada, yada, yada...but they just don't get it. Oh, and today someone told me that SJP just adopted those twins girls from the surrogate so they could be guaranteed girls. Um, hello... totally not how a surrogate works. People are so naive.

Anonymous said...

I too wholeheartedly agree. The media has been so offensive and the coverage has been obnoxious.

The classification of "real parents" is offensive - my sperm donor is just that - a sperm donor. He is/will not be our child/children's "biological father" or "real parent" or "real dad" - he donated his sperm and we bought it. Period. Gah. I could go on all night.

Great post.

Riley said...

I have to say that I've missed all this - I have not been tuning into the media circus, but after reading your post that just makes me sad and angry. I'm glad I've missed hearing such idiotic comments but here we go once again with the media totally distorting the IF/donor issue, so that people are even more misinformed than they probably were before all this happened. Sigh.

areyoukiddingme said...

People fear what is unfamiliar. I don't really know why there is all this speculation about whether or not Michael 'fathered' these children. He was most likely capable of producing the right components. If he didn't use conventional methods, so what? The children have been raised by him, so he is their father. I don't really doubt that there is a biological connection, but really, what does it matter? It wouldn't diminish their grief if some sperm donor were discovered.

My only thought about Debbie Rowe is that I hope she has enough respect for the children to not try to assert parental rights. The only reason for her to do that is to control their inheritance - there's obviously nothing she wants from them otherwise. I hope, for their sakes, she stays in the background where she agreed to be.

Lanie said...

Amen, sister! I whole-heartedly agree!!

kristy said...

I agree 100 percent.

Not to complicate things further, but I read in the news that Debbie Rowe would do DNA testing to prove that she was the biological mother if she wanted to go after custody. (I personally think the kids would be better off with the family they know and that the three of them should not be split up, but that's another subject.)

Rowe is basically a surrogate, but apparently under Cali law, since she was married to MJ at the time of the births, she could have some claim as the babies' mother. But here's where it gets sticky. If she goes after custody, why would a DNA test be necessary? If she gave birth to the kids, and the two of them were married and there was no surrogacy contract (who knows if there is), she could have used donor eggs and those kids should still legally be "hers," right?

I mean, if god forbid I should ever get divorced from my husband, would a court think he has more of a claim to our DE baby than I would, because we used his sperm? That ain't right.

The whole thing just burns me up.

edie & ella said...

As usual.....a fabulous point you make!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, absolutely. I completely agree. The bottom line is that a family has been shattered, those kids have lost their father and that's a tragedy. The guy was tortured enough while he was alive, leave his family alone and in peace to grieve.

Stupid, stupid people...