Friday, March 17, 2006

so, how are your progenitors doing?

That’s official. I’m not traveling to Spain. There is no way I’m telling anyone I’m a progenitor to my son. First Gay 'Marriage' Legalized, Now Spain Bans Terms 'Mother' and 'Father'.

“... the Spanish government announced a ministerial order that new births would have to be registered at the State Civil Registries in the Family Book under the headings of Parent (progenitor) A, and Parent (progenitor) B.”

They’ve outlawed “mother” or “father” on a birth certificate. Yeap... Welcome to the 21st century.

What the heck is a “progenitor”? Couldn’t they at least come up with a decent term? If it can’t be a “mama” or a “papa”, can’t they make a “mapa”? Or a “pama”?

Boy, oh boy. I can just imagine the look on people’s faces if I ever had to explain that I’m a “stay-at-home-progenitor”. For some reason the image that pops into my head has nothing to do with child-care. I can’t help but feel sorry for the women in Spain. And their kids.

Now, I’m not interested in getting involved in the gay-rights debate. That is not the point. The point is that I passionately believe that after nine months of wearing tents and dealing with all that comes with the joys of pregnancy (morning sickness, anyone?), I deserve to be labeled “a mother”. And so does every woman out there.

For really, lets face it -- you can debate all the rights till cows come home. But until science catches up with Hollywood, women will still give birth to children. And men will contribute. So, regardless of how the child is going to live s/he will still have a mother and a father. Where is the controversy?

Man, I always thought politics was a joke. Now I think it’s a nuthouse.


Blogger kerri said...

My "progenitors" are quite well, thank you. Such re-wording does indeed seem silly. You would think they would have better things to do in Spain, like run from bulls or something. ;)

4:09 AM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

We do indeed live in a strange world. language which used to be used to communicate is now used to do political things.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Alexys Fairfield said...

I think a better alternative would have been chromosome X and chromosome Y, either that or sperm and egg. Egg is kinda cool. At least it's short and to the point. What about Madam X and Mr. Y? Don't let the Spanish dictate your title or role as a mother. I can tell that you are very warm, generous, intelligent and giving. Tell the Spanish to go #*%&! themselves. Sorry I can repeat that, I don't want God to hear me. Shhhhhhhh!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Dirty Butter said...

As a birth mother and an adoptive mother, I can tell you that this has to be the craziest thing I can imagine happening. Hey, I'm just MOTHER to BOTH of our children! PERIOD!!!

As for who brought them into this world? There's a female and a male somewhere, who did that. Even "test tube babies" qualify.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Jeffery said...

Some issues with the term "progenitor" may have to do with language and translation differences. The the Spanish term "progenitor" means parent. The father or "padre" is "progenitor" and the mother or "madre" is "progenitora." We have the same word in English, but it means ancestor. "Progenitores" means parents.

I am gay and when my partner and I adopt a child, the idea of having the government recognize us both as parents is very nice. Rather than birth certificates requesting "Mother" and "Father" it should read "Parent" since gay adoptions can include two mothers or two fathers.

8:00 PM  
Blogger vasilisa said...

Jeffery, the point is that you and your partner would still have to adopt the child. And on the adoption papers it can state parent, or father etc. But a woman would still be giving birth to the child. She is still a mother. Especially in the cases where the child is not up for adoption at all. Universalizing a policy where a woman giving a birth to her child is no longer called his or her mother is ridiculous.

1:57 AM  
Blogger waic said...

Thanks for stopping by The Cove awhile back. I appreciated your thoughtful comment and wanted to drop by and let you know that I checked out your Blog. I love how lively you are and I find it nice to know that other mom's out there are trying as hard as I am to be home with their children while making a small income too. Great site and thanks again for your words of kindness!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Matt Vella said...

Who cares? Spain rocks. Any place that stops to take a nap in the middle of the day and takes 2 hour lunches on top of that is ok in my book.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Jeffery said...

Mother, Father, madre, padre...they are just words that only have meaning or significance within a personal context. A child can be raised, loved and nutured by someone other than the birth mother - be it an aunt, grandmother, adoptive mother or father, etc. Does it really matter? In most adoptions, the birth certificate is reissued listing the new, adoptive birth parent(s). The adoptive parents had nothing to do with the birth - the mother did not carry the child or give birth to the child. Does it matter whether it says "Mother" on the certificate? What about with surrogates, whom are paid to carry someone elses egg (in some cases) and sperm? Should the birth mother be listed or the egg donor, or the adoptive mother? Again, does it really matter?

Nothing is being taken away from the importance of a birth mother or father by removing the grammatical gender from the birth certificate listing.

1:02 AM  
Blogger vasilisa said...

First of all, yes it does matter. To me at least. And I’m sure it does to many others. As I stated before, universalizing this is ridiculous. Most kids are born to mothers using their own egg. Period. It’s a fact of life. The proportion of surrogate to regular births is not large enough to warrant a change of thousands years of history. Besides, even a surrogate would be a woman. So there are no gender issues here, whether you put down her name, or the donor’s.

And if a birth certificate is reissued in adoptions, well, than that’s the place to make individual adjustments, isn’t it? And from what I hear, most adoptive mothers prefer to think of themselves as MOTHERS, not just as ‘a parent’. Same goes for fathers. So obviously these labels mean a lot to people.

And on the subject of gender -- we can’t really remove it when it comes to procreation. Maybe in other spheres of life we can. But until we start cloning, we are stuck with the two of them in the baby-making department.

PS: And I’m really not in the mood to debate this point any further. Let’s move on.

12:43 PM  

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