Our family unit is proof that genetics doesn’t equal parentage.
We had our children with the help of my amazing best friend who was our egg donor. We took the batch of eggs that were retrieved, split them, and we each fertilized half. We implanted one embryo from each batch into a surrogate in hopes that one embryo would turn into a baby, and both took (this is how we ended up with twins). This means that one of our children is a genetic combination of myself and our egg donor, and the other is a genetic combination of my husband and our egg donor. Pretty cool, huh? Twins that only share half a genetic make-up.
Last week I was out with the kids and holding the one who I don’t share any genetic make-up with. A lady stopped me and remarked how this child was my spitting image. I had a good laugh on the inside as I thanked her. Maybe this was the same phenomenon that made people resemble their dogs?
Over the last few years of taking the parenthood journey, I’ve come to realize how little genes actually mean and how irrelevant it is when it comes to becoming a parent to a child. By the end of Falsettos, Jason is called to the Torah for his bar-mitzvah and referred to as “son Marvin, son of Trina, son of Whizzer, son of Mendel”. While this formal reference to four parents may have seemed profound in 1992, it’s a scenario that I see often in my daily life. Same-sex couples co-parenting children together. Children of divorcees who accept their step-parents as full-fledged parents.
Genes don’t make parents. Love does. And apparently, when there’s enough love, people can be fooled into seeing genetic links where there are none.