Monday, January 12, 2009

Signs of Spring?

Yesterday, LB and I were up before Brad and we were watching the squirrels running around the front yard. They were probably hungry because all their goodies are buried in the dirt under 6 inches of snow. I decided to toss some walnuts on top of the snow and see what happened. I opened the window, tossed the nuts and sat happily watching a squirrel eat one after another. The best part was the sound of birds singing! Yes, they are probably our winter birds, but still I could tell they were happier than usual. It hasn't snowed here in several days and it has been warming up enough to melt. What a perfect moment, to feel Spring hinting about its return! For more perfect moments - go visit Lori.

On another note I have been wanting to blog about, when Brad and I checked into Shriner's with LB they asked us if we were her "natural parents". I didn't know how to answer. "Well, no, not really. There is nothing very natural in IVF, ICSI and nevermind she isn't my genetic baby." Fortunately, Brad was much quicker than I and just said yes and that was that.

But it got me wondering . . . what constitues and "unnatural parent"? I suspect they want to know if the child is a fosterchild, adopted child or something along the lines, but is there a better way to ask and does it really matter? Maybe they shouldn't be asking at all. What are your thoughts?


Lori said...

I love the sounds you describe! Of the wildlife, not of the shriner.)

The nomenclature is a sticky issue. Maybe it really is a genetic question so that the record is marked in case tissue donation is required.

I would prefer to hear "biological" but maybe that doesn't work in your case? "Genetic"?

Leah and Maya said...

Other then some wierd genetic problem what the freak would that matter? of course they wouldn't bother to ask us since Maya obviously has way more beautiful skin then we do, just think had you had triplets they would have assumed you did IVF, you should ask your friend what they mean by that question I would be interested to know.

Geohde said...

That's one of these awkward turns of phrase. A bit like the 'are they natural?', I get all the time.

Of course they are and of course you are LB's natural parents.


Mrs. Spit said...

I think I might have looked up wide eyed and said
"oh, no. we traded for her in the parking lot. Got a pretty good deal, huh?"

If the question needs to be asked for medical reasons, then say
"In the case of organ transplant, bone marrow transplant, tissue matching, we require an exact genetic match. Will you be able to match?".

Tells you why, and gives you the option to disclose as much as you want.

battynurse said...

Wow, down to only 6 inches of snow on the ground? That sounds like things are improving. I have a friend up there that feeds the squirrels walnuts every day. Goes through a ton of them but has lots of squirrels around.
That would be a sort of weird question to have asked. It's hard to know what it was they were looking for. I think my response would have been define natural? One thought is that you could write a letter to Shriners and give them input on how that question could be better worded in order for them to obtain the info they need and yet still not offend.

Sara said...

Hooray for spring!

As for the question, I imagine that they asked because long-bone injuries can be signs of child abuse, and step-parents (especially step-fathers) are more likely to abuse their children than other classes of parents (statistically speaking). I doubt that they had anything donor gametes or embryos in mind, or even adoption (although I'm not sure how child abuse rates compare for adoptive vs. non-adoptive parents).

It is also possible that they were concerned about genetic diseases. I'd think that would really only come up if there was some ambiguity about the diagnosis, though.

I try not to be TOO offended when medical personnel ask relevant questions, but in an insensitive manner (and I can't think of a really sensitive way to ask that question). While of course any insinuation of the possibility of child abuse is offensive to the parents, it IS the health care personnel's job to look out for the best interests of the child, not the parent.

Hope that made sense. The same question would throw me for a loop too, but the above is what I would tell myself if that happened to me.

MrsSpock said...

When I first read "natural parents", my impression was to say "Yes!, they are very natural parents. They babywear, breastfeed, homebirth (OK, gave the best shot at that), etc"

Oh, you mean THAT kind of natural parent. I agree with Lori, I think "biological" is the more appropriate term. Though how on earth is it relevant? Parent, guardian, or foster parent would perhaps be a better phrasology...

Tracy said...

Maybe I don't know enough about shriners, but I can't imagine why they would ask that question? It would have made my blood pressure soar, too!

Miss Conception said...

I think that unless the question has to do with a medical concern, then it is inappropriate. For that matter, it totally can be worded differently. How about, "Is there anything about her conception or birth that may be important for our records?"

Sky said...

Yeah, I think "natural" parent would be the birth parents. I'm sure genetic parent is assumed as the term is much older than the donor egg science.

Maybe the question was posed to rule out a genetic issue if they were concerned about a bone break in a child so young.

Other than that, I can't imagine why and it would have ticked me off.

Fertilized said...

i think terminology, forms, education, and attitude in a few of the medical fields need to be remodeled. Parenting and conception has evolved into something more than husband+wife = baby these days. Most of the forms/practices/policies/wordings do not take that into consideration. There is alot of assuming and we all know what that does.

I am sorry that you had to stop and question the question.

Familyoftwo said...

I missed this one.

I can see asking this question if a child needs a transplant, or a transfusion. Parent to child transplants are just easier. But for a "routine" visit, such as a broken bone, superficial stitches, even an apendectomy. Then you are right does it mater about the genetics?

Even an adopted child would be covered under mom or dads insurance. So again genetics is irrelevant except for those listed above.

If a foster child, the case worker would have been in attendance, or would have made prior that would have been known as well.

So like you...I see no reason why that question has to be asked...

midlife mommy said...

Wow, no one has ever put it that way to us. They just ask for a medical history -- mother's side, father's side. I just say "donor egg" and nothing bad of which we're aware and that's that.