Does a Child Have Rights to Their Biological History?

My goal is to draw attention to our rights as individuals. I lean toward the child having the rights to their history- regardless of age. But of course that is because I am one of those children. I want to hear what you feel and how would you justify the opposing view of always keeping the information a secret.

Question: Who has the right to the biological and genealogical history of an individual – child or parent?

5 thoughts on “Does a Child Have Rights to Their Biological History?

  1. andrewmackenzie

    I think many parents in this situation must struggle with when, if and how to reveal the history to the child. I suspect it’s more a gradual time problem than a “I’ve decided never to tell them” problem.
    As an infant the child is too young to even understand it, and then time passes….there is no visible or palpable *problem* and so no urgent need to confront the situation.
    As time goes on, the child grows, happy and healthy and the need to tell them must seem less and less (even though the ability to understand, and the design to know in the child must grow) and the difficulty in revealing the truth becomes harder and harder (“why didn’t you tell me before?”).
    Eventually, the child is old enough and the desire to know strong enough that they “take the initiative” and the truth is revealed. Then it seems too late.
    It is a pity that it seems to unfold this way, as hiding the truth for so long is harder on the child than revealing the hard truth earlier.

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  2. Kathy Duperron

    I don’t remember him from when I was a preteen. But I met him when I was in my mid-twenties, recently married, travelling east from Alberta. They ended up at my parents’ place at the same time as us. He seemed like a quiet, friendly, calm person. He and my mum went for a long canoe ride together to talk alone. I felt she loved him deeply.

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  3. gomesspeak Post author

    I have always felt a connection to the other “children” – it has been wonderful adding the other siblings, cousins etc to my family tree. As much as I have benefited from that connection I still have regrets that I never had a chance to meet our shared father. I would have liked a chance to form my own opinion of him – the one I have been left with is a difficult one to accept. ML

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  4. Anonymous

    From a very practical point of view the individual needs the truth in order to know their medical/genetic history. I know I have to eat a certain way or have certain tests based on my parents’ histories.

    From a personal point of view I can speak about my own experience. When I was 15 and met my brother Bill I felt instant kinship. As an adult meeting the two older boys it was the same. The feeling of having more family than you realized makes you feel enriched and more secure in the world. And what a delight to find I am related to these 3 wonderful men! I am so happy that we all met, and lucky that my parents were okay with it, though my father felt negatively at first because of insecurities of his own.

    While one without a doubt has a right to family medical history (for self and children), it is far more tricky when the other family member doesn’t want to be involved or even known. I don’t know the answer.

    Now, in my husband’s case, I would never have told the children about his son if he didn’t want me to. When the boy decided to ask his mother about his dad we decided to tell our kids. I know that they are happy to know their brother. I have never asked them if we “should” have told them but I will ask and let you know. He and I are very fond of each other. Nothing is ever simple, eh?

    Reply
    1. gomesspeak Post author

      I also found it amazing when I met two more of my siblings later in life. Perhaps as adults we are able to appreciate them more.
      As a parent I can’t identify with a parent not wanting to meet their child. I can understand being afraid- of disappointing them or them rejecting me. I would not be able to reject them. Perhaps it is because of these feelings as a parent that it is hard for me to understand why this was so difficult in my family.
      As a child, of any age, hoping to meet a parent I don’t think you ever give up. It is something that lives in you and you wait for it…….

      Reply

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