Site icon Rajesh Kochhar

Provider, donor and up-bringer

 Recently New York Times ( 1 January 2009) carried a sensitive  op-ed essay  “My secret life” by Ellen Ullman
 Ellen Ullman says “There are adoptive parents and biological parents, surrogates and donors — adults of all sorts claiming parenthood by right of blood, genes, birth, law and affection.”

There is an  ancient Indian story on the same subject which can be quite instructive in this era of ” womb-for hire” , cloning, etc.

Once upon a time there ruled a tyrant king. There  was a rebellion against him but it was crushed. The rebel leader was caught and sentenced to death. His last wish was to be married. He gave lot of gold to his wife and asked her to beget him a son who would challenge the evil king. Dutifully the wife begat a son and left him in the care of a carefully chosen  able teacher who brought the boy up  . Eventually the  young man dethroned the king and succeeded him.

As per the  custom , he went to the river to make an offering to his ancestor. To his great shock, three hands emerged from under the river  to receive the offering.The claimants were his mother’s husband; his biological father; and his up-bringer. The king made a public announcement asking for a solution to the mystery. An old lady appeared on the scene and offered to argue with the claimants. She was the king’s mother. As can be guessed, the provider and the sperm-donor were made to withdraw their respective claim.It was the last-named, the up-bringer, who was accepted as the progenitor.

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