Both adoption and donor conception practices produce children whose parents (or at least one of the parents) are social constructs. Nature is removed from the relationship and replaced with legal forms. For adoptees, the courts assign adults who in all respects are intended to become full and sole parents. They are creations of law. For donor conceived (and children of surrogacy relations), the parent is also legally defined. If married, parents are determined on the principle of marital presumption. The law is seen by society to be the active power responsible for sorting out parentage. Law is sufficient.
Adoptees and donor conceived offspring, then, are primed for a life of abstractions. They are children of a legal system which defines the kind of self-knowledge they may pursue. The tie with natural parents, with all the historical and biological transmissions of personal knowledge and insight – all the facts of one’s concrete and individual roots – are set at null value through juristic thinking.
In what ways is this loss of nature and the replacement of law at one’s root problematic?