married in grad school & children

But my good woman, you are a man! ADREGER at UCS.INDIANA.EDU
Sun Aug 14 08:04:35 EST 1994

Tammy --
	Why must you take into account your mother-in-law's desire not to
be a "pre-45 grandmother"?  I know this has nothing to do with bionet per
se; your comment just completely mystified me.  Does she assume grandmothers
have to be "old"?  Decrepid?  I wish my grandmothers had been in their
40s -- or even their 50s! -- when I was born, and I know they too wished
they had had more time w/ us grandchildren.

	Perhaps your m-i-l's reasoning is that she does not want to be
saddled with a lot of child-care, so I may be misinterpreting her concerns.
But if her excuse is that she has a strange view of what a grandmother
must be, then I hope you can convince her to change that view before you
have children.  Let's leave open the possibility for all women to be all
things as they choose.  Not always possible, but a nice ideal.

	I should say I'm sure I'm oversensitive on this matter, because
for years my mother has been bugging me for grandchildren.  (I'm 28 now.)
So I know what it is like to have pressure on this issue from above.  But
we're going to wait until we are sure we have the money, time, and energy
to raise children in the way we want.  If at that point we discover either
of us is infertile, we will go straight to adoption of children who need
a good home -- esp. girls from countries where girls are often treated
badly.  Several friends have adopted daughters from India very successfully.
I mention this only for those who are feeling the "biological clock"
panic -- I too feel that sometimes, but remind myself that I will not
go without children even if we can't have our genetic-own.

	I study the social impact of modern genetics.  One important
impact seems to be that people (esp. women) are encouraged to go to
great (often dangerous) lengths to have children who are of their own
gametes.  I have never met an adoptive family who didn't -- for better
or worse -- treat their adopted children fully as their own.  (One of
my brothers, is, in fact, adopted -- and I can assure you, impriting
is a powerful thing!!!)

	These comments are not meant to pressure anyone one way or
another.  This is just to say that we are lucky to have a larger control
of our destinies than many of our mothers and grandmothers did.  Let's
keep in mind those options -- young grandmothers and children who
happen to have different genes, included.

Alice Dreger
Indiana U.

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