Abduction, identity and donor babies

Carolyn Moynihan
24 Jan 2011
Reproduced with Permission

The story of Carlina White, the American woman who was abducted as a baby and has only just found her mother and her own identity, has made world headlines. But how many journalists are drawing the obvious moral of the story: kids need to know who they are.

Right now, babies are being concocted in laboratories around the world from the ova and/or sperm of anonymous donors and in some cases carried to birth by surrogate mothers -- all to satisfy the desires of adults to have a child. Their successes will be written up with sentimental approval.

Twenty-three years ago a woman stole Carlina White from a hospital in Harlem for the same reason and named her Nejdra. She faces going to prison.

Nejdra/Carlina became pregnant at 16 and asked for her birth certificate. When her putative mother could not produce one, her long-held suspicions about her parentage were confirmed. AP reports:

Then, around Christmas time, she called a hotline at the National Center for Missing Children, saying simply: "I feel like I don't know who I am."

Investigators soon matched her to the unsolved 1987 case and, after a DNA test, she and her real family were reunited.

"I'm overwhelmed. I'm just happy. It's like a movie. It's all brand new to me," she told the News.

Already the children of donor dads are telling their sad stories to the public, but no-one seems to be in the wrong here and nothing looks like changing. Why?