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PROCREATING THE NEW WAY

We can admit, that traditional nuclear family model in our European society grounded in basic Christian moral values and has been constructed incorporating many centuries of experience of earlier societies. As for example in order to reduce the haos produced by the possibility of incest, with which communities were confronted and we can see in the Old Testament stories, we can speculate that the public aspect of weddings, where the groom and the bride are presented in public the community, could be part of the regulations taken to avoid incest.

Traditional, nuclear family model with all its problematic aspects, it was the one on which a large part of mankind relied on for hundreds, thousands of years in Europe and beyond. Ideally, nuclear family is seen as a loving community of a couple, where the procreation, and upbringing of children happens, it is also an economic community which creats everyday life conditions and framework for a group of people closely related with family ties.

One of the major transformations in our contemporary society is taking place on the terrain where the action from Ourchildren and Seeds of deceit films happen: the new territories of procreation, the ones outside the traditional family model, using artificial insemination. As it happens at the beginning of a new process, there are still many experimental aspects, and unknown, sometimes painful consequences, unexpected switches, mixed with all the good things and emotions which are related to the birth of a human being.  One of the major ethical and practical problems appeared in the early days of artificial insemination, was when the doctors abused over their power of the manipulation of the origin of the sperm.  Most of the time they used their own fertilizing cell.

Seeds of Deceit tells the complicated story that shocked the world in 2017 of the Dutch Dr. Karbaat, who clandestinely used his own semen to inseminate over 65 of his patients. What are the bioethical, socioethical, emotional, practical consequences of such cases when the doctor uses his own sperm in the in-vitro fertilization act, without the consent of the parents? The unknown origin of the fertilizing cell in case of artificial insemination can cause incest problems as well.  Similar cases are being reported in other countries, like for example Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin or Dr. Quincy Fortier in the US.

Our Child opens up another set of questions related to artificial insemination, when the sperm donors are well known friends of the future mothers, the couple who is going to raise the child. In this particular case how will the couple deal with the friend - donor? Is he going to play a father role in the life of the future child? How are these terms negotiated? Fatherhood has to be defined in this case considering with a huge amount of notions and possibilities: biological or genetically father, sperm donor, „the man who helped me to have you”, he might appear in the birth certificate, but at the same time without any physical involvement in child's growth, etc. The film also reveals an important, often overlooked question: how to deal with the emotional involvement of the man which thus becomes father?

Although some aspects concerning the new ways of procreating are clearly revealed while watching these films, still as it happens with complex issues related to the human existence, we are overwhelmed by the number of other questions raised as we touch the unknown territory of procreation.

OUR CHILD
Marina Belobrovaja • Switzerland • 2021 • 83 min
SEEDS OF DECEIT
Miriam Guttmann • Netherlands • 2021 • 134 min
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