When The (White) Husband Doesn’t Want An Asian Baby

There’s an interesting letter circulating the internet on Dear Prudence’s advice column. Dear Prudence is one of those Dear Abby/Ann Landers columns, on manners and morals, and this particular letter comes from a Caucasian husband married to an East Asian wife who is infertile. Given that she can’t have a baby, he wants to know if it’s okay to ask his wife to select an egg donor who is also Caucasian so that they can have as he puts it, an “all-white” baby. Emily Yoffe (author of Dear Prudence) rightly calls him out on his request and pretty much labels him a racist without actually saying so.

It seems unbelievable that someone would marry someone of another race, but not want their child to be partly of that race. What did this man find desirable in his wife to begin with that he doesn’t find so desirable in his own child? His argument is that he wants his child to be more like the other children in their neighborhood. And while I understand that, as I wrote about a similar issue on why one would or would not circumcise their son, I certainly don’t believe being a mixed race Asian/Caucasian would be all that different from an “all-white” baby’s experience in an “all-white” neighborhood, especially since the mom would still be East Asian.

Likely having an East Asian mom (unless she was second or third generation American) would likely have brought along all the usual things Asian children have to deal with in school (bringing funny food for lunch, etc). Even my daughter has some of this, as she enjoys eating dried squid snack (saki ika), which my spouse has turned up his nose at quite a few times.

As one-half of a gay couple, we had to choose our egg donor as well, and since I was going to be the biological father, we knew immediately that we wanted the egg donor to be the same race and ethnicity as my husband, who happens to be Caucasian. There wasn’t even a second thought on the matter. Although I do have to admit when we found it nearly impossible to find an egg donor of Norwegian ancestry, I did scan through some Asian egg donor profiles. But it certainly was not my first choice, as I wanted my child to feel as if he or she was a part of each of us equally. So while we didn’t find an egg donor with Norwegian ancestry, we did in the end choose one with European ancestry.

Today, we tell our daughter she’s part Chinese and part Norwegian. She enjoys mooncakes and lefse equally. And she feels a part of both of our families. So to the husband who wants an “all-white” baby, all I have to say is that I think you’re making a big mistake if you don’t try for an egg donor who is more similar ethnically to your wife, at least at first, and then go for another option like we did if you can’t find an East Asian egg donor.

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About Tim

I'm a Chinese/Taiwanese-American, born in Taiwan, raised on Long Island, went to college in Philadelphia, tried Wall Street and then moved to the California Bay Area to work in high tech in 1990. I'm a recent dad and husband. Other adjectives that describe me include: son, brother, geek, DIYer, manager, teacher, tinkerer, amateur horologist, gay, and occasional couch potato. I write for about 5 different blogs including 8Asians. When not doing anything else, I like to challenge people's preconceived notions of who I should be.
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