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Sperm  Donors  and “Fathers At Large”

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Tope Alabi’s daughter is very right to have disowned his biological father.. It’s a lesson to all irresponsible “fathers and mothers at large” who abandoned their children and later came back many years after to claim ownership of what didn’t belong to them in the real sense of it.

There’s is a big difference between sperm donation and fatherhood, or egg donation and motherhood. There’s no fatherhood or motherhood where there’s no child-paremt relationship, emotions and responsibility, no matter how small. It’s not only about money, it’s about relationship.. “Sex philanthropy” is a game of fun, it’s charity of a sort, so you don’t expect a return after you ran away. .

A bird that drops a seed from the sky is not a sower but a mere dispersal agent, that’s the reason birds don’t claim ownership of the fruits that germinated from their dispersed seeds.

A sower who sowed a seed 22 years ago and abandoned the farm should not expect to harvest anything from there. That’s if “awon omo onile” (land grabbers) have not encroached into the land or taken ownership totally. .

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At 22, Tope Alabi’s daughter is an adult. She has the right to decide which relationship she wants to keep and which name she wants to bear. Court cannot impose relationship or names on an adult, if courts should do that, it’s a waste of time. Fatherhood or motherhood may be pre-planned or may be a biological accident, the product therein has a choice to make as an adult and should be responsible for that choice.

Many adults have voluntarily abandoned their father’s or family name based on choice, while some change of names were based on fanatical romance with their new found religion. Example: Sangobiyi to Jesubiyi. Olaifa to Ola-Anobi, an unnecessary distortion to their family’s genealogy and family history but still within the purview of individual’s democratic choice.

So, the “accidental” biological father of Tope Alabi’s daughter should emulate the birds of seeds dispersal that sowed but claim no ownership of fruit or the plant because they did nothing after dispersal. He should not regret his delibrate or imposed action and situation.

He has a consolation – his dispersed seed of 22 years ago has now grown up to become a beautiful fruit he can always see on social media and point to his friends as his abandoned seed. Who knows, the young lady may change her mind later in future and pardon him, but he needs to pardon himself first. He has no case to push, in fact, he is the case, a big case.

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No matter what Tope Alabi did to block him to prevent him from having relationship with his “child”, as he claimed, he should have found all means to unblock the blockade and have a fatherly relationship with her “daughter” no matter how limited.. The social media channel he’s using now could have been used over a decade ago.

My experience.
About 30 years ago, I was relaxing together with a friend at a peppersoup joint in Abeokuta when this my friend sadly surprised me.
As we were enjoying ourselves with the soft melodious music of Ebenezer Obey complementing the taste of the ever effervescent chilled Star Larger Beer that I was sipping rhythmically with the acquired aura of a successful acting big man, he broke the bad news.

“Sho, today is my mother’s burial, may be they would have finished the burial by now..”

I responded with a sense of disbelief: “You are not serious, how can they be burying your mother here in Abeokuta and you are not there, oh boy, you must be joking, it can’t be true..”

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He looked straight into my eyes with a tinge of anger for doubting him “how can I be telling you such a lie for what purpose? I wouldnt have been there because the woman (his mother) was an irresponsible woman.

She abandoned us, her children, to our father when we were very young and cared less about us until recently after many years she was trying to reconcile but we said no… So going to her burial program would be a waste of time and hypocritical of me because we never resolved the issue when she was alive. She was not a good mother while living , so she deserved no respect from me or my siblings in death… ”

I interjected, ” but you could have given her the last respect as a cultural rite of passage to eternity….. ”
“Sho, let’s continue to drink our beer, please, don’t let me regret that I discussed the matter with you…” He ordered for another round of cold beer and cowleg peppersoup, may be to reconcile our disagreement on the issue I considered shocking.

I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe it because I knew how terribly bad and inconsolable I was when I lost my dearest elegant mother, Abeke Ade, a paragon of beauty, charming, courageous, industrious but tough with words anytime she needed to spank with words, her children, her workers or anyone who crossed the boundary of her tolerance. The whole world seemed to collapse on my teenage head when the sad news of her untimely exit was broken to me as a class four secondary school student at Rev. Kuti. Grams. Abeokuta.

Traveling back to Ibadan on the second day after the sad news to meet the reality of her demise was the longest, toughest and most anguishing journey of my life. I wanted to get to Ibadan quickly, at the same time, I didn’t want to get to Ibadan quickly. It remained the saddest day and most shocking news I have ever received in my life. And here in front of me in a beer parlour is a friend whose mother was being buried but decided to boycott the sad event. It’s unbelievable.

I was momentarily lost in deep thought of silent comparison of the two mothers and their two sons. As we were drinking beer I was drawing a great lesson from his situation. The lesson was and is still simple and the same: Biological responsibility of procreation by men and women, either planned or accidental, does not confer a life motherhood or fatherhood certificate on anybody. Only responsibility, care and relationship can guarantee anyone life parenthood licence.

Irresponsible, casual, opportunistic, “parent at large” absentee fathers and mothers should jettison the old cultural / religious idea of “Tomo ba dagba, Omo a mo Baba e, tabi a mo Iya e” (when a child you abandoned for many years as an absentee.parent grows up, he/she will search for or reconcile with her “lost and found” father, mother, or both parents.)

That cultural nonsense belongs to the past.

The globalized “Sorosoke” generation will say no. Economically independent women and mothers are evolving, no more tolerance for “drop your sperm & come back years after to claim your child” The era of “Baba Omomi” (my children’s father) is going out of fashion.

Your licence of parenthood/ownership expires the moment you walk away. It may not be renewable when you decide to come back from your hiding cloud. That’s what Tope Alabi’s daughter is telling her biological father. His fatherhood is not renewable, at least for now.

My strong advice to all parents at large, most especially “fathers at large”, please go and search for your out of wedlock abandoned children and reconcile with them now, except there’s a mutual understanding of concealment of parenthood or underground arrangement to “fill in the gap” for “world peace”.

No excuse that the mother or father (your ex)of your abandoned child blocked you and prevented you from seeing your children. Go and cause unforgettable “fatherly scene” with her or him very early enough for the children to have in their memory so that the innocent children will start asking early question, “mummy, who’s that man?” or ” daddy, who’s that woman?”

It’s not all about financial responsibility alone, it’s also about fatherly relationship and emotions no matter how limited.
Tope Alabi’s daughter is right to disown her biological “father at large” for now without ruling out their reconcilation in future, but it can’t be automatic and supersonic.

-Adeola Soetan

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