Blog Festival | Genotype | by Deoye Falade

YOU ARE ‘AS’ GENOTYPE, HE IS TOO. HERE’S AN IDEA…

We’ve all seen this scenario before. Boy meets girl (or vice-versa so I don’t piss off gender equality people), they fall in love, begin to dream of a future together and finally, a discussion on genotype enters the fray. He’s AS, she’s AS: going ahead would lead to them having more SS genotype kids than AA genotype kids.

All they can see is a life of fear and uncertainty: will their baby live long or not? Will the kid grow beyond 25 years of age or even get there? Finally, they decide to go their separate ways amid tears, armed only with memories and fantasies of what could have been.

Or they decide to ‘faith’ it and marry. Voila, they do and years down the line, SS genotype babies start popping out and as a result, more days are spent shuttling between home and hospital wards than are spent on family picnics.

We get it, you’re in love. But really, don’t be stupid; you knew exactly what was going to happen.

So here’s an idea, since your love is so strong and you both can’t bear the thought of living without each other – not that you calling bae ‘your heart’ makes him a vital organ – just marry, and adopt.

I’m pretty sure you’re visualising me with the ‘side-eye’ look right now but isn’t it a sound idea?

Why are we so scared of adoption? Why do we, in this part of the world only see it as a last resort? Adoption here is seen as something you only do out of charity; after having 3 kids who have all gone to the university or they’ve gotten married, you decide to ‘help’ some kid so you can have some company in the house.

Aren’t we so damn selfish? Not really a big deal if we’re honest about it. But we’re not, and that’s the problem.

If we’re being honest, people with ‘problematic’ genotypes when it comes to marriage should realise that it’s either they walk away and consider the fact that they are saving their future kids from a life of sickness, agony and torture. We are not our parents, they mostly didn’t have the luxury of these blood tests we have now. We know better. So why do we still make the same silly ass mistake.

There’s faith, and there’s God telling you, “Don’t be silly.”

A lot needs to be done for us to realise that adopting kids isn’t something to hide from? There is no shame in not being able to have kids due to certain biological factors. Think of it as you saving a life, knowing what would happen if you have some of your own.

I’m not a parent. Heck, I’m not even married yet but I lost one of my closest friends to this sickle cell issue when I was 24. He was 25 and it just broke me. What killed me was the look of agony on his mother’s face when we went to pay our condolence visit the day after he died. I still can’t get the sound of her, wailing out of my head. And that’s not the only one I’ve lost.genotype-adopt-elsieisy-blog

So I’m saying this as someone who lost a friend. Consider the kids you stand to lose if you go ahead (till there’s a medical cure).

There’s a lot I can say about adoption and how we’ve got it all wrong due to cultural factors and certain belief systems perpetuated over time. But really, blood is overrated and in the end, your happiness is the most important thing. Whatever you’re sacrificing, ensure it’s all worth it in the end. That adopted kid will call you mommy or daddy and it will sound no different from those you give birth to. Love isn’t sexually transmitted or blood transfused.

So just do the right thing for your sake and theirs: just walk away, or go ahead and adopt. If you love yourselves that much, making these choices shouldn’t really be a problem.

Deoye Falade is a writer and media professional who works as a Content Strategist and Editor for gemWOMAN/gemMAN magazines. He also contributes features for True Nollywood Stories and other top media outlets. When he’s not being lazy or rabble rousing online, he pretends to have common sense on his blog: www.spencersmuse.wordpress.com

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11 comments

  1. I couldn’t read this to finish. This is a real life issue we go through. I went through it personally and I thought this would proffer a worthwhile solution. The point is, this is Africa, why would I want to get married if I don’t want kids? If all I have to offer the guy is ‘we can adopt’, he’ll simply look for someone else to marry. This sounds more like a mockery of those of us who find ourselves in this shoe. And I believe, my genotype should not dictate my happiness. I have a right to birth my kids too, like everyone else

    1. Here’s the thing. I’m sorry you’re personally affected but if the only reason you’re dismissing this idea is that “this is Africa”, then you’re just abiding by unfounded cultural standpoints (which have never truly helped anyone) over practical solutions. This is NOT a mockery and your position simply proves a key point in the post (if you had bothered finishing it).There are other options like someone mentioned below. You either make the affected child go through a bone marrow transplant (expensive), or get IVF Genotype selection (also expensive).Besides the above options, the only other choices are:1. Walk away and marry someone with a compatible genotype2. Give birth to a Sickle Cell and watch the kid suffer if you can’t afford marrow transplants.3. Adopt.4. Marry but don’t have kids.Out of the above choices, what would you do?
      Deoye Falade recently posted…GolgothaMy Profile

    1. Yeah, you’re right. But why imprison ourselves with culture, picking it over common sense.It’s hypocritical too. If not, there won’t be ‘baby factories’.In the end, the reason people without kids (across various situations) refuse to adopt is simply because of what they feel people will say.It’s their life oh! But they bind themselves with irrelevant outside opinions.How does that make sense?
      Deoye Falade recently posted…GolgothaMy Profile

  2. BlogFest brought us Uncle Deoye!Practical wisdom any day over blind dumb faith.Adopt, walk away or adopt.Thanks buoda Dee and aunty Elsie.

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