The interventions of technology on living beings do not cease to produce, in contemporary times “more and more surprising disruptions in the fields of procreation, gender and filiation” . On the 3rd and 4th of July 2021, the PIPOL congress will address the sources and impasses of the desire for a child in direct connection with the great disorder in the traditional structures of the human experience since “the evaporation of the father (père)”, the “rise of the object to the zenith” and the free movement of the “Ones all alone” .
If the psychoanalysts must join the spire of their time , they have to welcome the new modes of jouissance of all these “loners”  who are not sparing of inventiveness to equip their beings and their bodies in a common destiny. The child can be part of the program that enables them to “make a family”, giving a filiation of circumstances.
Like a possible disjunction between sexuality and procreation, we are witnessing, with scientific advances and assisted procreation techniques, a disjunction between procreation and gestation but also between genetics and filiation. We are entering into the field of all possibilities which conceals all contingencies. And yet, “it is precisely because we only see contingencies in the relationship between the sexes that we can infer that there is no necessity at work” .
Science, on the other hand, allows and promises multiple devices of jouissance in matters of procreation. While we cannot deny the contributions of science – the boost now offered to many previously impossible children’s projects – we have to question the desire for a child when it is based on a single “will”. Beyond the child itself – the dreamed, idealised or fantasised child – new issues are at stake, correlated with new possibilities and beyond all norms established up to now. At the time of the “Disjointed and Scattered Ones” , the child comes to embody new functions: to give a new horizon to hold people together – people determined to ensure what is now commonly accepted to call new families – to give support to a new project of filiation – whatever the coordinates – and finally, to support the project on a legislation that has become a guarantee of the existence of the arrangement.
“This growing recourse to recognition by law, where symbolic recognition is lacking, leads us to a world of norms [often] dissociated from a desiring embodied operator” . “Wanting a child” is the contemporary version of a desire for a child “desire here comes to dress up a particular want to enjoy “, that of “[vouloir de jouir] of the child” . If the motivations for this desire are multiple, the programme of jouissance can be most ferocious. If each person chooses to be a couple – or a single person in a mother-child copula – he or she can now engage in the making of a child. If the era is the era of all possibilities – despite a Senate that has recently slowed down the process of making them official  – a sometimes ferocious will influences the desire to reclaim one’s object, even if it is a child.
This want is dissociated from desire, a desire that Lacan meant in these words: “desire begins to take shape in the margin in which demand rips away from need” . The psychoanalytic clinic never ceases to attest to the ever-growing frustrations of each and every One when the project does not succeed – or when it comes to fruition but does not respond to the expectation. “The child projected by these techniques has become not only an object of desire, but also an object of a legally admissible request to medical authorities when the desire is hindered by nature. This new configuration lifts a veil on what is called the desire for a child and how it is affected by these scientific advances but also by societal advances” .
“Wanting a child, touches on the demand of obtaining a product from the marketplace, made available by the grace of science”, a claim which is not linked to the coordinates of demand and desire. “If psychoanalysis cannot be the instrument of social conservatism […], it cannot subscribe to all the aberrations of desire” . Also, “the way in which desire, jouissance and love are combined is very particular to each one and depends on chance [contingency!] and on this point, concerning the sexual relation in the human species, science must renounce … that the sexual relation between men and women is not programmed” .
Translation : Marcel Pereira
Proof : Linda Clarke
Photography: ©Reddman Frédéric : www.instagram.com/frederic_reddmann/
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