Too Late, I Circumcised! Now What?
Question from Kindred Reader: I live with the deep regret about having my son circumcised. I did not find out the facts until it was too late. What can I do now?
This is one of the most difficult questions for me to answer because I have three circumcised sons. I believed the doctor who told me circumcision didn’t hurt, only took a minute, and would protect my babies from terrible things that would befall them if they weren’t circumcised. Many years later, as a nursing student, I witnessed a circumcision, which literally changed the course of my life. Since that day in May 1979, I’ve done everything I can to end this outdated, harmful practice that has such a profound effect on us all.
Some say I do this work because I feel guilty, but guilt is what you feel after you knowingly do something wrong. That’s not it. Mothers consent to circumcision out of the best intentions and the worst kind of ignorance. Circumcision is a cultural practice; most doctors do not provide adequate information to give an informed consent, and no one talks about it, so we don’t even know enough to ask the right questions. When we find out what happened to our precious baby behind closed doors, most mothers feel deep regret and profound sorrow.
We can’t take back our grievous mistake, but we can do everything in our power to protect our sons in the future. We can apologize to them and end the wounding in our families. When parents become informed, they will spare future sons from the pain and trauma of circumcision. Tell your story to anyone and everyone who will listen. Talking to and giving information to expectant parents to help save other babies from unnecessary surgery and their mothers from the grief we feel will help to transform your pain! Like all mothers, you did the best you could with the information you had at the time. So, be kind to yourself. You didn’t know. Now you do. My sons have all forgiven me, and yours will, too.
Resources for More Information on Circumcision
Intact America. Intact America works to protect babies and children from circumcision and all other forms of medically unnecessary genital alteration, whether carried out for cultural conformity or profit, in medical or non-medical settings. We seek to achieve our goals through education, advocacy, public policy reform, and the empowerment of our supporters, partners, and volunteers. You can read our Statement of Principles here.
National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. NOCIRC was founded by healthcare professionals to provide information to expectant parents, healthcare professionals, educators, lawyers, ethicists, and concerned individuals about circumcision and genital cutting of male, female, and intersex infants and children, genital integrity, and human rights.
National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM), Information and Support Group on Foreskin Restoration
National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males, NOHARMM,
Activist Organization for Men
Nurses for the Rights of the Child, NRC, Conscientious Objector Information for Nurses
Doctors Opposing Circumcision, DOC, Physician Information and Networking
You can read more of Kelly’s writing at EQUUS, here.