How are children created in The Giver?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The process of how children are made in The Giver actually begins with the Matching of Spouses. Adults who wish to create families must first apply for a spouse, and the Committee of Elders then studies various factors of each applicant's background: energy level, interests, personality, and intelligence. The committee tries to perfectly balance all of these factors when matching spouses to create well-balanced families.

This match is carefully watched by the committee for three years before the couple can then apply for a child. All adults take pills to prevent sexual attraction, so children are not conceived in traditional ways. Children therefore have no biological connection to the parents who raise them.

Instead, Jonas's society uses Birthmothers for this role. Women who are selected for this job have three babies within three years, but they are never even allowed to see their birthchildren. After these three births, the women are assigned to "hard physical labor" for the rest of their adult lives.

It is unclear who fathers all of these children, but based on Jonas's society, biological fathers are likely chosen for being the most capable of producing healthy and intelligent offspring. There is also no relationship between the birthfather and Birthmothers. Once the children are born, they are immediately taken to the Nurturing Center, where they are raised for approximately one year by Nurturers. After this, they are placed with families who have applied and been approved to receive children. Families can only receive one boy and one girl to complete their families.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial