I don't agree with the way I was born. I really don't.
I was 18 when my mother told me that my father wasn't actually my dad. I was filling out medical information for college when the website asked for my father's medical history. I looked to my mom for guidance when she told just to not fill it out and stop. That's when she told me. My sister, my mom, and I were all related, but not to my father. Yes, it was a giant shock, but at first it didn't hit me. Later that evening, I couldn't look at my father again the same way. The man who I had spent 18 years believing was my dad, wasn't anymore. I'll admit that later that night as I lay in bed I googled what I am and what this was. I will openly admit that I cried myself to sleep that night.
Ever since that night I've struggled with this. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about it. I'll look at other people's families and see the way they all work together and how they all look alike. And I can't do it. And then it all made sense to me. Like why my parents waited six years to have children. Why only once someone has told me I look like my dad and every other time like my mom or my sister.
After my mom told me what I was she said, "All it changes is that we don't know your medical history. Nothing else."
I can't tell you how wrong she was.
College is tough. Everyone asks me about my family. They'll ask, "How many siblings do you have?"
And I have to reply one. But I don't know actually how many I do have.
Dad's weekend was really hard on me too. Seeing so many people who look so much like their dads while mine (who actually couldn't attend) was not actually my dad.
I'm not related to one half of my family. I don't actually know how many brothers or sisters I have. I don't know if I'm an aunt yet. I could have nieces and nephews. I have an entire half of my family that I don't know. I have another grandma. But I don't know if she's passed away. My half-siblings could have passed away too. But, I won't know what their life was and how they contributed to our world. I want to know these people. I want to know about their lives. I want to see the half of me in them. I want to know what my father looks like so I can see where I came from.
There are too many negative things that happen with Donor children. And its not an easy thing to cope with. Some of us feel like lab rats. Most of us wish our parents had rather adopted. I understand why people use this method of conceiving, but I don't agree with it. The children who are conceived from this suffer too much. And its not an easy thing to just "get over."
I don't believe in the way I was conceived. I really don't.
I used to cry in an instant at the mere thought of you dying. The worst thing in the world would have been to lose you. I used to believe that you were the world's best mom: smart, full of affection, a "go-getter". In jr.high and high school I was baffled by my friends who talked back to their mothers, undermined their wishes, or insulted them.
Now I realize the breaking away my friends were engaging in was a normal part of adolescent development and that my worshipping of you was *not* normal. My worshipping of you should be discussed only in context with my hatred of men: the sex that represented all the false fathers you forced me to live with�none of which loved me, at least appropriately.
I've tried to tell you that your use of an anonymous sperm donor in having me was wrong. All you can say is "but otherwise you wouldn't be alive! Aren't you happy you're alive?"
This just demonstrates your binary, limited imagination and remarkably low emotional intelligence.
If someone cooked you a meal, with rotten meat and you suffered food poisoning or botulism as a result�would the side dishes and salt and pepper make up for all the nausea? The cramping and fatigue? Is it reasonable that the person who served you the rotten meal make you say thank you? Isn't it more appropriate that the cook apologize?
Well Mom, I've been throwing up for over a decade now and you have yet to apologize for the rotten meat you served.
I needed my dad, MY dad� not the shitty men you had the bad judgment of marrying.
Every time I try to approach the subject you start bawling and run to the kitchen to inhale whatever kind of sugar you can find. You choke on ice-cream as your chin quivers and you still can't apologize. Your solution to all of your life's problems is to go after what you want. Your indulgence and lack of temperance has earned you debt, soon diabetes, and a very, very ungrateful daughter.
It's extremely hard for me to respect you.
All I wanted was an apology for the way you threw my father in the trash, for the way you wrongly assumed you could be the center of the universe forever.
I forgive you in that I hope things work out for you and you find peace. I hope you get over your unwillingness to see a psychologist or therapist or priest. But I can't waste any more of my time trying to fix you. For a long time I thought it was my life's purpose to make you happy. That was the whole reason I was born, to serve you.
I don't think that any more.
And I no longer cry automatically at the thought of you dying.
But don't kill yourself, that would be selfish too. Go get help. Or better yet go give help. Seek out redemption.
I love my family, and I can't help but feeling that I am betraying them a little by coming here and posting this. It feels a little like I'm spitting in their face after 19 years of loving care, but it has to be said.
I was raised by two women, my lesbian parents. I'm an only child, but not for lack of trying. After me there was at least 7 more attempts at conceiving, and once there actually was a pregnancy. But tragically, there was a miscarriage at 2 months.
I've always felt a little detached from the world, and I'm not sure if it is just me, or if it has to do with my unknown half. My mother knows next to nothing about the donor, other than he was a med student and had blonde hair/blue eyes.
The family I am related to by blood are in no way a substitute. It is the people on the other side of my family, my non-biological mother, that I feel most comfortable and connected to. My parents raised me to believe that family is what you make it, and I believe in that whole-heartedly.
However, the truth of the matter is, I just want to know. As many other only children will be able to empathise, I always felt jealous of friends with siblings, always wishing that I had somebody else too. I know I have 9 half brothers and sisters, who I would love to meet. I'm on the Donor Registry, and if there are any donor conceived people out there reading this, I would encourage you to get on there too.
I don't personally know any other donor conceived people, but reading this, it's nice to know that there are other people that feel the same as I do too. I feel like this information would bring me a huge amount of piece of mind. If there's anyone who feels alone, just know, you're not the only one. We're the new Lost Generation.
I've posted in here once before, I guess I came back because I feel some type of comfort writing in here. Not a day goes by where I don't think about my biological father and multiple half siblings. It's like I crave this knowledge that I am being denied, knowledge that should be a given right, knowledge that would bring me an extreme amount of closure. Maybe that's what I am really wanting, closure. No matter where I go, I am reminded everyday of this situation. I don't want you to think I am bitter or upset about how I was conceived, I accept it. The part I don't accept is the possibility of knowing who I am and being denied that possibility. Before I was even conceived adults decided my fate, obviously I had no say in the situation. And I am glad that my mom got the daughter she had always wanted and I'm glad my biological father was able to help pay his way through law school by selling me to the sperm bank. But I can't help but wonder if he ever thinks about his 30+ kids? Sometimes I just really hope he would, I wish he would reach out to us, but that is unrealistic. I believe in God, and I believe that maybe He doesn't want me to find my bio father, but I still can't stop thinking about it. I still can't stop staring at myself in the mirror and wondering who I am. I can't help but wonder where I came from and who I look like. The thing is, I don't even want a relationship with this man who "donated" his sperm. I just want to know who he is. I want to know my siblings. Every time I think about this it breaks my heart, and I think about this every day. I feel like I miss him and my siblings, though I don't even know who they are. I will never stop searching, it is slowly killing me.
I don't really know where to begin, all I know is that I feel beyond lost at the moment.
I guess I will start from the beginning.
I was born into a traditional home, with a traditional family; Mom, Dad, dogs and a cat. They finalized their divorce when I was four years old. I mostly lived with my mom, I saw my dad about once a week. I remember being in 6th grade, after dance class I went home (to my moms house) to find both my mom and dad sitting in my kitchen, obviously waiting for my arrival. I was so nervous and could feel the tension in the air, it was the first time my dad had ever been in my moms house in 5 years. My palms were sweaty as I waited to hear the unexpected story that was about to unfold before me.
My dad is a biology teacher, so he immediately got out a notepad and pencil and started to sketch out how the sperm and egg come together to make a baby. It seemed like a century, watching him doodle everything I already understood. My patience was running out and I could't take waiting much longer, I also felt extremely uncomfortable having my parents together, speaking to me about sex. Finally, he dropped the ball and told me that he was not related to me, for my biological father is an anonymous sperm donor. My first reaction was just a simple "Oh, okay", I was in shock and wanted my dad to leave before things got even more uncomfortable. Inside I was so confused, all my life I thought that the man who had helped raised me was my father, and now I am being told that my real father will never be found. I could tell they were surprised by my initial calm reaction and eventually he got up and left. I was confused but decided I would just not think about it, I was too young to understand anyways.
It wasn't for another year or so until I started to ask questions and grow curious. I remember searching on the internet, trying to find a way to find him. Everyone told me that I wasn't going to find anything, that it's hopeless, if he wants to be anonymous then he will stay anonymous. Everyone told me to stop trying, so that's what I did, I stopped. Don't get me wrong, I still thought about who I was periodically, however, I didn't see the point in wasting my time to find this mystery man who did not want to be found. 6 years later, I've begun my search again, and I am not taking no for an answer. My heritage should be a natural given right. The fact that adults made such a big decision for me before I was even conceived, baffles me. I understand that my mom just wanted a baby, but these sperm banks, they are just in it for the money. And obviously the sperm donors are selling their sperm just for the money too. At what point will we stop and look at this as selling a child? Because that is what it ultimately feels like. These sperm banks are not regulated either. I recently found a sister, who actually lives in my town, I was so delighted and surprised o find out I had a sibling. She called the sperm bank and asked how many births were confirmed from our donor, and there were 30. 30 births, which mean 28 other siblings that I have yet to find. I can't help but wonder if my biological father knows about his 30 children, who knows, maybe he donated to more than one sperm bank.
Can you see why I feel lost? I am currently on 23andme and familytree DNA trying to find out about my health history and trying to connect the dots. I don't know where I came from and that is all I think about. I can't help but to look down at my hands and to look at my reflection and just wonder. Wonder who I am. Now, for my biological father, I do not want a relationship with him, but is a picture and a name too much to ask for? I don't think so.
In some papers we received from the sperm bank, he said that he enjoys thinking games and solving puzzles, well like father, like daughter. I enjoy solving puzzles too... and I won't quit until I put all of the missing pieces together for the puzzle that is my life.
It's not the fact I'm donor conceived that upsets and angers me. It's the fact I had to figure it out for myself and my parents never told me. A few months ago I was sitting in my biology lesson and my teacher was talking about IVF. I found out I was an IVF baby around 2 years ago but didn't think that necessarily meant using donor eggs or sperm until my teacher mentioned that if a woman was too old to conceive then she could use donor eggs. I had always thought my parents were much older than all my friends or classmates parents but I put that down to my mother and father being lucky to conceive at old age I guess. I always felt close to my father but I knew I never had a proper bond with my mother like my friends have with theirs.
So when my teacher made this comment, it was on my mind all day to go home and ask my parents if both the sperm and eggs were theirs. I really did not expect the answer to be no. Or maybe I did and I just didn't want to believe it. My mother told me that the eggs were donor eggs. My father tried to tell me that she was still my mother but I felt so betrayed. If I hadn't asked, when were they going to tell me? Yes she carried me and raised me but there's still something missing. I want to know what my donor looks like or I want to know a name or something!
I'd always had a closer bond with my little sister than my older sister so when I found out they'd used different eggs for her and I wasn't fully related to her I was genuinely heartbroken. I honestly felt like I had been living a lie for 18 years and everything was different. Obviously it's not the same as adoption, I wasn't given up by my mother. It's different but it's still upsetting. It's not the kind of thing you can explain to everyone or want to explain to everyone, so only my close friends know.
I've just sent off my forms to HFEA and I don't know what to expect back but I'm hoping for just a tiny bit of information on my donor or know if I have any half-siblings. Anything really.
I was raised in a fragmented upper middle class family filled with emotional abuse. I never found out until high school that my mother was not my real mother...and yet she was at the same time. Because she carried me in her womb, gave birth to me, and raised me like her own? I had never known such confusion in my life. On the one hand, I wanted to love her and I did in my own way because I felt duty-bound to, but on the other hand I resented her, for bringing me into this abusive family. I hated my biological father but I will not discuss it here.
When I tell friends my mother isn't my real mother they would assume I was adopted but it's not the same as being an egg donor child. I never wanted to explain so few people know the truth. I hate telling strangers a long elaborate story that doesn't mean much to them anyway.
In my second year of college I went across the ocean to Japan to search for my "true mother". I had very little information to go off of, and almost zero knowledge of the language. It was a challenging year of culture clashes, an emotional rollercoaster. But I learned a lot about Japan, about my language and culture and heritage, and I could feel it within me, even though the parents who raised me knew nothing of the language or culture. I knew it was in my soul and I picked up the language almost naturally. Yet I returned somber and changed. It was bittersweet, falling in love with a new world which should have been my birthright and yet was denied me at birth...
I've grown up. Years later, now, I accept the truth for what it is. But I have taught myself bit by bit to forgive, empathize, be happy with what I have. My mother, the one who raised me is my true mother and she is the only one I will ever know. She supported me during my year away, my endured my soul-searching, my depression upon returning...my bitterness. Now that I am older and mature I can imagine how hurt she was back then when I told her I was leaving to find my truth. But it was necessary, all of this. My life continues.
I have gay parents.
I spend most of my time at my best friends house. I hang out with her Dad cuz I never had one and he is this awesome guy. My friends Dad is a lot like Charlie from Twilight! I cried when I read about Bellas father in the books and in all his scenes in the movies. Mostly at my friends house it feels like I can just be myself. Someone has to say it cuz I dont hear it but gay parents are selfish in a way. They dont think what its going to be like for me to live in their world.
Am I the only one who feels this way? Am I a bad daughter because I wish I had a Dad? Is there anyone else who has 2 Moms or 2 Dads who wonders what it would be like if they were born into a normal family? Is ther anyone else who wants to be able to use the word normal without gettin a lecture on what is normal???
I dont know my real father and never will. Its weird but I miss him. I miss this man I will never know. Is it wrong for me to long for a father like my friends have? She has two brothers I play basketball with all the time. It feels so amazing to be included in their family. When I am there I think this is what its like to be in a family that has a Mom and a Dad. Then I have have to go home to my own world. I just dont fit in it anymore.
I've been conceived by the AI procedure in 1987. I am currently a 25 year old Child Psychologist. And I worry a great deal about the stories presented here. Logically every child wants to know where it's origins are. And I think it's a right for everyone to try to explore this opportunity. Most of the stories here seem sad or expressing a great loss. I know there is some loss from personal experience but there is also a great joy. You are a wanted and loved child. I think most of these stories are posted in times of emotional stress where people reach a breaking point and write about it. Mostly during puberty when developing an identity is an task for children. (And how would you feel if you suddenly hear that dad is not your dad?)
I think parents should really think twice about how they want to approach this issue if they don't have experience with the psychological impact of this procedure. This is not a procedure to take lightly. It can work out great, I am a happy individual but there are plenty of things parents need to find out before they go through with it.
Anger and frustration is what I feel when I hear parents saying: "We think we should just tell Jimmy about the procedure at age 17. He can handle it better then." That's simply lying to a child about something as fundamental as it's history and heritage. Being a mother and father is a privilege and not a right. True parenthood lies in you raising your kid well and not in supplying the genes. Thus your child has a right to know as soon as possible where he is from. No weird stories, no lies. Not to the community and especially not to your child. Or you will end up with a teenager that has a right to never trust you again.
So help your kid explain what has happend. Even support him in searching for the biological parent. These things does not mean that your child doesn't love you or doesn't regard you as a real parent. It simply means that your child wants to know. It's the least you can do.
My name is Chris and I first started experiencing major differences between my Dad when I was rather young. At the age of 7, I asked my mom if I was related to my dad because he is very different than me. I later found out in my late teens that I was conceived at the London Women's Clinic under Dr. Bridget Mason in November 1985. I've been on the search to find my lost half-siblings since that is a much higher probability than my actual sperm-donor father. There has been something missing for so long, its almost a psychological/physiological need to find somebody related to me from this side of my father.
I am signed into the DCR (donor-conceived register) for people born before 1991 in the UK, and I have a Y-Chromosome test results which I could compare to other individuals if you are a male willing to share and were conceived around the same time as me.
I've been trying to get in touch with the bridget mason group of conceived adults, and I am currently in contact with 4 people not including myself. I hope that if you are out there reading this, and you match this description, you can reach me...
Thanks and best of luck to all of you on your search
My mom was barely fertile and she wanted children quite badly. The man who I call my father is not my biological father, but I love him and couldn't call anyone else my dad. Mom got sperm from a supposedly anonymous donor at a clinic and she birthed my brother 3 years ahead of myself. We were told we are of the same two "parents" biologically. We live together and away from our parents. I don't want to leave my brother because we are the closest relatives. Mom doesn't like us, dad definitely does love us more than her. I'd like to know what my biological father looks like, his heritage and background. Being a quarter Irish and quarter Swedish with a half a mystery isn't satisfying. My brother worries about predisposition to certain disease or mental health issues passed genetically. We won't leave each others side for a long time. I feel lost sometimes because I want to know who my biological father is.
I am feeling extreme anxiety because I can foresee what lies ahead but I am powerless to stop it. It is like foreknowledge the car is about to crash, without the power to apply the brakes. Market deregulation. Thousands, millions of children growing up to make sense of the confusion of deliberate family dislocation and a fractured identity and the loss of being raised by their family of origin, who alone can reflect their looks, interests and personality and help them find their place as a link in the chain of their kin.
Donor conception is wrong because it is geared towards fulfilling the needs of adults - at the expense of the needs of the child. Circumstances vary, but the bottom line remains the same. People believe they have a right to a child and are therefore entitled to remove a child from its kin to be raised by an alternative family. If people have a 'right' to a child then the child loses its autonomy as a human being. Conceived with a technique that has its origins in animal husbandry, fused from two people who were never in love, never danced together, never even met, further erodes our sense of humanity. The most primal need of the child is to be loved, valued and raised by its parents. Donor conception interferes to pervert the relationship between the child and their biological parents.
Children of surrogates are told "the woman who gave birth to you is not your 'real mother,' she was just a handy womb." The real mother is the woman who provided the egg.' Children of egg donors are told "your 'real mother' is the woman who gave birth to you, the woman who provided the egg is 'just a donor.'' Adults willing to procreate with the intention of not parenting the child are held in high esteem. It is madness. Donor conception should be subject to the same tests as adoption. A court should transfer parenting rights to the commissioning parents only if it can be proved that it is in the best interests of the child not to be raised by their biological parents.
I feel tremendous empathy for the next generation of ART babies, struggling to conform to the extreme pressure to be the smiling babies advertised on the websites and clinic walls. Never betraying their loyalty to their legal parents by identifying their loss. This next generation will struggle even more because they will be told they were 'lucky' enough to be raised in the 'perfect model' of donor conception. They get to know their donors name. What more do they want? At least people admit mistakes were made in my generation.
Society keeps repeating the folly of separating children from their families to fulfil the huge demand for children, as we have seen with child trafficking in Haiti and service providers organising third world adoptions of 'orphans' with living parents. Donor conception has more of a veneer of respectability, but the ethical considerations concerning the vulnerability and powerlessness of the child are the same.
Adoptees, wards of the state and members of the Stolen Generation understand. Will the Donated Generation ever get their apology? Will anyone ever listen to us, the 'commissioned children?'
I shout my experiences into the vacuum of the infertility treatment industry and numbly watch as the next generation is unthawed and inseminated.
Before she died when I was ten, I worshipped my mother. She was a beautiful, straightforward, loving human being and I was proud to be her blood and flesh, her real daughter. But growing up, I always felt something was wrong. I didn't look like her, I looked Caucasian, too white and freckle to be completely Japanese. Even after she left, I took solace in knowing that I was hers, that someday I might look more like her, that I would attract the attention of many men like she did. She was mine and I was hers in both flesh and heart and I was immensely proud and happy to know that. It was my beacon of light throughout the lonely years of my childhood. I was the luckiest kid in the world to have such a beautiful mom. When I was fourteen though, my father told me that she had loved me very much and to never forget that she was my real mother who bore me, but genetically my REAL mother was an anonymous Korean/German woman. I pretended like it was no big deal, like all it was was explaining my strange eyes and my brown blonde hair. I was so heartbroken. The person I believed to be my own was in fact, not. This distanced me even more from my memories of her and I was so distraught and angry when no one was looking. I wish they hadn't told me. I really wish they hadn't. Thinking past that, I do want to meet my biological mother, but I feel like if I expressed these feelings to my father, he wouldn't understand and tell me that it wasn't important. But I WANT to know. There are so many questions within me.Do I have siblings? The sister I'd always hoped for? Did they look like me? What did my mother look like? Would she like me? Did she want to know me? Is she alive? I'd like to meet her someday. And if not, I'd like to at least know who she is. A name perhaps.
Many people who know me but don't know my real story. Who I really am. Who my other half is. I grew up with two wonderful parents. They separated when I was about 4. My dad (who is my biological dad) ended up getting custody of me when I was 10. My mother, I found out she wasn't my real mother a little earlier than I should have. I was probably 7 and I asked her "Why don't I look like you?" and then she told me the story. My parents wanted very much to have a kid. But, my mother was too old to have kids at the time so they decided on surrogacy. My biological mother donated her egg and wanted to stay anonymous. All we know about her is that her family is all healthy, she has two older sons, and she has blonde hair (since my dad has black hair I probably got it from her.) Ever since I was told at age 7 that the mother who I always thought of as my own, wasn't. And now that I think about it, we are nothing alike. There is another huge story that happened when I was 10 but, I'm not going to go into detail, let's just say after I turned 11 my dad got sole custody of me.
I wonder all the time who my biological mother is. What does she look like? What does she like to do in her free time? What does she do for a job? Does she even know I exist? Does she ever want to meet me? What would I say to her if I ever met her? There is just so many questions and no answers. Only my close friends know about this and they want to know these things as well. Sometimes when I walk down the street, I'll think, have I seen my biological mother today? Maybe I've already seen her and not even know it. The worst thing about being this way is not knowing. I just found out about this website and I like it. I like knowing that there are kids out there just like me who don't know who their mother/father is. I feel like we all relate in a way. If I ever meet this wonderful woman who helped conceive me, I would have so many questions. I would also want to thank her so much for my wonderful and blessed life that I have because of her.
When people go about talking about how randomly inseminating women by random men is a good thing because the kid is wanted i get agitated. Who the hell am i wanted by? The two people who made me, or the desperate selfish woman who couldn't make her own kids with her husband so bought sperm from a random man who masturbated in a cup to play boy, took his check, left the clinic and went home to the creations he made with his sperm.
Oh sure, it's totally acceptable for him to sell off his sperm to make the same kids he has at home, but if a man gets a woman knocked up and runs off to his first family, he's suddenly this dead-beat-father and a horrible monster? and the woman is a whore who opened her legs to any one. Are you freakin kidding me?
It's STILL sex, people. It's just artificial. the penis is the NATURAL syringe, it's NO different.
If dads don't matter, no more Maury, no more Ancestory.com, no DNA tests and no more dads being forced to pay child support. No more father's day, no more biology classes about sexual reproduction: where us donor-kids get to sit and learn about genetics, learn about how we are genetically halves of our parents; how we come from a long line; how we will have their features; their traits; some of their personality; their mitochondria; and why we all look like our siblings and why we look like our maternal and paternal sides. Well here's the reality WE DON'T. History papers about our origins are agonizing, frustrating and angry, not a fun lecture about how Grandma came from Wales, and how Papa came from Ireland. We don't have dad's eyes, we don't have his nose, we don't have his dimples. When we want to know how tall, buff, hairy, tan we'll get we don't get a lecture from dear ol' Pop who will tell us "well son,you're from the smiths, you come from a long line of ____ people."
We're basically made like livestalk or wild animal breeding--just random people mixed together. It sucks when you're a HUMAN, and you want to be told you were a product of sexual reproduction and not a social/ biology experiment that took place in a lab. And unlike your pet dog (who was taken from it's mom at birth), it isn't just about getting a roof over your head and attention. Just like how the RECIPIENTS go out of their way to make sure THEY experience pregnancy, and THEY have their biological kids, well, o' dear, WE WANT OUR REAL PARENTS TOO. THE ONES THAT NATURE SAID WERE SUPPOSE TO TAKE CARE OF US, NOT A STUPID PIECE OF PAPER, MY BUYERS SIGNED WITHOUT MY CONSENT.
how would you feel if you went to a hospital gave birth and the doctor gave you a random baby? The baby's healthy and it's one of you and your partner's but you are told this later on with the BABY's ready. For your whole child-rearing experience you get to wonder if you are the parent or not. The baby might not look like you and he may come from someone else, but you don't know. Then you are told, after years of believing you were the parent, it ain't ya baby and it never will be. But, you can't make another kid, or ever go to the hospital and find the baby (who doesn't give a crap about you) that was actually yours, you're stuck with the one the hospital gave to you.
And lastly, if us kids are suppose to be grateful that we were alive and that's all that matter, then the first person who feels sorry for a rape victim's offspring should be verbally attacked and told to shut the hell up.
i was wanted by the couple who couldn't have kids of their own, so they went to a clinic and purchased me. If my mom could conceived with my dad, i would have never existed. That's how "wanted" i am.
My father in law gave his children and grandchildren the most wonderful and meaningful gift this past Christmas, the story of his genealogical family from his mother's side and the beginning of his own autobiography ending when he met my husband's mother. Beautifully written bound and presented. He left it to his children and grandchildren to continue to write the story from their own perspective.
Why does genealogy, mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins of the shared dna kind matter? Because they ground, bind and root us to people and history. Their stories matter. We build our stories from theirs and pass them on to our own children.
I do not need to have blood ties to my husband's father's family genealogical history to call them family. But I am a part of my chidren's genealogical history and so too is my parent's donor, including the rich history of all the many people whose life both his and ours traveled through.
The greatest gift I've been given from my donor conception experience is how precious family is. My parent's donor is my father. He matters. There really is no such thing as a donor in relation to his offspring.
I am a donor conceived baby, and I am not bothered by it. To say I don't care is going a bit far but generally I don't find myself conflicted by it, I don't find myself wondering what my "real" father is like or how well I would get on with my potential half siblings.
The reason why is simply this; I love my family. I never felt like I had a part of me "missing" growing up (as I've read from other people's accounts.)
I was born in 1993, London. My mum told me I was donor-conceived when I was thirteen, although I already had an inkling by then...you see, me and my brother never really looked that alike, people often said it and I noticed it myself. I have very pale skin and blue eyes while my brother is tanned with brown eyes. There are some similar traits but you have to look hard.
My parents split up when I was ten and although me and my Dad (the one I grew up with)don't often get along I would never change him. He is my father, I love him, he raised me and biology doesn't come in to that. And as for potential siblings, why would I need to meet more? Out of some misguided notion that just because you share blood you're immediately family? No. Me and my brother grew up together, we fought over the silliest of things, went through our parent's split together, I watched him grow up from being a small toddler to a lanky teen, that is what makes us family. The fact that we don't share the same sperm donor doesn't matter to me and when he is told about how we were conceived I hope it doesn't matter to him either.
Saying all that, I would like to thank my biological father (and my brother's) for making his donation. Because of him my parents were able to have children and their is no greater gift. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be here and no words can express how grateful I am for that, and because of that I too would like to become a donor. And if I do have any other siblings, I am open to meeting them. I am interested in seeing whether they look like me, or if we have similar interests and I would quite like to exchange our "donor" stories. But for the most part, my life has not changed, my dad is my dad, my brother (half or not) is my brother and my family are my family and I would not replace them for the world.
To all the other donor conceived kids out there, it doesn't change a thing, your family are still your family, it's just now you know you're also a miracle of science! ;)
I've already submitted a story to this website, but I find my feelings about this issue are constantly changing. Constantly evolving. How I felt a month ago is not how I feel now, and I'm sure it is not how I'll feel a year from now. The more I research the issue, the more I have to say.
This website has really helped me come to terms with being donor baby. That is a HUGE life-changing piece of information to take in at 21. My mom kept it a secret for so long that I felt like I couldn't talk about it either. These stories really helped me feel less alone.
I've told people about it now. I don't advertise it or anything, but people who are close to me know how I feel, and that has been immensely helpful. I'm ready to talk to my mom about it, which is something I didn't think I would ever do. I was worried about hurting her. Now I realize that until I talk to her about it, I'm only hurting myself, and I deserve more. This was her choice, and I'm already suffering enough for it. She should be prepared to deal with the consequences.
Reading other people's stories was so helpful, I think, because of the variety of reactions. Many people felt similar to me. Many seemed much more angry. Several were facing the issue on a more general level, talking about the concept of sperm donation rather than their own conception. All of these helped me see different sides of the issue, which in turn helped me come to terms with everything.
Not that everything is resolved now. Far from it. I'm curious. A few months ago I was ready to just accept the fact that I'm a donor baby and move on with my life, but now I realize that I'll never be able to do that. It's who I am. I'll never stop wondering. Not just about who my father is, but about all the other people out there like me who will never know the truth. About all my potential half-siblings, scattered across the country. About how many more people this is going to happen to before anonymous donation comes to an end. About how it's affecting kids growing up right now. I have so many questions that I've never considered. I don't think I'll ever have all the answers. From here on out, I'll always be wondering. But that won't stop me from looking.
Unlike a lot of women who use sperm donors, my mom didn't struggle with fertility and she didn't hear her "biological clock" ticking. She was only 25 when she decided to conceive me by sperm donation. She had given birth to my older sister when she was a teenager and after years of dealing with my sister's deadbeat dad, custody battles, and child support problems, she decided that she wanted to use sperm donation simply because she didn't want to deal with the problems that came with her child having a father in the picture. After getting a settlement from a lawsuit, she decided to go ahead with sperm donation.
I wasn't the only kid in my neighborhood raised by a single parent but I was still different from the kids whose parents were divorced or one of their parents had passed on. I didn't have any stories about my father. I didn't even have a name. Around the fourth or fifth grade, I started making up stories about my father, whom I called Henri (after the character from the PBS show Liberty's Kids). In high school, my story was more detailed. Henri was from Paris, France and the reason he wasn't in my life was because of citizenship issues and the cost of the travel. I went so far as to write myself fake letters and take French to keep my story up.
This lie kept me going for a while. After I turned 18, I began searching for my father but I had no luck. The most they would do was send a letter to his last known address, which hadn't been updated in over a decade. Depressed at my lack of success, I sought relationships, some sexual and some nonsexual, with older men in an attempt to create a father figure in my life. I eventually sought therapy, which helped a lot, but there's not any support group that I've ever seen for children born of egg/sperm donation. Mostly, I was told how "thankful" I should be that my mother "chose to give me life" and that "G-d had a plan for me."
I feel the void of my father more so than ever as an adult. I had no father to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. My son had no grandfather present at his birth or his brit shalom (and he most likely won't have one at his bar mitzvah). Father's Day hits me hard. I've lost more than one job in my life simply because I couldn't drag myself out of bed on that day. I don't celebrate my birthday at all. I resent my mother a lot and we don't speak to each other. My mom did a great job of raising me -- I ate homemade dinners every night, I went to Disneyland every summer, and most importantly, I knew I was loved -- but I can't help but resent her. I feel her actions were selfish. Emotionally, it's very hard for me to accept that I was conceived out of convenience and not love. That the only reason I'm on this earth is because some random guy jacked off into a cup while looking at a Playboy.
My mother could not conceive under normal conditions. She tried for years and could not get pregnant. Finally after trying IVF and a sperm donor, she conceived my twin brother and I. She raised us all on her own, and never kept our paternity a secret to us. We never felt shame or that we needed to hide that fact that we had a donor for a father, but we weren't open about it either. This was a topic that we just did not discuss outside the home, it wasn't really anyone elses business. Plus, being conceived in 1994, not many people (atleast that I knew of) came from similar circumstances, it didn't have the popularity that it does now. My twin brother has always struggled with finding male acceptance. He grasps at any male attention he can receive, thriving in talking to friends fathers. He really struggles with his male identity. My mom did the best she could, but she is not a man, and even though we had loving uncles and grandfathers, it is not the same as a father. He enlisted in the army (to pay for college he says) but I personally believe it to thrive in the male camaraderie that he never got to experience growing up with two females. It never used to bother me that I didn't know who my father was. I love my mother, she raised us with confidence and plenty of love. But it wasn't until recently that I began to think that my mother was being selfish for what she did. I have been experiencing a bit of an identity crisis lately, wondering where I am going to go in life, and who I am, and how I can figure all of this out without even knowing who my father is, where half of me comes from. It is really difficult to reconcile these feelings, my mom did a more than sufficient job raising me, but there is someone out there that I come from. My mom can never truly appreciate how difficult it is to not know where half of you comes from, and as of lately I have been trying to figure out a way to contact my sperm donor, but I have no idea where to begin. Or even if he would want to be contacted. What if I go through all this trouble, and he wants nothing to do with me, or my brother? All of these feelings of guilt, fear, excitement, and wondering are all wrapped up into one and it is difficult. I know I should have faith in myself, that no matter who my father is, I am a wonderful person, but part of me still wants to know where I am from, to figure out where I can go in my life.
Do you know what it's like to walk through a crowd of people wondering who could be a father or half-sibling?
Do you know what its like to search the internet for hours to try to find a man you're obsessed with yet know almost nothing about? The man who fathered you, one half of your DNA?
Do you know what it's like to lie awake at night wondering who your father could be, or why noone wants you to know who he is?
Do you know what it's like to be stared in the face by other kindergarteners asking how I was conceived in a science lab or where my father is?
There are so many children in need in the world, poor, starving, while sperm banks make billions taking advantage of couple's desperation to live the American Dream.
Take it from a child conceived by an anonymous sperm donor.
Think about the child before sacrificing your money, and child's welfare on going to a sperm bank.
ADOPT, DON'T SHOP for your next child!
I found out about my "donor daddy" at age 10, in a trailer where my kid brother, my mother and I were effectively camping out with her then boyfriend. She was in the process of divorcing the abusive, alcoholic man I believed to be our father and had packed us up two weeks previously to join her love interest, a traveling lumberjack entertainer, on the road while we hid from her ex. She had gathered us around their bed and gently explained that she used "guppies" from a "donor daddy" to make us -- that we weren't her ex's children. I couldn't tell you in hindsight whether she spilled the beans at that moment to cushion the blow of losing for good the only father we'd ever known or to keep us from resenting her lover or both, but we took the news in stride and never brought it up again.
Until that point, I had been a daddy's girl in every way. I had fond memories of cooking with my supposed father every night, sitting on his lap while he read to me and relishing the treats and gift from him that we couldn't tell Mommy about. I wasn't fazed when he engaged in more self-serving, hands-on bonding time that we also couldn't tell Mommy about; I suppose I felt like I was reciprocating and was happy to make my Daddy feel good. When my mother packed us up and led us through a rat's maze of court-ordered therapy and "show me on the doll where he touched you" sessions, assuring us time and again that Daddy just had to go away, I couldn't help but resent her a bit. My Daddy was my world.
Ten years later, my mother has been divorced from her lumberjack, also an alcoholic, for six years, and my brother and I have emerged ostensibly well-rounded adults in spite of a series of "bad daddies" as my mother calls them. I've had enough time to put the pieces of my origins together to have an objective, if somewhat cynical view of my parentage. I'd learned in time that, at ages 39 and 62, my mother and her husband had opted to use a sperm donor after 10 years of infertility treatments, when it became clear that his 20-year-old vasectomy was not reversible enough to conceive. They had then selected the sperm of a 21-year-old architecture student from California with blond hair, blue eyes and a smart-ass personality off a Build-A-Baby Workshop catalog for my conception, later seeking the same donor out again when they went to conceive my brother. "For spare parts," my mother said.
My mother urged me to seek out my donor's information when I turned 18 -- she was more curious than I was and had nothing to lose. I filed the paperwork with the sperm bank shortly after my 18th birthday to request as much information as possible about Donor 1127, only to have the bank respond that my donor did not wish to volunteer any further information. I don't blame the guy -- who wants to be haunted by their questionable tactics to make a quick buck in college?
I don't speak of my parentage except in a joking sense. I've grown accustomed to life without a father and don't like to admit to the dreaded "daddy issues." I may be depressed, I may have had a phase where I bought the love of men with promiscuity, I may feel forced out of nature, I may dread having my own children and passing on my mystery genes and insert stereotype here, but I'm not consciously trying to fill a father shaped void.
I do, however, have a bone to pick with the market that creates these situations. Call me old fashioned, but I find donor conception an incredibly selfish practice on the part of the parents. It used to be that couples who couldn't conceive the biblical way adopted one of the thousands of needy children in the world in order to fulfill their desire for a child. The couple got a bundle of joy, and the adopted child got a loving home it would not otherwise have. Donor conception carries the intrinsic, unspoken premise that engineering a half-you, half-stranger baby that is "yours" is preferable to raising an existing child, that your forced offspring is more worthy of your love than another child. Instead of making a child's dream of a family come true, this system makes a family's dream of a child come true. The only one who doesn't get a say in the latter deal is the child. With adoption, you are making the best of the raw deal life dealt a child. With donor conception, you are creating that raw deal as the byproduct of a selfish desire to pass on your genes any way possible.
There is coldness surrounding my conception, when I bother to think about it. I was not the latent effect of mutual attraction and passion between two people, as most children are. I was not a mistake or an accident, happy or unhappy. I was carefully planned, my traits were picked out of a catalog, my conception was the result of an oversized turkey baster and prayer. My mother never fails to remind me how much time and money she spent to bring me into the world, as most any mother is wont to do to some degree. She doesn't know it, but I feel deeply indebted to her, as though I owe it to her to live up to her expectations and vicarious whims because my life is not mine to lead as I please -- she purchased it from the Build-A-Baby Workshop. It's the same kind of loyalty and sense of indenture that Sally the Rag Doll must have felt towards Dr. Finklestein in Nightmare Before Christmas. Don't get me wrong; I love my mother and don't begrudge her desire to be a mother. I just wish she had gone about it differently. I wish other prospective parents would go about it differently. The same rules should apply to making children as they do to failing to spay or neuter animals: to breed more when so many are in need of good homes, all for the sake of pursuing that perfect personality or appearance, is irresponsible.
I just found out that I was donor-conceived last February, ironically enough after making a New Years resolution to "find myself." There's still a part of me that really wishes my Mom never told me. Ignorance is bliss, after all. I grew up in a regular family with a mom and two brothers and a dad I always thought was mine. As a kid I always used to think about how lucky I was to have a "normal" family.
Part of me also wonders if she told me for selfish reasons. The only person who knew, besides my parents was my mom's sister, who had recently passed away. My parents were in the middle of divorce, which seemed to be getting uglier and uglier as it progressed. My mom and I have always been close, and since I moved out she has really started confiding in me, sometimes more than I want to know. So part of me thinks she just couldn't keep it to herself anymore, and also that maybe she wanted to spite my dad.
If that's what she was trying to do it worked. Ever since she told me I've felt this increasing disconnection from my father, whom I apparently only loved due to obligation. I pity him for not trying to keep in touch since the divorce. He had EVERYTHING and he's not even smart enough to realize he's losing it. But his loss; now that biology is out of the picture I have no incentive to keep him in my life.
I do not resent my mother for using a sperm donor. She wanted kids more than anything in the world, and I am so so happy that she did everything in her power to make me exist. She is the best mother anyone could ask for, and I like to think that I take after her. It's impossible to know now though. I can see exactly what I get from her, but what about what I got from him? There are things about myself that I spent my whole life assuming I inherited from my dad. My insane stubbornness. My negativity. My father and I were a lot alike, personality wise.
The amazing thing about personality though, is it can change. It is relatively stable, but not unchanging, and now that I am freed entirely from any imagined influence of genetics, I can be anyone I want to be. It's strangely liberating.
I have an amazing family, even if half of it is missing. The family that I have is more than enough. I am lucky and I am loved and that's more than enough.
First off, I should start with the fact that my "donor" was not anonymous. My conception was not what you'd call a normal donation. My mother wanted a child, she new what she wanted, and she found a man that fit the bill. I have never met my father, and I (hopefully) never will.
I'm writing my story, because I am now choosing to do what she did, and I'm going into it knowing how it felt for me.
I think I first started asking questions when I was 5 or 6. My mother was my world, but eventually the kids at school, well they wanted to know why I was different. Being different, that is a horrible horrible thing. Or at least that's what the world seems to teach us. It's wrong by the way.
When I turned 10 or 11, we got the internet at my house. That's when I decided I REALLY wanted to know. My mom had told me a bit here and there. I don't think she had given me any important information at that time. No name, nothing like that. Christmas was upon us, and my mom found me in my room crying.
"What's wrong honey?"
Well, it was Christmas, a time for family, to be with the people who love you and care about you. I was the only family I knew who only had 2. I had no siblings, no father, just me and Mom. I felt like I was missing my family at Christmas. When I told her I wanted to find my dad and have more info, her face fell. It makes me cry now even thinking about it, like I thought she wasn't good enough. That wasn't it at all! But she didn't know that. As a matter of fact, were it not for my peers, I never would have cared, nor asked in the first place.
We found him. I even got to talk to him on the phone. This contact was followed by years of empty promises and lies from him. Every time I talked to him, in email, on the phone, it seemed like he was a different person. My senior year I told him I was graduating. I've never heard from him again.
The thing is, I don't blame him. I don't LIKE him, but I don't blame him. He had a family of his own, a life of his own, other children of his own. I was not HIS. He didn't know me, he didn't raise me, I didn't reflect his values.
I have his complexion, his eye color, I even have his hair, but he's not my father. He's not my family. Thousands of people around the world have this complexion, this hair color, these eyes. Thousands of people have bits and pieces of DNA that match mine.
I may have gotten my DNA from him, but that DNA isn't just his. It's now mine, and it will be my children's. It's also shared in parts and pieces among people all over the world whom I claim no relation to. I am NOT the sum of my genetics, I am the sum of my morals, my values, my loves and my dislikes.
WHO I am is more important than WHAT I am.
Lets face it, genetics determine WHAT we are. What color we are, what gender we are, what height we are, even sometimes what weight we are.
WHAT we are isn't what matters, WHO we are is.
I am the the daughter of a mother who loved me enough to go through the trials and tribulations of raising me alone. I am happy with who I am and I would NOT be this person if I HAD known my father. I might have been a good person then, but I am quite happy not risking it, and staying the person I am now. Now I am going to do the same thing when I have my child, and I'm going hopefully teach them the same things my mother taught me. I'm going to teach my child that I love them enough for everyone!
From the eyes of a donored baby:
"I'm told to be thankful for my donors because they gave me life, but this life is not merely a kidney transplant, this life is 50% of who I am genetically and biologically: my heredity, the fundamental principal of my existence: a sperm and a egg . I'm told my true parents are not the ones who gave me life, and who carried me inside them, any one can do that, my true parents are the ones who feed me and give me a home (the same logic applies to caring for a pet) if that is the case, I suppose my adoptive family are not my family, truly. Since genetics don't count in the rearing of children, I can move into a complete stranger's home and simply start calling them mom and dad, and they are my true parents, now. Right? I can erase my adoptive parents family
tree and put theirs right on it, simply because they gave me a home and some food? What a lucky dog I must be!
Perhaps this sort of patronage applies to orphaned children who were naturally given anonymous mothers and fathers for parents, but for a child like me? Where I was bought from a test tube for 30 grand, and given to complete strangers, like a baby doll purposely?
If genetics isn't a big deal, why do so many women and men buy sperm and eggs from banks so they can have a biological child? Why are there DNA tests on close friends or family member to figure out whom fathered whom? Why do people flood libraries and centers looking up their background and history? Why by the natural order of things genetic matching eggs accumulate in the ovaries of the mother and genetic matching sperm accumulate in the bodies of the fathers, why don't parents carry sperm from anonymous people, why do they carry their own DNA?
It's patronage and mind conditioning to keep up a 3 billion dollar industry. If you're a child born into the world by two people, you are told to be grateful for them, they carried you for nine months, gave you life and raised you, but when you are made by human commodification you are told to be thankful for whom you are sold to; these strangers are your parents, their paycheck gave you life, and if they never bought the embryo you wouldn't have been here. How ever they want to sweet talk it to support the fat cat's pay, however they want to force on the unimportance of knowing who you were suppose to naturally grow inside, however they want to push the sob stories of moms who cannot conceive for public pity and talk about the moms' wonderful stories about how they bought kids from other mothers and fathers so they can be parents now, its corrupted. It's so funny, how THOSE stories make headlines, while mine makes a website not many will read.
Are we forgetting that there is a third party in these arrangements? Or are 'mindless' 'stupid' babies who do form connections with their womb carriers, do undergo mother-baby separation that causes them stress and who eventually grow up and realize how they got here, do not count for people?
Changing the name from mother + father to donor, doesn't excuse that man or that woman from being 50% of the recipient's DNA, and doesn't excuse the reality that mother had children with another man and not her partner and vise versa, and she is carrying down the 'donor's' linage instead. A contract and words doesn't change biology. Not amount of mind conditioning or delusion can stop that fact for being true. We are not bulls or horses or livestock, anonymous parents don't work!
Unless the government changes the system for ALL children and ALL children are bought, sold and made unnaturally in test tubes, kept from their heritage, fathers and mothers, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents and siblings too, the system is not being far to children like us who don't know who we look like when facing that mirror, don't know who's genes made what, don't know our family tree, don't know our medical history and don't know who who's bodies we were once apart of in those ovaries and testies before traded off for 75 dollars.
To be raised by two persons who you were once cells of, by a woman who you bonded with when growing in her tummy, to be birthed into the world to both these creators and be made not from cash but from mutual love from all parties, and to be able to look into the mirror and have your daddy's eyes, Mommy's nose, and a compromised height. To have playmates to grow up with who look like you and share your creators, and be loved in a family where genetics and affection unit us together and seperates us from the rest of the world-- to be loved by the two who created you and not from the strangers who bought you, is natural and beautiful. But I was denied this primal family structure to support a business and a unfamilar infertile couple."
--Product of embryo selling and renting a woman's womb.
This website is interesting, honestly, because of its anonymity. I feel like its a bit ironic, no? We all wish our donors weren't anonymous, and yet we separate ourselves from each other (donor children, I mean) by choosing to be anonymous. Isn't anonymity the problem we have in the first place? I found it funny, except that I'd love to talk to some of the people on here. (Particularly the 50 year old woman who just found out "last week" in her first story, and then updated that she found more information.) Does anyone else here feel that they tend to consider their friends "family" to a higher degree than others? Do you feel let down at times when those friends (of "traditional" conceptions) don't feel as strong a bond with you? I feel as though all of US are like a family. Some of you could be MY siblings, and I wouldn't even know. I'm considering joining a support group. I know the doctors name, and the lab from which he ordered a specimen for my mother. That's it. I don't have a donor ID number, because I guess mom was too self-involved with what she wanted to make HER happy (a baby) to care about the details I might want in the future. Unlike a few of the stories I read here, however, my mother WAS married. Her husband, my father of 12 years until I was told about the donation situation, couldn't "make" children. So, here I am. Unfortunately for me, however, my dad was an abusive alcoholic. Once he was out of the picture, I was given some room to feel the same things you guys are feeling: "WHO AM I LOOKING AT IN THE MIRROR?!" Not to mention, could I be at risk for certain illnesses? Seriously, that type of thing irritates me. I mean, how do I know if I should be getting a mammogram earlier in my life because my grandmother on my father's side had breast cancer? I also really don't get how HIS rights are any better than MINE. I am a human, and I feel I deserve the right to know. I'm not after money, and I'm too old to want a "daddy." I just want to see if we look alike. What does he do? What are his hobbies? Do we both REALLY LIKE art? I am the only one in my family who is left-handed. Is he? *Ugh* the questions never end. They never get answered. In the back of my mind I know that there's a clock ticking down the time he has left in HIS life, and I'd really like to get a cup of coffee with the man before he bites it. The information is most likely in the basement of IDANT laboratories in New York...and I have no idea what to do about it. I'm going to take a DNA test. Hopefully that will point me in a positive direction.
If you have read my story, you know that I am a 50 year old woman who only found out I was donor conceived in July. Being an amateur genealogist for 20 years, I couldn't let this rest, and after finding out all about the Dr. who did the procedure on my Mother, I found his family tree on Ancestry.com. With LOTS of photos....especially of his mother's side of the family. When I saw his mother and grandmother, I gasped. They were who I saw when I looked in the mirror. I couldn't believe it, and it took a lot of convincing from family members that I was really seeing what I was seeing. I had taken my Ancestry DNA test and many, MANY of the results connect to this family. It seems my biological father was also my mother's Doctor. He also appears to be my brother's father as well. This man passed about 15 years ago, but he has a son and one or two other much older "kids". I have written a letter to this oldest son and have plans to mail it. But not until after the Holidays. I can't tell you how relieved I am just to know. That's all I really wanted.
I've always known that I was donor conceived, my mother had no problem being honest with me she said.
I remember sitting on a swing set when I was 6, when the first question came about. My friend looked over at me and simply asked," why don't you have a dad?"
"He's dead" I said matter of factly. I had just watched the movie bogus and the little boy said that, so I stole it. It worked no more questions asked.
My mother is a strong woman, she suffered a terrible loss when my older brother died at 11 months, due to an unknown genetic disorder both she and her boyfriend had. She was a nurturing soul, loving children through and through, so much that she opened her own daycare. She had worked 4 jobs for years in order to get the money for me together, my family disagreed but supported her none the less. She tells me it was between 4 donors, and the donor she chose was only because he had a full family history.
For years I was okay with it, no one asked anything of it, I guess because living in a small town; everyone knew. Once I got into middle school was when the teasing kicked in, I brushed it off but it slowly sank in. I had no father nor would I ever. I had to pay people to not make fun of me when one of my teachers told the class about me. But still I never brought it up to my mother, I loved her I didn't want her to think she wasn't enough.
My friend's father slowly started molesting me, but I just liked the male attention, so I let it continue without saying anything. But when that started so did the masochistic tendencies. To this day my mom doesn't know about it, and I'm okay with that.
As I got into highschool I realized I strived for any male attention, yet was disgusted by any sexual advances from my peers or friends of the male variety.
When I was 14 my uncle, the one father figure I had, was sent to jail, later to be evicted out of our state and ended up moving across the country. Leaving me without him or my aunt, who at times felt like more of a mother than my own. I saw my half sister for the first time, she looked just like me, with our mothers talking confirming that yes, we were infact related on the paternal side and no they felt it unnecessary for us to get to know each other. I felt like I was drowning, I started hanging out with a guy that abused me, but once again I was okay with it. It went on for a year before he left town. I started doing drugs, a lot. I clung on to my guy friends, my teachers and my friends dads. I just needed their approval I guess. All the while my mother adopted 5 more children, she had no idea what was going on. One of my friend's fathers, whom I still call dad, basically adopted me, and with that, had no problem slamming me into walls while in a drunken rage, because that's what he did with his own children. I took it his way of telling me he loved me. No matter how many times he hurt me, he was my dad and I loved him.
I began a relationship with a girl that ended up with me doing a stint in a mental hospital; in therapy they brought up the father issue in which my mother shot down. I had no choice but to stay quiet, as much as I wanted to scream I just sat there staring at the floor. A few more times my father was brought up and finally my mother had enough and I didn't have to go anymore.
When I was 17 fresh out of the hospital, I started dating my best friend (who I had known for years yet never met, thanks MySpace) he was 5 years my senior. That went down the drain, so again I had lost a man that I loved. I moved away, and moved back to nothing, I slept my way around my town for places to stay and alcohol, surely becoming the epitome of daddy issue jokes.
At 19 I joined the army, it was that or prostitution.
At 20 I got married to a guy that I barely knew and who had cheated on me a month before we got married, but I loved him. He began to pry the daddy issues out of me and slowly helped me deal with them, until once again I was off empty handed. I finally decided to simply ask my mom about my dad, which in turn caused her to berate me for bringing him up. Yet I still pushed and pushed, she said she had a sketch of him in a safety deposit box in San Francisco, I knew it was a lie. So I asked her if we could go get it, again she came up with a reason why she couldn't get it. And then the guilt came over me so I dropped it.
I try so hard not to hate her for this, because I know she didn't know it would end this way, but part of me can't help but think I would be so different if I didnt have to live with this. I hate being around happy families, I long to have it all for myself, I would much rather be around a family that is self destructing before my very eyes than a happy one. I feel as though I can never have that.
Born to a single mother, i am the youngest daughter of three children. I have two older brothers who were both conceived differently than I. None of us know our real fathers. My mother has never had a man in her life, ever. My grandparents i never had a connection with before my grandfather died and my grandmother got put in a nursing home. I do not have connections with ANY other family members/relatives due to incidents in the past. So its just me, my mom, and my brothers. and let me say, I feel completely alone, oh, did i mention i don't have good relationships with what little 'family' I have? I'm 14, going on 15. My entire life I was raised knowing i was donor convinced, and up until about 3 years ago, i was always okay with it, but then again, up until 3 years ago, i was nothing but a naive child. I have always told people the short and sweet answer of "i do not have a dad." and would never go into detail, or i would say he died when i was young and then i would change the subject. I do this because im afraid of being judged, and i know that no one will understand. Growing up without a father has affected me in more ways than i can count. not to mention my friends have labeled me with "daddy issues", do to my promiscuous behavior and emotional dependency on older guys. I wonder all the time who he is, and my mother never likes to talk about it with me, though i cry any time i try to talk about it. i would give anything to have a father. maybe then i wouldn't be so clingy, emotionally dependent, and lets face it, screwed up. I resent my mom horribly, i know its wrong, but its true. There will always be a part of me that will be forever angry with her for the decision she made. When i try to talk to her about it, she doesn't understand. she says i don't need a dad, which is easy for her to say because she had a dad growing up and doesn't know what it feels like. I have no one to talk to about this. I'm just sick of this empty feeling inside my chest...and theres nothing to do about it...
I have never cared to know my surrogate "mother." There is no relation between us past an intersection in time for nine months a quarter century ago and a particular material resemblance on the cellular level. All that matters is our Loving Father, his Son, and the Love that is God poured out between the First and Second.
The workings of Divine Grace in nature reveal a benevolent Hand willing to take what is foul, fallen, and disordered, and despite their damnable imperfection, lift them out of the mire for His sake. Thus from Saul Paul, and all who have been redeemed in the Logos incarnate. We "products" might find His Grace in our lives, if we let Him guide us to it. By the light of reason I, a "product," feel my abomination to the depths of my being. But let us not shy away from this holy grief, my brothers and sisters! Sink into it and feel it! Let us not be seduced and drugged by the words of the world, which will comfort us to the detriment of the Life of our souls! "You were Made," says the world to us, "rejoice in Yourself and Science!" Thus too reads the banner atop the ancient tower, the collar round the golden calf.
We are Ishmael. Would that our parents took to heart the story of Abraham and Sarah! Yet for us there is still hope.
Indeed, all are wasted in depravity. All is Monstrosity to the eyes of Righteousness, unless the Monstrosity is redeemed. And here we are! Though our mode of depravity be different with respect to agent and intention, we are like Saul. Let us recognize our monstrosity. This we lay at the feet of the One on the Tree, who came so that we might be freed at last of this grief. All you who bemoan and lament your conception (remember too the words of the Psalmist), how true and founded are your agonies! Yet despair no more, for One came to take our depravity away, to give us entrance into the Halls of Paradise.
Rejoice, my brothers and sisters, for we have been freed in Him who takes away the sin of the world. Cling with me to Him, for He will show us our Only True Father.
To you who would consider "in vitro," remember Abraham and Sarah. Have faith, and to you all shall be given. If you are to bear fruit, you will bear fruit from Faith. If you are to remain without, let your branches bear fruits of some other kind. To none is given a cross that cannot be shouldered. We have you in our prayers.
We have a message of hope amid the darkness.
Father's Day 2012
I often wonder who you are. What is your name? Are you even still alive? The immutable power of these eternally unanswerable questions gradually consumes my soul. I will never know if I have ever unknowingly passed you in the street, or exchanged a sideways glance with your uncannily familiar brown eyes. In my mind's stagnant whirlpool you are my flawless ideal of a father, yet in the clarity of reality you are no more than a perfect stranger. Simply the pleasure of knowing you exist somewhere in this universe does not bandage the wound of your absence.
I often wonder who I am. My family tree is severed in two- I am denied your half, its branches rich and strong with stories I will never be told. I wander aimlessly, never truly knowing the roots of my heritage, my nationality ambiguous and fluid. 'Caucasian', the sheet stated. This is a broad term that does not define anything.
My half sister is beautiful, inquisitive and innocent. How many half siblings am I linked to through you, biologically as strongly related to me as my sis? That I may have unknowingly met a sibling, or never met one at all, is a plague on my existence. Ever satisfying my curiosity, with the potential existence of these mysterious beings, is beyond my feeble human capabilities.
Dad, what happened all those years ago, on the tumultuous day that decided my existence? What motivated you to make the decision- was it altruistic, or was it simply an efficient and immediate way to fill your wallet? What did you spend your return on- an apologetic necklace for your ex-girlfriend, textbooks for university, or simply a granola bar at the corner store? Was it worth it?
They say you can't miss something that you've never had. But somehow, I miss your fatherly figure, your broad shoulders and strong hands. I miss your warm smile and your deep brown eyes. I miss the way you tousle my hair as you pass me in the hall, the omnipotent power of our father-daughter communicated in your touch. I miss handing you your coffee, black with one sugar. It is my guilty pleasure, indulging in my illusion of perfect functionality.
I no longer count the meaningless Father's Days I have endured, trying to avoid the inevitable questions. There was never anyone to pretend to be my father, so the situation was blindingly obvious. 'Where is your father?' their judgmental eyes say, accusing. I have grown weary of denial and lies.
Having built your life without me, have you dismissed the donation as just something in your past that you did to make ends meet? Does your wife know? Do your children? I would love to think that I am a missing piece of you as much as you are a missing piece of me, but I am under no illusions. As sketchy as my knowledge is, with all I know of your existence bullet pointed on a sheet of paper, you know even less of me. So much that you could easily forget. I understand how the past can be brushed under the rug.
Nevertheless- do you ever think of me? Do I cross your mind in a flitting thought, spinning and weaving the magic of what could have been? Do you wonder when my birthday is? What achievements I've made? What gown I wore to my formal? Whether I like watermelon pink or cerulean blue, Liberal or Labour, Mac or Windows? Would you be proud of who I have become? Dad, I have needed you, more than you ever know. My need for you is an insatiable hunger that will only escalate as I journey through the milestones of life. Who will walk me down the aisle? Who will be the grandfather to caress my first-born child? The uncertainty is deadly.
I just want you to know, that whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, you are my father. The privilege of knowing who you are, of knowing who my family is, would place the missing piece that completes my existence. For now, though, and perhaps forever, I just wish.
I may be a little bit unusual as far as the children of sperm donors go. I am a 50 year old woman, and I found out exactly one week ago today. It came from out of the blue, because I have done genealogy for the last 20 years, and very recently decided to take a DNA test. I think in a way that I am still a little bit numb, but when the feelings come, they are strong and painful. It's always on my mind. Always. The worst part that I see so far, is that no one in my circle of family and friends even has the slightest clue as to what I am feeling. I should put an exception on that though, because, despite my parents wishes, I told my grown daughter. She was nearly as crushed as I was. We identified so strongly with my Dad's Scottish heritage. It was part of who we were. I have not told my son yet, as he is away from home in the military, and I know this will crush him. I want to tell him in person.
Until then, I will wait for my DNA results to come back and hope that I can find a few clues as to who this man was. My mom only had very vague memories of what the Dr. told her when he did the procedure. I was able to find out the name of the Dr. and find some of his background information online, but he died about 15 years ago. I know my parents only wanted children, and that maybe, at best, the donor only wanted to help someone. The unfortunate part is that now, all the pain and misery is heaped on me. Knowing what I know now, I strongly believe that Sperm Donation HAS to be an open procedure. That the child should have full access to the donor's information. It's the only moral thing to do.
I was born in late 1985 to a single mother, a nurse who had never married but had wanted a child for as long as she could remember. She saved up money and went to a fertility Doctor, somewhere in the Bay Area. Twenty five years later my mother suddenly died from a stroke in her sleep.
As a child I always knew how I was conceived, or at least knew the basics. My mom never hid that from me. I was raised Catholic (though not too much so) and wasn't baptized until I was 5. I guess my mom was afraid I would be rejected by the Church but the Catholics in the Bay Area tended to be a bit more progressive. For me not having a father was a normal part of life, I knew nothing else. It was just me and Mom, no siblings, at least that I knew. When I was 12 my mom decided (for reasons I'll never quite understand) to pack us up and move to southern Oregon. Seventh and 8th grade there were nothing like previous grades in California. Where in California I had been open about my origins and never thought there was anything wrong with where I came from, the two years in Catholic school in Oregon were hell. Instead of having a name I was simply "test tube" and never could get a moment's break from it.
When my two years there were finally up I made a choice, from then on I was simply going to tell everyone that my father died when I was a baby and I never knew him. I told my mom about this and she understood but was saddened by it. It wasn't easy to hide where I came from, but over all it made high school easier...well less horrible than it would have been other wise.
One day when I was 17 I was talking with my mom about what it would have been like if I had grown up with siblings. With that conversation came something I had been kept from for over 10 years. It turned out my mom had managed to get pregnant again after I was born, when I was 5. She was going to have twins, but before they were fully developed the girl died. Shortly after my mom gave birth to the boy who didn't last long. It was strange to know that for a brief moment I had a little brother. It was sad, but probably for the best. Growing up with only one parent that was mentally ill hadn't been the best the easiest and chances are I would have ended up a parent to any siblings.
Once I was out of high school and able to separate my self more from small minded idiots (there's a lot of them in southern Oregon) I was able, once again, to be honest about where I came from. The few high school friends I had left were amazed but supportive. Many new people I met were fascinated. As time went on, though, I thought more and more about it. Not so much about my father, but the half siblings I had out there that, chances were, I would never meet.
Last year, over spring break, my life took a huge turn. I was on spring break from college. My mom had been ill for some time and her doctor had no idea what was wrong. She had dizziness, confusion, and times of total incoherence. I had taken over doing most of the things she used to do her self, or at least anything that involved dealing with other people or driving. I had been doing this for over 6 months at this point and was ok with it. She had raised me alone and I felt this was my chance to repay some of that. Over spring break she had been particularly bad. I was due to go back to my college to help a class mate film something. That day, though, she had been feeling especially bad so I decided to stay. She had been napping all day on the couch and that night, when I came out of the shower, I found her not breathing. Despite my CPR attempts and that of the paramedics, she was gone, taken out by what was most likely a stroke.
Now, a year later, I find my self wanting to find either my father and/or siblings. It would be nice to not feel alone. I have family, and they've been great, but they're all 500 miles away. The sad truth, though, is I'll probably never locate any siblings. Doesn't mean I won't try, though.
First they said we would be ok because at least we'd know who are mothers are.
Then they said we'd be ok so long as our parents tell us we were donor conceived.
Now they say we'll be ok so long as our parents tell us we are donor conceived and we can access the identities of our biological donor parents.
When are they going to work it out that we'll only be ok if they admit that donor conception is not ok?
We'll be ok when society recognises the hypocrisy of recognising the importance of biological familial relationships and then saying they aren't important if you're donor conceived.
We'll be ok when we are permitted to grieve that loss. To say it out loud. And have open ears receive the words without retribution.
Everyday I wonder who you are. If I will ever get to know who you are. Even a picture . If you hate mayonnaise as much as I do.
I wonder if you ever think of me, or any of us. Everyday hundreds of questions circle through my mind, and none of them are ever answered. I want to know who you are, and I think I have a right to at least know that.
A few years ago I was put in touch with my half-brother, conceived using the same donor that I was, through the UK voluntary contact register for people conceived before 1991 (UK Donorlink).
Initially it was so exciting. Close in age, we e-mailed each other most days, keen to catch up on all the years we'd missed together, soon graduating to long phone calls and one meeting in person. I felt we were essentially alike, that we had a bond and he would always be in my life. It even prompted me to tell my (social) dad that I knew I was donor-conceived, even though I'd promised my mother I would never tell him, because I believed I would not be able to hide the relationship from him forever.
But soon cracks began to appear. He would ring late at night and want to talk for 3 or 4 hours. His deep distrust of people started to show. He was jealous of me spending time with other donor-conceived people, convinced I would like them more than him and ultimately reject him. No amount of reassuring him that I would try to accept him unconditionally helped. He confessed to violent fantasies about hurting his social dad. These calls were draining and depressing. On my counsellor's advice I limited them to 30 minutes at a time. He didn't like that and became quite abusive, accusing me of being emotionally repressed, for example. Gradually I stopped answering the phone.
In the last e-mail he sent me he said, and I quote, "People make me sick. They are dull and aggressive, even toward each other." I realised it is impossible to have a relationship with somebody who is starting from the position that you are probably a psychopath.
It may come as a surprise that I do not regret making contact with him and I still regard him as my kin. But whilst I'm still looking for other half-siblings I would be more guarded now if I was put in contact with one. Me and my half-brother ARE alike, but what manifests in me as social anxiety manifests in him as something darker and I would have to wonder if anybody new I met was the same. I've learned the hard way that kinship does not necessarily equal friendship.
I am so sorry for the position you now find yourself in. But you are all of your offspring's father no matter how they were conceived. There really is no such thing as a "donor" from your children's perspective. Your wife, parents, brothers, sisters, neices, nephews and especially your children (all of them, no matter how they were conceived) all deserve to know about each other. I'm glad you now see the error of your ways but denial will not redeem you and in fact might make things much worse in the future. It would be better to be honest with your family now before one of your children, who you did not agree to raise, find you through dna testing. It's too late.
Who are you?
Will I pass you in the street?
Will you hold the door for me and smile as I walk into a gas station during my travels?
Will you look at me and wonder if I belong to you?
You have the pleasure of knowing I could be here.
For nineteen years, I was denied of knowing you even existed.
What was MY grandmother, YOUR mother like?
What about MY grandfather, YOUR father?
Why do you get to selfishly keep them all to yourself?
Who are you to deny me half of my family tree--
Branches rich and strong with stories I may never be told?
Who are you to give away my heritage, knowing it will be replaced with something false?
Do I have brothers and sisters with my dark hair, my deep brown eyes?
Will I be attracted to a familiar stranger in my classes?
Will I fall in love with him and kiss him passionately in an act of accidental incest?
Have you told your wife?
Have you told your partner?
What about your children?
Have you told your brothers and sisters about their mysterious niece?
Are you dead?
Will you ever read this?
Have you dismissed it as something in your past that you did to make ends meet?
Did they pay you to give me away?
What did you spend the money on?
Did you buy a sparkly necklace for your ex-girlfriend?
Did you buy books?
(The bank you went to would have paid you half of my College Algebra book for the donation that included me).
Did you buy a candy bar at a gas station?
Was I worth it?
Do you miss me?
Do you ever think of me?
Do I even cross your mind?
Does the uncertainty drive you crazy?
Was it worth it?
Do you wonder when my birthday is?
What color gown I wore to my graduation?
Would you be proud to know I was the Valedictorian of my senior class?
Would you support that I am Christian?
Would you even want me in your life?
I want you in mine.
I will accept anything about you, if I could just get the privilege of knowing who you are, of knowing who my family is.
Who are you?
I ask myself this question every time I catch a glance of my reflection in the morning, and not just because my hair is an absolute state.
I fear,fear for what the future holds and wonder if I will recieve any slight information about you.
I grieve for you and for the part of myself that I will never truly know. I feel as though half of me is missing alongside my family, because thats what you are. Family.
I feel as though I have been cheated out of knowing you, comunicating with you, as I never got a say in the first place. I still dont now.
You are Anonymous.
And there is nothing I can do to change that.
Who are you?
Do you honestly care about the poor couples out there unable to concieve?
Or did you just need the money? Do you want to know who I am? Do you think about me atall? Are you Gay?
All these questions are left unanswered. I just want answers, such a simple ask, but one that will never be fufilled.
Im transgender. ftm, thats female to male.
I have not told my mum or my dad for that matter, because I know for a fact they would be ashamed of me.
I talked to a psychiatrist, told her my worries. Apparently not knowing who your biological parent is can mess with peoples brains. My parents will blame themselves.
Who are you?
You must have brown hair, blue eyes and be around '5''8. Just like my dad, thats how it works right?
Thats all I know.
How many other half siblings do I have?
I know my other sisters, twins (but due to two embryos being placed in my mums womb)but what about half. There has to be some, is somebody at my school related to me? I will never know.
Do you pass me in the street? Do you do a double take between the strong resemblence I have to your sister? Or do you not even notice.
Are you smart? do you play any instruments? do you dance or act?
Do you get worried, never for yout self but for the thousands of others around you? Do you have a total disregard for your own saftey?
Nobody in my family does.
Do I get these traits for you?
I hope so.
My sisters dont seem to care atall. They never talk about it and act as though everything is fine. Its not.
I notice things more. Always have I suppose. Apparently nothing gets past me, dont know whether thats a blessing or a curse.
I began to think about you when I was 11. My bestfriends mum died of cancer, she had been battling for 2 years and lost the fight just after my friend began secondary school. I was left wondering if you had died, if you were dieing and if I would ever get the chance to see you.
When I was 14 my Grandad died. He was my Dads Dad and my world came tumbling down, I loved him to pieces and really I should of seen it coming. He smoked like a chimney, let me have a sneaky smoke of his cigarette when I was 7 in the back garden. It then came as no suprise when his prostate cancer spread to his lungs and turned fatal.
I was young and took everything for granted, I knew deep down he was going to die, but it still came as a massive shock.
I was guilt ridden. When I found out I was donor concieved I began to see Grandad in a different light, I used to pick up on tiny things that now i realise ment nothing and turn them into something else. When he passed I realised how stupid I had been and was angry with myself. For not treasuring those last weeks I had with him.
I began to self harm. It was the only thing I could control. I felt like it was a release, from the messed up life I led, to a new exciting experience that I was controlling.
Just before my 15 birthday my other bestfriends dad died. He went away on a holiday to Rome with his bestmate Greg and never came back. Heartattack at 41.
I was lucky to have a Dad and a Mum, forget biological or not. I still had two parents. She reminded me of that and how lucky I was.
Who are you?
I need to know. After all these years.
I wish I knew who you are.
When I was little I used to pretend you were someone off of the TV. A celebrity or even a rock star. I would make a stories and play them over and over in my head, sometimes writing them down and I would always dream aboubt them.
I say little but this 'stage' lasted well into my teens.
If only I could speak to you, write a letter. Thats why I have wrote this, hoping that by some miracle you may come across it.
You wouldnt know though, that its you I'm talking about, you would pass it off on some other guy. Perhaps I'm making you curious, or maybe you know for sure that this letter is not for you.
Or do you?
I know for a fact that if I ever get the chance to meet you, what my first question will be.
Who are you?
A dialogue between a sperm donor and his child who don't know who each other is.
I saw her pain
On the paper and TV screen
Of failed familial construction
A child lost
In the depths of minds conception
She felt a need
The need to hold me in her arms
She felt the yearning
Of every woman so it seems
Who wants to be
Maternally in their dreams
Here's my cup
See it is half full
I gave you away
Deception will rule
Here's my cup
See it is half empty
You sold me away
Completely abandoned me
Here's the cup
We swim in the sea
Of men and boys
No roots for the tree
Screwed on the lid
Of the lives I'll never know
Of the human industry
How was I to know
Of the pain you won't be free
Now I'm alive
Required grateful for existence
Wanted so deeply
Eternally burdened and indebted
How it must be, is how they said it.
Here's my cup
Now it is half empty
I threw you away
Will you forgive me
Here's my cup
It is still half empty
Of kinship lost
Could you not see
Here's the cup
We swim in the sea
Of men and boys
Traumatised we'll be
My child once lost
Will never be regained
Our blood once severed
Created scars too deep
For this I am sorry
Your forgiveness, you can keep
Dehumanised I am
A commodity of modern marvel
An object of desire
For adult tear jerked masses
They took you away
My father in the street passes
I was conceived through sperm donation, and my mother was adopted, so the nature and meaning of genetic relationships is something that has long been thought about and felt deeply in my family.
I have never met my donor "father", and I have no desire to do so. I do not see this lack of contact with my biological father as something missing in my life, and I have no hurt at the fact of my creation.
What does cause me hurt, however, is the idea, constantly repeated by small numbers of donor-conceived children, and in popular media representations of the issue, that there must be something wrong with your life if you do not know your biological father.
Over and over again we hear the phrase that there is "something missing" in the lives of donor-conceived children, some meaning in their life that has been taken from them.
But we all know what it is to question our place in the world. Most people eventually develop a sense of place and personhood, or at least learn to live with feelings of uncertainty.
Yet for people who are adopted or born through donor egg or sperm, society continually reinforces that feeling. We are told repeatedly that yes, there is something missing.
This is a pervasive and cruel cultural myth, this idea that you cannot know who you are unless you know your biological parent.
My whole life I have been subjected to the shocked responses of people who � on learning that I don't know my donor � could not understand how I could be comfortable with this and believed I must be harbouring hurt about it.
They found it difficult to imagine life without their own father and they did not differentiate between their biological connection and their emotional, familial connection born of shared experiences and values.
But if I ever meet my biological father, I will not find a ''father'' in him. He had no input into the adult I am today besides his kind gift of the genetic building blocks I needed for my life to begin.
The reality is you - the things that make you really you - are not your genes. There is no gene for your love of camping, or the comfort you get from the smell of your mother's perfume.
Knowing your biological parent will never explain why you love the one you do, why you hate early mornings or feel uplifted by classical music. Genes interact with your environment to create you, but they do not give meaning to your life.
Even people who have a very similar genetic make-up can be very different, and science is still far from tracing genetic roots for most illnesses, including those more linked to our personalities such as some mental illnesses.
And the circumstances of our upbringing further pollute our genetic stories. Which genes are expressed in us turns out to be a complex, messy mix of environment, culture, and perhaps even chance.
The idea that on learning about a donor you would somehow be given some important insight into your "self" is, frankly, ridiculous to me.
Of course, this is a trick we play on ourselves every day when we light-heartedly explain our personality traits or those of our siblings as being "inherited" from others in our family. Normally it is completely harmless but in the case of donor-conceived people and adoptees it creates a completely unnecessary and often damaging idea about what being donor-conceived means for their life.
When my mother first met some members of her biological family who lived in the country she came home and said to me "now I know why I love the bush". Her strong belief in biology meant she couldn't help overlooking both her history with her adopted family that could have led her to love the bush, and differences with her biological family which did not fit this narrative (such as that she could never bear to kill an animal or really do anything other than coddle it, but her biological relatives who were farmers, by nature of their jobs had a different attitude).
I note with sadness a submission received by your committee from a young woman who had grown up in a Maltese family, but it was not until she discovered her donor was Maltese that she allowed herself to feel a connection to that country.
What a tragic and fruitless search is being pushed onto donor-conceived children by the idea that the only place they can find such personal and cultural meaning is through a biological connection rather than cultural and personal connections.
As a society I believe we should be working towards developing a more mature and meaningful debate about what role biology plays in who we are. Rather than pandering to quasi-religious, biologically determinist beliefs we should be actively challenging such ideas.
As the biologist Stephen J Gould said, each individual has the potential to be and act in many different ways. We have "a brain capable of the full range of human behaviors and predisposed towards none". This conception of humanity is clearly more nuanced and realistic than a simplistic biologically determinist model where we all have specific genes for our specific behavioural traits.
The idea of genetic determinism traces back to thinkers of the 19th and early 20th century and has long been replaced with far more nuanced ideas in the scientific and philosophical literature. It's high time the rest of us caught up.
Arguing that not allowing donor-conceived children access to their donor violates the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child is based on faulty assumptions about the role of these biological fathers in their lives.
Three of the Articles of the Convention mentioned in the draft report are:
Article 3 (Best interests of the child): The best interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them.
Article 7 (Registration, name, nationality, care): All children have the right to a legally registered name, officially recognised by the government. Children have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country). Children also have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by their parents.
Article 8 (Preservation of identity): Children have the right to an identity � an official record of who they are. Governments should respect children's right to a name, a nationality and family ties
These Articles should not be used to justify such a change. Propagating these cultural myths is not in the best interests of the affected children. These children ALL have existing rights to names, nationalities, parents, histories and identities. They have families who love them, raised them, and in doing so shaped who they are today.
To think that the very real rights of men who donated anonymously and do not want to be contacted by children could be violated on the basis of cultural mythology that I believe we should be fighting, rather than endorsing, saddens me greatly.
However, I should note that not all donor-conceived children feel the same way I do, and I do not intend to undermine the absolutely real and very strong emotions they feel about not knowing their donor fathers. We as a society have created this mess and we should fix it up. I would support an option of paying for genetic counselling for such children, as well as a mechanism for them to make contact with anonymous donors IF the donors also wanted that contact, as this does not place the desires of one of the two people above the other.
In conclusion, I do believe that many donor-conceived people suffer a real and tragic hurt from the knowledge that they do not know their biological father. I think the government should undertake to attempt to contact donors if approached by donor-conceived people, as it will likely cause little individual harm if both donor and child want to meet.
But the hurt felt by donor-conceived children is largely based on misinformation and misunderstanding, and to further compound it by changing the laws and allowing men who identified anonymously to have their identities revealed is the wrong approach. Not least because, if those men have already stated that they do not want to meet, revealing their identities will likely not provide the children the connection they desperately want. These children should be supported with counselling services.
I also hope in writing its final report the Committee will acknowledge that the "genetically determinist" ideas about sperm donation are harmful in and of themselves, and will challenge these ideas rather than accepting them.
(Submitted to the Law Reform Committee, October 2011, Australia)
Let's see.... When I was 6 my parents got divorced. It was rough, but my dad was going through a mid-life crisis I guess. He was in his mid-40's and decided to recapture his youth with a young woman. He dated lots, my mom struggled to raise me by herself. I always found myself desperately wanting his approval and love. When I was 11, my mom sat me down and had "the talk" with me, when she told me that my dad wasn't really my dad, that I had been conceived in a clinic.
I don't know if it was the fact that I always wanted him to be a dad to me, or that I was only 11 years old, which is a super-big transitional time in a young girl's life,but the news was devastating. I felt like a freak of nature, a science project gone awry. I began to doubt every single thing about myself, every emotion, every thought, and chalked them all up to an error in the freezing /cryogenic process.
Many years have passed since. I am now a 31 year old woman, with 3 kids of my own. And I see pictures of myself and wonder, what does my biological dad look like? People say I look like my mom, and my dad (always trips me out, since he is not my bio father), but what kind of genetic/hereditary traits do I get from him? Who is he? In 1978 modern day medicine was not at all what it is today. What did they screen for? Am I prone to cancer? Am I prone to heart disease? Hypertension? When I take my kids or myself to the doctor and they ask my family history, I always have a hard time saying, I don't know who my biological father is. All that I know is that he was supposedly a medical student at UC Berkley. Is that even true? Is that why I love medicine, anatomy, physiology, etc... Is that why I'm freakishly intelligent?
I want to see a picture of him. I want to know if I have his laugh. I want to know those kinds of things. I don't want to be his best friend. I'm not looking for a new daddy. I just want to know where I come from. I think that is fair. Adopted children get to find out someday. Why don't donor conceived children ever get to find out? It makes me sad to know that I will never know. For 19 years I have tried to come to terms with the fact that I will never know, but still, there is a hole that can never be filled.
When I was young I would create elaborate stories of who my father was. My friends would ask me about him and I would say he died before I was born. There was a series of pictures in our hallway that had a sailboat tipping over and half a dozen men falling overboard. I chose the man with a full beard in a long yellow rain jacket. I said that was my father and the picture was of how he died.
When I was in kindergarten we had to create a poster of who we were. We were supposed to talk about our favorite color, sport, food, and our family. After I presented my project a kid asked me why I didn't have a picture of my father on my poster. The teacher quickly changed the subject and I went back to my desk thinking for the first time ever, why don't i have a father? That kid was the first of many questions to come. To this day people still ask about my dad. I tell them and say that I don't have one. Most people get a confused look on their face and move on, but some go on to ask what had happened. I just say that he died, to save myself the breath and to satisfy their intrusive curiosity.
Until that day in kindergarten I never found it odd that I had no father. My mother and I had a happy life together. She was 45 when she had me. She had been married twice, but unfortunately both of them passed away. She was getting old and she wanted a baby. I don't blame her for finding a donor, but I wish she would have thought about what I would one day feel like. I hate not knowing who half of me is. I look and act nothing like my mother and I often wonder if I am anything like my father. I daydream about meeting him. Would he have my sense of humor? Would he like my music? Do I have a half sibling? Even though it makes me sad to think about those things, I can't help it.
I do want to find my father one day. I like to think that it isn't impossible. I'd like to know where half of me came from. It's very hard to think that I have never been nor will ever be in the father's day section in the card isle. It's even harder to think that I will never have a father to walk me down the isle when I get married.
Being Donor-conceived can be really tough if you never knew about it or never suspected not being your dads "biological" daughter. Never did I have one doubt in my mind that my dad was not technically my genetic dad. It wasn't until a few weeks ago at the age of 22 and a senior in college that my mother flat out told me when I least expected it. I did not cry then as I was in shock and did not know what to say. My mother thought I would be relieved to know that I wasn't biologically related to my dad due to him already aging and showing signs of mental illness that I have also seen run on his side of the family. My mother and I are a lot closer than I am with my dad, but a lot of it has to do with the problems related to his aging. But he wasn't always this way, he used to be normal & healthy when he was younger and he was and IS a great dad. My mother told me for all the wrong reasons and she felt it would give me a confidence-booster in college since I am a Pre-dental student. She thought if she told me that my biological father was a med-student at Yale (where the procedure took place), therefore implying that I get my intelligence & interests in science & health field from my sperm donor and not my dad, that I was fully capable of excelling in college. Her telling me totally did not work in the way she intended. Instead I felt like I had been living a lie. All these years I was so sure of who I was, and the family that I had. I always felt so sure of being a kid with "normal" family. I even saw resemblances with my dad, like being tall, a big nose, and flat feet. I thought I had my grandmother's hands and my aunt's legs. Now I know it's all a lie. What's even more ironic is that all these years I have never directly called my dad "dad" but instead called him by his name. I wonder how much this has hurt him reminding him I'm not biologically his when I didn't even know so. For a few days I saw my face in the mirror with curiosity wondering what my donor looks like. Wondering if indeed some of my interests come from him. It's only curiosity to know more about myself, nothing more. I wonder what my other heritage is. I always thought of myself as fully Hispanic, but with my very fair skin complexion I wonder if he was possibly a brunette Caucasian. Many questions that I wonder that I never wondered about before. As others have stated feelings of abandonment by their donor, I do not feel this way. I actually have no interest in meeting this man or forming a relationship with him. I just want an exchange of information for my own personal questions. I would like a picture so I can take away that curiosity of my physical features and compare my big nose to his and laugh. Other than that I could care less because I have my daddy who has always been there for me. I have a dad and he is irreplaceable although he has his issues and may not have been an intelligent doctor. He has been the best dad I could ask for. Nor do I feel betrayed by my mother or my dad for not telling me all these years, as I feel this is something no one could ever say when is the perfect time to tell your children. I was very rebellious as a teen and knowing this before I could have said very mean things to my dad like possibly saying "you're not my dad anyway". So I'm glad I did not know when I was younger. I realize they wanted a family and if it weren't done this way my daddy wouldn't have a daughter or family. He would end up in a home aging with no family to watch over him. But because I exist and love him, I will never abandon my him. As the flashbacks come to my mind of how wonderful my dad has been, like taking me to get ice cream every Sunday, to my doctor's appt's, always remembering the exact time I was born, picking me up from school, crying his eyes out and falling on his knees when I was hiding and they thought I was lost, balling out when I had to leave for college, and even in my rebellious years of treating him like crap and not once did he respond "you're not my daughter". That my friends is more than I can ask for in a dad. He always treated me as if I were his own blood and called me his daughter and been proud of my accomplishments like any other dad would be. For me this has worked in a different way than for most. Finding this out now made me realize how much I love my daddy and I don't care if I'm not genetically his, I do look like him in so many ways and even physically due to all the love and nurturing he gave me my whole life. The saying is true, you don't know what you have until you lose it and I hope everyone cherishes their dads and let's them know how much they mean to them. I did cry for many days after I found out, but not because of myself, but instead I cried wondering the pain my dad went through to find out he couldn't have kids of his own and I also wondered did he love me unconditionally as if I were his own? But once the memories kicked in I realized he has done well and beyond proven his unconditional love for me. I love my mommy and daddy so much and I am still the same person I was before I found out, and I could care less about the rest. I have my family and I love them. I am thankful for having parents who love me unconditionally and had all of the desires to have me. What was I bickering about? I DO have a Normal & complete soiFamily!
This is an environmental policy issue. I was fucked over from having a relationship with my father basically because of pollution. My "social father" had a rare disorder where he had 3 chromosomes: XXY. This means he was basically male AND female. He had a male body, but during puberty the estrogen secreted by his female-informed endocrine system basically rendered him sterile. High amounts of estrogen (or estrogen impostors such as PCB and dioxin) can also cause a man to display increased promiscuous behavior- he was a frequent philanderer.
Endocrine disruptors morph sexual orientation too. Here's an excerpt from "Our Stolen Future" by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers. "Small doses [of dioxin] did long-term damage to the reproductive system of males exposed in the womb and through their mother's milk... the mother rats had swallowed only a single dose of dioxin on the fifteenth day of their pregnancy, a critical period in the process of sexual differentiation that causes males to become male and not female. As they matured, the male pups born to mothers given dioxin showed sperm reductions of as much as fifty-sex percent when compared to those whose mothers had ingested none. Moreover, even at the lowest dose the male pups showed a sperm count drop of as much as forty percent."
"Dioxin also appeared to affect the sexual behavior of male pups exposed early in life, suggesting that it had interfered with the sexual differentiation of the brain. At maturity, these males showed diminished male sexual behavior in mating encounters and increased propensity to exhibit feminized sexual behavior, such as arching of the back in a typically female lordosis response, when treated with hormones and then mounted by another male."
PCBs and dioxins are found in every mammalian species, on every continent, in every corner of the world. Here is a list of ways you can expose yourself: combustion, metal smelting and refining, manufacturing chlorinated chemicals, paper bleaching, eating animal fats and meats, full fat dairy products, fatty fish, breathing incineration gases, handling chlorinated anything, making pressure treated wood, operating municipal solid waste.
Essentially- if you're a mammal and you have a metabolism, you have been exposed to endocrine disrupting toxicity and your immune system, physical reproductive capacities and social/motivational reproductive capacities have been compromised.
Sperm donation is not a solution to low sperm count.
And using it to create MORE people to produce MORE pollution is also not a solution.
When I was 12 my father brought me into the living room. My mom was already sitting on the couch and crying her eyes out. My father then explained how he had had a vasectomy before he had met my mom and that he couldn't have conceived me (this was pre-1980). He explained, with my mother crying the whole time, how they went to a doctor who had, with the help of a donor, conceived me. At the end of the conversation, I asked my mom why she was crying so much, and she said "I didn't know how you would react." It took so many years for it to fully sink in and all of the ramifications to fully unfold.
When I was 15 my father passed away. He had been sick for 6 months and was not in the best of health. It was a running joke that it was "good news" I didn't have his genes because of all the bad heredity he and his side of the family had. My father is and will always be the man that raised me those first 15 years.
Five years later, I am expecting a son of my own. The doctor sits us down to talk about our family history. I explain my mother's side and then trail off... This has always been a difficult topic. When ever anyone starts about their ethnic makeup, I always tell them what I know from mother's side of the family. I have often looked at my son, who is now seven, and wondered if he might look like his biological grandfather at all.
My mother and I have talked about this only two or three times since that first time. She said she wouldn't have a problem with my trying to find out more information about my donor father. There's a sense that it should be easier because my father has passed on and there would be no hard feelings or misgivings. But I've realized that I carry a lot of misgivings about myself and my identity, specifically my biological and ethnic history. I don't think I'd even want to meet the man, just to see a medical chart, genealogy, and maybe a picture. But even after 16 years of knowing the truth, I'm still not sure, I guess I still feel conflicted about the whole thing.
I have been old enough to find out who my biological father is for a few years now- although I still just think of him as the sperm donor my mum chose. She wanted a known donor so I could find out about him if I wanted to- and she talked about her yearning to have a child, but that she didn't want to stay in a relationship just to have me. So she used a known donor. When I was 1 she met my dad- who she married - and although he isn't my dad by DNA he raised me. He is my dad. They divorced when I was 13- but he is still my dad.
When I got to 18 I thought perhaps I would want to find out more- just for interest sake- but I don't. Perhaps that will change. What matters is that I have family- even if not all are blood related. I am so loved. They were honest with me. My real dad couldn't love me more. Its all I need.
The man who is my biological father could be a horrid man- and once I know I know. Of course he might not- but I don't need another dad. I have one.
I'm glad she chose a known donor so I had that choice. But when it came to it I don't need or want to know- and, after all, he was just a stranger who donated his sperm. Anyone can do that. It takes so much more to actually give a child what they need- and what I needed was just what I got.
This story is in case my parents ever see this site and think somehow I resent it- or need to know my biological father. I don't. I'm not hiding my true feelings from you- we've talked about them since I was a baby!
I love you mum and dad. Thank you so much for bringing me into this world. I am blessed.
Regrets and Redemption - Truth from the Hereafter
I am in a white space. On one side of me all the people in my life who have passed away, who I loved and grieve for, forming a half circle around me, radiating pure love and acceptance. My mom, my dad, my mother's mother and father, my dad's mother and father, and my step-father. But the circle isn't complete. The other side of the circle is still empty. We are waiting for someone.
Then, a man walks towards me out of the mist. I know that he is my father. He's smiling and radiating the same pure love and acceptance as my known family. We hug for the first time. I feel euphoric. My father's mother and father follow, then their parents. The circle closes around me. We all embrace. No one's love or relationship or rights trumps another. I am finally complete and I feel, for the first time, a sense of calm. All the grief, at last, is gone.
To the person who wrote the below story "Silence":
I have known that I am the child/product/of sperm donation/ whatever you want to call it for 6 years. I am also in a graduate program (MSW) where I have to complete assignments -- such as Genograms-- and think about issues constantly. In my undergraduate program, I had to read a book about sperm donation (for a Family Law class) and write a 10 page paper on the book and the topic. Sperm donation is everywhere. People make inconsiderate jokes, not having a clue that someone they know is dealing with the very same issue. Before I told my friends, one of them made a comment when a commercial came on the radio about egg donation saying "Why the hell would anyone do this to their kid?" This was my best friend. I sat in the bathroom and cried for an hour, but she had no idea. I got asked on a date to see Jennifer Aniston's movie. Even this past weekend, a friend of mine, totally unknowing of my situation, started talking about sperm and egg donation. It's a hot topic and people have opinions on it. People also LOVE to ask the question "What are you?" in reference to heritage. Coming up with an answer, a lie, on the spot, is never fun. Even worse is when you get caught in the lies. It's impossible to escape. The reminders are everywhere.
I have spent 6 years looking for an outlet. I have the most wonderful friends, but whenever I broach the topic with them, they get awkward because they do not have the words to say to me. MY family wants to discuss nothing about it. No one understands. Reading what you wrote, I have hairs standing up on my arms. I could not have phrased what you said better myself, and I am a lady of many words. After reading your post, I, HONESTLY- for the first time- have not felt alone about this issue. Thank you for sharing your story, because through your sharing, you have given me some solace and peace of mind that I have not yet experienced surrounding this issue.
My point in writing this is to emphasize how BENEFICIAL these stories are, at least to me. To my knowledge, there arent support groups around for people dealing with these issues. This website seems to be the next best thing.
I am 29 years old and am facing fertility issues. I had honestly thought about if I might ever need donated sperm for my husband and I to get pregnant. After my 1st insemination with my husband's sperm, my mom sat me down and told me that my conception was the result of insemination via donor sperm. My dad isn't really my biological dad.
I grew up thinking I was adopted at times. I do not look much like my brother (who is biologically both my mother and father's), and I don't look much like my parents either (a bit like my mom). I grew up in constant fear of many diseases which run on my dad's side of the family, and in fact, went through countless medical tests growing up to be tested for these (and yet my parents knew that my chances of these would be slim).
I work in the science/healthcare field. I believe in genetics. It's hard to not look into the mirror and wonder where certain features come from, or if medical problems that I have been experiencing are related to my biological father's side. I am concerned about what surprise medical problems I could face, as when my mother received the sperm (it isn't like now when woman can choose many different qualities about the donor or medical histories), all she was told was hair color, eye color, and ethnicity. She accidentally ran into the supposed donor in the waiting room of her clinic (yes this was before sperm banks).
I have known this information for 2 months now and I still have difficulty processing it. I would really like to be able to receive health information back from the donor, but I don't even know where to begin. I know that I would NOT use donor sperm personally, because I now know the difficulties of learning this information. I love my dad dearly and wouldn't change anything about my life, but would still like to know the roots of my biological father. I wish there was more support out there for those facing this kind of life-altering information. I am not angry at my parents, but still struggle with the secrecy, as I have not told my brother that we are only half-siblings, and my dad doesn't know that I have been told this information. I was treated differently by his parents growing up, and I now know why this occurred (they were aware of the donation).
I found out my biological father was a vial of frozen sperm labelled 'C11' when I was 21. Finding out so late was a huge shock. With my childhood already behind me, the neural connections identifying my dad as my dad were cemented. Emotionally I could never think of him as anything other than my dad (and I still don't), yet suddenly I was told we were genetic strangers. My identity had been splintered and the social and biological aspects of parenthood carved up. In the place where I inherited half my genes, all I could see was a vial of semen in cold storage. I mourned the human face behind that vial, somebody I had never and would never meet. A little bit like a mother might mourn the baby she could never have, I suppose.
I wonder what it would feel like to have been told earlier. Another donor conceived man I met has always known his origins. Initially he accepted it. He even considered becoming a donor himself. On the day his daughter was born, as a father, he glimpsed the power of the biological link and what the loss of his paternal kin meant for him (and his daughter). I suppose the point I am making is that children do not have a static response to being donor conceived, it changes throughout their lives.
I couldn't relate to my story. I am a human being, yet I was conceived with a technique that had its origins in animal husbandry. Worst of all, farmers kept better records of their cattle's genealogy than assisted reproductive clinics had kept for the donor conceived people of my era. It also made me feel strange to think that my genes were spliced together from two people who were never in love, never danced together, had never even met one another.
My reaction was never to blame my parents. I wasn't angry with them. In some ways I felt like my mother was a victim of telling me the truth, that she needed me to comfort her and tell her that it was ok, I didn't need to know who my donor was. I struggled to find the words to express my thoughts. The questions that I dared not ask, or even form in my head, because it seemed like a betrayal of my loyalty to my family and to society.
At the time these thoughts were incoherent, but I believe they basically boiled down to this.
"How could my own parents decide to deliberately separate me from my kin, to grow up half blinded to my own identity? If they couldn't face telling me the truth about what they had done, why did they do it?"
"How could the doctors, sworn to 'first do no harm' create the system where I now face the pain and loss of my own identity and heritage?"
"How could the government, charged with protecting the most vulnerable members of the community, its children, legislate to make it illegal for me to know the identity of my biological father? How can its institutions subject me to the psychological torture of knowing that records exist, but I am forbidden to know the contents?"
"How could my donor help create me, and then abandon me without even leaving his name?"
The best I have come up with to answer these questions is
"My parents were focused on the immediacy of their own infertility and would have done almost anything to relieve their suffering and get a baby."
"The doctors were focused on publishing their next scientific journal paper, and were surrounded by images of smiling, happy babies on their clinic walls. They didn't think about the future, when these babies would grow up."
"The government found it messy and awkward to legislate in this area, and there were no votes in it."
"My donor was young and focused on doing 'a good deed'. He believed the clinics who told him that the biological link can be extinguished by signing a contract."
For three years I hardly talked about these confusing thoughts with anybody. Our family life continued pretty much as it was before. I reached a turning point when I met another donor conceived woman. It was a huge relief to talk to people with a similar background, who shared my view that donor conceived people have a basic right to information about their genetic identity. These people helped me articulate the things that were bothering me, and I bonded an adopted woman who had seen it all before with the adoption debate and eventual reforms. Being donor conceived is like being 'half adopted' but with the added strangeness of being raised by a blend of both the adopted and the birth family.
I became driven by a sense of injustice. I had two newspaper articles published in the newspaper and learned the power of personal stories. I stood up in a seminar and asked the Attorney General what he was doing for donor conceived people. I faked confidence. I convinced a lawyer to engage me pro bono. I met politicians deep in the bowels of Parliament house and traded on my personal story to try to pierce their rhinoceros thick skin. When the question of unsealing all donor conception records was put to a vote, the amendment was defeated by a measly five votes. Five strangers had decided my fate was to have my questions go unanswered forever.
Or had they? I got in touch with my mothers treating doctor and asked him to send a letter to my donor, on my behalf, asking his consent to exchange of information and/or contact. The doctor was a highly decorated expert in donor conception. I was the first donor conceived person he had ever met. Three agonising months later he emailed me to say he had done it. After this, things moved really quickly. The very next week I received a call with big news. Firstly, I didn't need to ever refer to my biological father as my donor. His name is Ben.
After exchanging letters and talking on the phone we arranged to meet. The day before, I discovered I would be meeting his children, my half-siblings. I was nervous, especially the night before and day of the meeting. As I approached the gate, Ben's son called out to me in an excited voice and ran to greet me. Immediately I felt more at ease. I said hello to everyone and we sat down to lunch. I had a surreal moment as I looked around and realized I was surrounded by people who all looked like me. The clinics were wrong. We are family, at least in some sense of the word.
Finally I understand why people comment that my sister looks Swedish and why I am interested in flying and space. Ben and I share an interest in reading, art, sports, napping, nature and the outdoors. After all my efforts in the media, law, and political lobbying, I was pleased to discover that my paternal grandfather was a notorious agitator of the establishment.
A few weeks later I met Ben's eldest daughter. She gave me a card that read, "Dear Lauren, what a wonderful surprise it was to learn about your presence�one can never have enough family, lots of love, xoxo"
For me, the hardest things about being donor conceived was the powerlessness and lack of choice - being constantly reminded that I must abide by decisions made long ago. Hang on a minute, I never agreed to any of this!
The other hardest thing was seeing how society had accepted and valued the biological link in endorsing my mother's need to have a child she was biologically related to, but rejected, sometimes ridiculed and at the very least constantly required me to justify why I needed to mend the broken ties of my biological link to Ben and his family.
When I was 13 years old, my mother told me, "Daddy's not your real father." I do not remember what started this conversation. We were sitting on the couch in the living room, and I think we might have been talking about the way Alzheimer's runs in my dad's side of the family because next she said, "I thought you'd be relieved." She sounded irritated when she said it, probably in reaction to the way my jaw had dropped open in shock. (Until that moment I had always assumed the jaw dropping open in shock was just something that was done in movies and cartoons to convey surprise, but it really happens. It felt like a hinge had broken, and I had to use my hand to physically close my mouth.) Maybe it was apparent I was going to cry. I cried a lot back then. My mother explained, as my dad sat in the next room oblivious to our conversation, that Daddy wasn't my real father because she had been inseminated with sperm from an anonymous donor at her doctor's office. The donor was a med student, she said, though I wonder now if this is something the doctor actually told her or if she decided this fact on her own after hearing that donors were often med students. The only other things she knew about him were that he had the same hair and eye color as my dad so that I would convincingly be able to "pass" as his daughter.
"I'm surprised you didn't figure it out on your own," she said. "You're so much better at math than me or Daddy. How else did you think you got to be that way?" My mother told me not to start crying. She really hated when I cried, and I suspect if she had foreseen my reaction, she never would have told me about my father. There wasn't a door between the living room and where my dad sat in the family room, and she warned me that I was not to tell anyone this secret ever, particularly my dad. He knew, of course, but my mom said he seemed to have forgotten, and aside from her own mother and that doctor whose name I never learned, no one else in the world knew I wasn't my dad's biological daughter, and they shouldn't. Besides, my dad hadn't even wanted me when I was conceived, my mom said. He'd told her he hoped she miscarried.
My mother did not seem to understand why any of this news was upsetting to me. After all, she said, knowing that my dad wasn't my biological father didn't "change anything." My biological father wasn't my father anyway -- he was just a "donor." It's different. "It was anonymous," she said, "so you can't ever know who he is. We agreed never to find out, and if you ever try, I'm the one who will get in trouble." A note to anyone who has a donor-conceived child: This is not the best way to tell them.
My mother said the only way to unlock the donor records was if I were to get a terminal illness, since having my father's medical information could help the doctors treat me. It turns out she was wrong about that -- there was no way to find out the identity of my "donor" under any circumstances. According to the office where my mother was inseminated, her records had already been destroyed by the time she told me this story. But I don't think either of us knew that at the time. A fact I've never told anyone else until now is that I prayed for a disease that would allow me to unlock the file that I imagined would tell me who my father was and what siblings I had. I prayed for it every night for I'm not sure how long -- at least a few weeks, but it seemed like a few months -- as I cried myself to sleep. If this seems stupid or petty, please consider that I was 13 at the time and that this might have seemed a more pressing issue to me than my own mortality.
"Don't tell anyone," my mother repeated. "If you really need to talk to someone, we'll get you a therapist." And that was the end of the conversation. After the first couple weeks of crying myself to sleep, I asked her to set up the appointment. I'd always been a crier and good at keeping secrets, but I was having an abnormally hard time coping with this news on my own. My mother then told me therapy would be a waste of money, like it had been when they'd taken my brother to a psychologist, and all I'd do is blame her for everything anyway -- that's what therapists get you to do, she said. So I kept my secret entirely to myself, not mentioning it again even once for the next three years.
I am 29 years old now. I am married. I have a house and a dog and a college degree. I didn't get a terminal illness, but I did get a chronic one my doctor says must run in my father's family. But it's not that bad, and I don't blame the donor for not knowing about it. I never again mentioned my biological father to my mom or anyone in our family. I am closer to my dad now than I used to be but more distant from my mother.
My desire to know who my biological father is has not really diminished in the years since I learned of his existence. I don't particularly like him since I feel he gave me the ultimate blow-off when he agreed to sire me in exchange for money and a promise never to find out who I am or even how many of us exist, and he accepted this arrangement as a good deal. I don't particularly value his decision making skills for the same reason. I don't want back child support payments, as some donors fear. I don't want his love or to call him "Dad" -- I already have a dad. I don't want to be on his family's Christmas cards or to take up an inordinate amount of his time. I just want to know who he is. I want to know if I have siblings and who they are. I would like to have lunch with him and make polite conversation with him in which we call each other by our first names and talk about what we do for a living or where we like to vacation. Or something. I'd like to talk with him about *something.*
Some proponents of anonymous donation say that plenty of children grow up not knowing where they come from because they are put up for adoption or because their fathers ran out on their mothers, and anonymous donation should be allowed because it isn't any worse. My thought is that none of those situations sound great. If we can correct one of them, why shouldn't we? I should add that I am in the US, where there are currently no laws granting an eventual right to information to donor-conceived offspring.
I spent many years feeling ashamed and ungrateful for wanting to know who my biological father was. I don't anymore. If studying genealogy and mapping generations of history onto your family tree are reasonable hobbies, I am allowed to be interested in who my father is, even if there is no way I will ever know him. It is okay for me to want to know, and from what I have read by other donor-conceived offspring, it is staggeringly normal. No amount of semantics or reasoning or wishful thinking on the part of parents and donors will be able to change that.
I still remember finding out as if it was yesterday. A few days after my 13th birthday I found out my social father had myeloma (bone marrow cancer). About a week after finding out, he had a reaction to the steroids he'd been given, and the only way I can put this is, he went a bit funny in the head. Maybe a 'bit' is an understatement.
It started like any normal day, although I can remember noticing my social father being slightly more grumpy than usual. About 3pm, my Mum came in to my room in tears and said that they needed to talk to me. Mum led me in to the lounge and they sat either side of me on the sofa. What always stays prominent in my mind when I look back on that day is the first thing my social dad said... 'This is the last cry for help'. I still don't know exactly what he meant by that (I don't think my Mum did either) but it was the way he said it, the way he kept repeating it. I knew something was really up.
Then they told me I was conceived by a sperm donor. That bit was all a blur. I remember being told, not saying anything, and going up to my room and crying/sleeping for the rest of the day. I didn't come out until the late evening when Mum eventually realised that my social dad really wasn't right and we had to call an ambulance. I remember following the ambulance, not saying anything to my Mum, getting to the hospital and seeing the paramedics who had bought my social dad in. They said 'Ohhh we've heard a lot about you!!' and started to laugh. I followed them in silence to find my social dad in a bed in the hospital ward. One of the nurses said to me 'Why don't you give your Dad a hug? He's had a pretty rough day'. And I thought 'if only you knew...' but that was when something clicked inside me, he wasn't my Dad, he never was, never will be. Yes he bought me up, paid for me, but we never shared a certain connection. I remember a few years before I was told, asking my Mum if I was adopted because I always knew I wasn't like my social father. Later I found out that it was my social father who had been adamant to tell me, but only because of the 'funny turn'.
For the next few months it was only spoken of if I had a question and wanted to ask my Mum, and I had plenty of questions. I still do. The worse thing about it is the most important questions I want to ask, my Mum can't answer and I will more than likely never find the answers I'm looking for. To this day I feel like it is a taboo subject with my parents. They know that I'd like to find that side of my family, but they never bring it up. In a way, I resent my parents for that. It's a part of me, infact, it's half of me. Half of my genetics. They made the decision to bring me in to the world that way, they should deal with the consequences of me finding out. Of course I want to feel free to talk about it, and not have to worry about causing upset. They'd never told anyone until I found out and then gave me free reign to tell my Auntie and Uncle (who then told cousins, I think) and my Gran. Luckily my social fathers family all live in Australia, so we've never seen the point in telling them. I'm so glad that my family know now, but they all see it as though he is still my Dad, I should still refer to him as Dad (which I put off doing as much as I possibly can because it makes me feel so awkward). I do love him, but not in the same sense as I love my Mum. We don't have the same bond.
I'm 19 now, still in the process of registering with Donorlink UK. It still hurts to this day, not quite as much, but it still hurts. It makes me want to shout and scream at parents who are considering using donor conception - tell your children from a young age, answer all their questions, relate to them!!!! If my parents could see this website then maybe they'd get an insight on how it feels to be me. But I have to be so careful not to upset anyone about it, when really, its me that's upset! I didn't ask to be conceived this way, it was thrust upon me that I don't know half of my biological family. I want to know my medical history, perhaps what career my biological father has, how many half-siblings I have, and my cultural ties. I want to know this even more so for my own kids. I read an entry earlier on this website where someone said I couldn't lie to my own children about it, like my parents did to me. That's exactly how I feel, I don't want my children to grow up thinking they are biologically related to a grandfather that they aren't actually related to. That's not fair. He can play the part of grandad, they can call him grandad but they are going to know that out there somewhere is their real grandad. I want to know that half of my medical history as well, for my future children's sake.
I genuinely feel that had I been told from a young age, and had grown up aware that he wasn't biologically related to me, that it wouldn't have had such a massive impact on my life. I don't think anyone of my friends/family quite realises how much it does impact my life. Don't get me wrong, I am unbelievably happy and relieved that I did get told. I just wish my parents had actually made the decision to tell me, rather than it coming out by accident.
I am very happy for future donor conceived children that they have taken away anonymity for donors in the UK. But the people born before then don't get a say. If I had been born 3 months later than I was (before the August 1991 HFEA changes) I would have been entitled to receive non-identifying information about my biological father when I reached 18. So what about the huge amount of people suffering who were born before then?
I would love to meet another donor conceived person, as I have talked to a few online, but never actually met anyone like me. Everyone's stories that I have read from this website I can relate to in some way or another and it is so reassuring to know that I'm not being selfish/attention seeking and that others think exactly the way I do about being donor conceived. No one knows what it feels like until they are put in that position. They can say they 'relate' but they can't. Everyone says to me 'but he's your dad'. He's not. I'm still looking for him.
I am eighteen years old and have known I am donor conceived my entire life. I stumbled across this site by accident. I was intrigued by the stories. Many of them deeply upset me.. It has always made me feel bad that I will never know the identity of my biological father. I think of how precious it is to know where you come from and why you look the way you do. The holidays always make me think about it even more. I wonder where he is, what his traditions are,where he is and what he is doing. I hope he thinks of me(the potential offspring.) I wish he simply knew I exist. It is the night before thanksgiving and it really has me thinking of all this. I TRIED to share with my mother how I feel. She did not want anything to do with it. She makes me feel as though I should not have any feelings on the subject of being donor conceived. She especially gets angry because I do this every year around this time since I entered high school. I really fell like I can not help this. She never will understand how I feel. I wish she would understand. I don't want her to blame herself for my misery. I try not to broach the subject at all with my non- biological father at all. I love my parents, really, I do. I also know they love me. I sometimes wonder if they are putting on an act. I wish I could go deep with in their minds. I would love to know how they really feel about the subject.
I am a young woman who is asked to keep quiet about her innermost conflict. I entered college in the fall and have had an emotional ride coming to terms with being a donor conceived person. I need a place to vent my feelings. I just wish I could find someone who would understand. I feel like I am suffering alone with this. I don't want to disappoint anyone. If I could have one wish it would be to just hear the donor's voice. I would love to ask him the most basic questions about himself. I wonder why he did it. It bothers me that there was money involved in my conception. I resent the donor for that. I feel as though he took advantage of my parents and the parents of my countless half siblings. If he did this for the right reason he would have done it for free. I also resent him for not taking advantage of the Donor Sibling Registry. I find it cruel that he does not want to find me or any other offspring. I hope one day it will all be alright with me. I still hope that maybe I will meet or talk to the donor. I have had the opportunity to meet one of my half siblings. I was happy to have gained some insight into who the donor is through my sibling.
One of my earliest memories is of lying in my pram.
Few people would believe that, as many adults have difficulty remembering their first day at school, let alone anything that happened when they were only a toddler, but remember it I do!
I was probably a little over a year old at the time and lying down in my pram because I was strapped firmly in place by my harness. I was supposed to be taking an afternoon nap while my mother was busy elsewhere but I was bored and not at all tired. I wanted to be up and about, not a prisoner in my pram. The pram hood was up to shield me from the light coming in the lounge window and effectively all I could see from my prostrate position was the top edge of the closed door and an area of faded yellow wall paper. I yelled for attention. I kept on shouting and screaming until my throat was hoarse but still nobody came. Then finally, when I had all but given up hope of being released, I saw the door swing open and I knew that my mother had heard me, so I expected her arms to appear around the side of the hood and for her to unclip me and lift me out. Instead, I saw my frilly white pram pillow appear in my line of vision. It was advancing towards me, taking up more and more of my view of the wallpaper until I could see nothing else. As it came closer still it blocked out all the light and then it was right on top of my face, pressing down on me and I couldn't breathe. Then there was blackness and swimming heat, muffled noises and nothingness until the next thing I remember, which is being out of the pram and in the light again, hearing my Grandmother's voice fussing over me in a reassuring way.
If my Grandmother had not arrived unexpectedly that afternoon and interrupted my mother, I would have become a cot death statistic, but nobody will want to believe that my own mother had tried to kill me, especially as she had spent five years and a lot of money desperately trying to have me. The experts would be the first to argue that being donor conceived means that I must have been very much wanted and loved, so my memory of being temporarily snuffed out by my mother can only be the product of my own warped imagination. I might even be inclined to think so myself were it not for discovering two other donor conceived adults who have had similar brushes with death at the hands of their parents. In one case, a teenaged girl woke up to find herself locked in her bedroom after her mother had left the gas tap to her fire switched on, but not lit. She could have been dead by morning but like me she has survived to tell the tale. In another case, a social father who had trouble reconciling his infertility has admitted that his ambivalent feelings towards his baby son had led him to the brink of committing infanticide. The horrifying fact is that we three donor conceived people have survived an attempted murder by a parent.
Donor conception is not a cure for clinical infertility. It doesn't give parents the exact baby they had hoped for and consequently the replacement child may never live up to the happy-ever-after fantasy to which the parents had aspired. In the circumstances it is inevitable that some parents will direct their bitterness and resentment at the child who is a constant reminder of their reproductive disappointment, particularly if the balance of their minds has been disturbed either by their infertility, their choice of circumvention, or a combination of the two. I was not at all surprised by a recent report which showed that a surprisingly large number of healthy donor conceived babies are aborted before birth because their mother's have changed their minds about the pregnancy. It is, after all, only one small step away from deciding to terminate the life of the child once it has been born.
Do I support donor conception in any way, shape or form? Certainly not!
When I tell people I wish I had been raised by my real father often they are offended and say things like, "Your real father is the man that raises you, kisses your scrapes, tucks you in, reads you stories and loves you." This is a wildly naive idea and if donor conception and the adults that use it could reliably provide social fathers that do these types of things then maybe I wouldn't have so many problems with the practice.
I strongly believe, because of his lack of biological connection, social fathers are generally much-less-likely-to sufficiently-raise-their-children. Let me say it another way: Nature hinders man's ability to raise a child that is not his biological offspring as well and with as much grace and love, as the child that IS his biologically.
When my parents divorced, I was shocked at how easy it was for my "dad" to sign away custody rights for me. I haven't seen or spoken with him in two decades. This is the man that agreed to "raise me, kiss my scrapes, tuck me in, and read me stories." It was a lie. Then my mom remarried. Her new husband agreed to do these things for me also. I was happy to have someone around to horse-play with and lift me up. I liked to wrestle and do a lot of gymnastics as a kid. Soon after he adopted me he started touching me inappropriately when I reached out to horse-play. When I told him to stop he said I didn't know what I was talking about and we were just having fun. I stopped horse-playing. I stopped doing gymnastics around the house. I stopped feeling free in my body. I stopped being a kid.
As I started to develop I tried to stay farther away from him. I tried not to engage in conversation with him. I tried to be polite, but I was incredibly creeped out by him constantly. It seemed he always really needed my attention when I was in the middle of taking a shower. I'd be changing, getting the water running and he would always open the bathroom door and have something super urgent to show me, like some BS news story. I knew he was getting a peek at my body. I started locking the door. And I started hating him.
I asked my mom if I could be transferred to a boarding school so I wouldn't have to live with him. She had no idea why I would want to be away from her. She loved me and needed me so much she didn't want me to go. She had no idea about the touching and didn't seem to notice the sexual harassment. I didn't have a word for the sexual harassment I just endured it because there was nowhere safe for me to go.
I've tried to bring up sexual abuse as it relates to donor conception before and some say it has nothing to do with the practice. Children are EIGHT TIMES as likely to be abused by a step-father or "social" father. For the ones that are good dads I'm really happy for them, and keep up the good work, but artificial insemination for straight women inherently means that they are being raised by a man or men that have no biological link to them. Biology adds safety.
It doesn't matter how smart you think you are or your husband is. My step dad had more degrees than he knew what to do with. This is something bigger than human intelligence-it's nature.
I am an adult woman. I am a professional. I have a master's degree. I have many friends, a large social and professional community and so many things to be thankful for. I do not think that because things have worked out for me that I should not desire to know where I come from.
I don't doubt that my family loves me. I don't doubt that I was really wanted. I don't doubt all of the right intentions were present in my parents' hearts when they went through the process of creating me, with science.
I want to know why I'm different. I want to know if there is someone else who can instinctively know, know without words who I am and have it make sense. There is a connection between people which is more than just social, more than experiential, more than upbringing. There is something biological and I can see it in others. And I can see how I lack it when I'm with my family.
Do I have grandparents? Do I have siblings who laugh like I do? Are there people in my community, like me, who maybe share a link which makes me makes sense? I'm glad to be alive. I'm glad to have the life I have. I'm sad that I know so little about where I come from.
Families look different for everyone. And most people can describe an undesirable element in their family. But it's their family. Where is mine? And why is there a system in place that prevents me from knowing? Knowing my lineage, my genetic background, my family, is a human right. It is my right.
As a donor-conceived person I have the sense of being part of an underclass. Because I was born in the early 80's before the changes in UK law I have no right to know the identity of my biological father. I can't think of any other group of people in society who have this information denied to them. I feel like half a person. Even though donor conceived people born in the UK after 2005 will be able to trace their donors when they turn 18, it can be argued that it is wrong to bring a child into the world knowing they will be unable to have a relationship with one of their biological parents (which the child may or may not desire, and why shouldn't they?) until they reach adulthood. At best donor conception is a poor way to have a child.
The changes in the law will allow donor-conceived people to trace their donors only if they know the truth about their origins. Unfortunately though parents are encouraged to tell their offspring the law does not require donor conception to be recorded (e.g. on birth certificates) so many children will still be kept in the dark and may experience the same sense of being somehow less than human that I have done if and when they eventually find out. My mum and dad never told anybody but the truth still finally came to light (I found out by accident when I was pregnant with my son and a routine blood test showed that I have blood group AB - because my dad is blood group O I knew he couldn't be my biological father).
Having a child is a privilege not a right, and I say this as a mother of two children, one who I lost through miscarriage and one who is now a healthy toddler, who would dearly like more. Potential parents considering donor conception would do well to bear this in mind.
It is my firm belief that we all have a human right to know the truth about how we came to exist and the identities of our parents. As far as I'm concerned I have three parents, equal in importance: my mum, my dad and my biological father. I wouldn't be the person I am without the input of all three.
I was 20 years old, home from college for the weekend. I was sharing a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream with my mother. We were watching some sappy made-for-television movie about donor conception/adoption� I can't remember the details. I said to my mother, "If I had a problem conceiving a child I would definitely consider doing it." To that, my mother replied matter-of-factly, "How do you think you got here?"
I was shocked and yet gleefully happy to learn that her husband was not my biological father. After all, we had nothing in common and I detested him ever since I can remember. But what was I to do? Where could I turn for help? My mother wanted me to keep it quiet so that no one else would find out. She didn't want my father's mother to know in case she would write me out of her Will! She didn't want me to tell my younger sister (also donor conceived and looks nothing like any of us) for fear it might upset her.
There are no records to find. Mom's doctor is deceased. I've checked Donor Sibling boards and found a possible donor's name, but cannot locate him.
I'm a college educated professional. I want nothing from my bio-dad except to see him and talk to him. I'm insanely curious� what does he look like, how does he sound, what would it be like to share a warm hug?
I've never had that kind of relationship with my "mother's husband." It would be so nice to know that my real father is no longer absent.
This is a letter to a now deceased anonymous sperm donor. I wish I had been able to meet you while we both were alive. I do believe in an after-life so maybe we will meet up somewhere in the future. I would love to have known if my sense of humor was shared by you; what were your political opinions; if you were religious; how you laughed or cried or if you had a temper. I did have a dad, who I do believe loved me but we were so very different in almost all respects. He was reserved, conservative, very religious, had no sense of humor, and was not what you would call warm and inviting. He and I disagreed and if I made him angry (which I suppose I did, a lot) my mother would say to me, "you don't know what a wonderful father you have". I heard this quite a few times growing up. The reason I "did not know what a wonderful father I had" was because no one ever came right out and told me I was donor conceived and that my father had allowed my mother to have a child by this method. It took me years to put all the pieces together. From the night I heard my grandfather tell a dinner guest, when I was nine, that my parents had only one child because my father had had the mumps when he was an adult and my mother had to go to a special doctor in Chicago in order to get pregnant. Now, even at nine, I could figure out that if my father had the mumps it didn't make much sense for my mother to have to go to a special doctor. So I saved all this info and as a very inquisitive child I added to it over the years. From why my mother and father had very, very blue eyes and I had brown eyes, (We learned this was pretty much impossible in high school biology) to lots of other little things that just didn't add up.
SO, anonymous father, who were you? Well, as I said you are now dead (unless you have very good genes, one can only hope) and I am 67 years old and am still trying to find you or who you were. I just spent $300 on dna testing that could possibly unearth a cousin who might be your kin. I keep thinking that maybe there is a box somewhere with info in it that will produce your name or picture. Maybe my mother, lying in a nursing home with last stage dementia will suddenly wake up and say, "I just wanted to tell you who your biological father was". Maybe she doesn't know, maybe she just went to the doctor's office, layed down on the table and had your sperm injected into her womb. Maybe the doctor went into the side room and contributed his own sperm. Maybe his son, who kindly agreed to do a dna test with me 4 years ago (which turned out negative) and which I paid $250 to have analyzed, really is my half brother and the test was just not reliable, maybe you had prosopagnosia like I do and we could have talked about what a pain it is to not recognize people's faces after you have met them about 20 times, maybe you died from melanoma because you were not as careful about looking at all the little spots on your body as I am and could have told me to be careful of my kids out in the sun when they were little. Maybe you would have liked to meet your grandchildren. One is a VP in a company, has 2 kids of his own and a very lovely wife - he wouldn't be looking for anything from you but would have found it fun to meet his biological grandfather, the other is a successful legislative specialist, has 2 great kids and another super wife but one of his kids had to have brain surgery for birth trauma and they all could have used all the support they could get - maybe you or your family could have been there for them, even if it was just by saying a prayer. So, you see, biology is important, otherwise why would I spend time, money, and energy searching for you. I hope you had a good, happy and long life. I am sorry I missed you, maybe our paths will cross again.
"Where are you from?" they ask (all the time). So you tell them where you grew up. "No, no... I mean where are you FROM? What is your ancestry?" This is so American. People look at your face and they always want to know who blended with whom from where to create your face. When I was little it wasn't such a big deal. My mom spoke mostly for me and when I answered on my own it was all regurgitation. As I grew older and began answering for myself entirely, spending the night at friends' houses, and meeting people on my own- it became harder and harder to give clear answers. "Mixed" doesn't satisfy anyone, including myself.
I knew absolutely nothing of my father's history. I knew nothing of half of my ancestry. I managed to find out a little bit of information on him, but it took forever and wasn't much. Those few extra details began to form a shell of a character though. That's when I really started to imagine him as my father and fall in love with the idea of meeting him and knowing him. Those few details can inspire a whole person and I felt robbed of him.
After I found those details about him people would ask me about my father and I would tell them he died when I was a baby but he was from this country and did that and that and that for hobbies and work. I felt entitled to my father in the shell of a character he was. But that too would be traumatic because people would ask how he met my mother or other questions I had no answers for and lying became improvisational and stressful as I tried to hide and cloud the fact that I'm donor-conceived.
I hate being donor-conceived. I think it is ridiculous and bizarre that the two people that made me have never met and never will meet. I think its creepy that my dad was paid. I think its creepier that agents and salespeople and commercial doctors worked so hard to create me and now that I'm an adult have no interest in my opinion.
They're like drug pushers.
Selling substances that cure baby cravings. Do they have anything to cure my father cravings?
Dear Fertility Industry,
You ruined my relationship with my mother. For 22 years of my life she told me everything and was my best friend. But YOU told her that it would screw me up if I knew that "my dad wasn't my dad" - that she should keep it a secret. You don't think finding out from someone else at 22 would screw things up a bit?! Why wouldn't you think of the consequences of what you were doing - why wouldn't you give any long-term thought to something so important?
Years ago I talked to my mom every day on the phone without fail. Now we're lucky to get 10 minutes in once a week. Despite our best efforts, our relationship has never been the same since I found everything out. The secrecy, deception, and ignorance surrounding human reproduction is the reason why.
Disgruntled Sperm Donor Baby
I am in graduate school and just this past week in a class, we were told our first assignment was a Genogram, tracking our biological family. My heart sank. I can't go anywhere without being reminded that I will never know my biological father. It is on the news, its what Jennifer Aniston is talking about, its in a preview that is on every five minutes. It isn't just the media either- more often than I still can even comprehend, my friends, coworkers, anyone will proclaim " I look just like my dad" or some other biological family tidbit. One of my least favorite things is sperm donor jokes, which are also inexplicably common. The only thing I hate more than sperm donor jokes is when someone calls their absent dad/child's father a sperm donor. Example: "We don't refer him by name in our house, we refer to him as The Sperm Donor". I literally have to walk away in order to not to get incredibly angry at whoever is saying it. In some way, shape or form, there is always something that will remind me of being donor conceived on a daily basis. It never ends.
I feel silenced, and I have felt silenced since I found out I was conceived by an anonymous sperm donor when I was sixteen (the nine year anniversary of finding out is in February). I have always known that something was "off" in terms of my family, but I knew I wasn't adopted- I look a lot like my mother and saw pictures of us in the hospital when I was just born. I had asked questions of my parents about if my dad was my "real dad"- a phrase I cringe at now- and they always assured me that he was. They lied and I understand why they lied, I was young and they wanted to protect me. I have come to peace with the fact that they lied.
What I have not come to peace with is how silenced I feel. I feel silenced for so many reasons- because its weird and people don't get it, because I don't want to hurt my dad- who I absolutely adore- talking about it and also because I am always afraid I will burst into tears talking about it, no matter who is listening. I also know that my parents are very private people in general, and to have a bunch of people- whoever they may be- know that I am donor conceived would make them uncomfortable. Despite this, they have told me that it is my story to tell and they are accepting no matter what. But I still feel silenced on the topic.
I have felt differently about being donor conceived throughout the nine years that I have known. I go through phases where I think about it more, or less and phases where it weighs on me more heavily, or not. The past year has been the longest period I have thought about it quite regularly and frequently, and this past year it has weighed on me the most since the year after I found out. I think a part of that is that now that I am almost twenty five and my older friends are starting to get pregnant and have babies, which leads me to think about my own children I hope to have some day.
This presents a real problem for me. I don't want to lie to my kids about how I was conceived, the way that my parents lied to me. I also don't want to hurt my dad or confuse my children or somehow influence how they feel about their grandfather with that revelation. I try to tell myself that it doesn't matter as much, because it isn't (God willing) how they themselves were conceived, so it is a bit more removed. But deep down I know that while that might be true, I also don't want to lie to them- or even withhold the truth. In addition to the sadness and discomfort that this presents, it also makes me angry that I even have to deal with the way I was conceived and that it will seep into my life for the rest of my life. What also seeps in is the feeling of being silenced and of feeling damned if I do, damned if I don't in many respects regarding being donor conceived.
I truly hope that they end anonymous sperm and egg donation. I don't think it should be banned altogether, but I do think anonymous donation should be, for so many reasons- some that can't even be identified with words. Again, the silence appears.
My parents never told me that I was conceived using a donor until I was well in to my thirties with my own family. As bad as knowing that I may never find my biological father is, being lied to is the worst part because now I wonder what else they've been lying about. And even when they say this is all to the story, there is still doubt in my mind.