Half-Siblings from Sperm Donor

Submitted on: May 5, 2019

I was donor conceived in 1997, while my biological mother was in a same-sex relationship with my other mum. At the time they could not afford to access a clinic, and as an alternative they were able to find a known donor and my mum’s partner performed the insemination at home.

I have known from a very early age that I was donor-conceived (I was around 6 when I was told) and I know the identity of my donor but have never attempted to make contact. I am his only female offspring and I also know that he has two of his own children, his firstborn son being four years older than me, born to his first partner who sadly passed away when the boy was very young. His other son is just 55 days younger than me and is to his current wife, who grudgingly accepted his decision to donate sperm to my mother and her partner because he had decided to do it before they had gotten together.

So basically, I know the identities of both of my half-siblings and the donor because he was known to my parents but am unsure if he has ever told my half-brothers of his sperm donor past, and so I never tried to make contact with them either (especially the youngest, since I didn’t want to complicate things in his still-intact family, due to an altruistic deed my sperm donor had done many years ago that he probably just wanted to forget about).

Anyway, last month, I found out that the oldest son died by suicide. I never knew him or met him while he was alive, but I can’t help but feel really devastated about it. I had always secretly hoped that someday I would have a chance to meet him and explain the bizarre circumstances which had lead to us being related and get a chance to know him for the person that he was. I knew that he’d had a rough life, losing his mother at a young age and being in and out of jail in his teenage and adult years, and it’s just heartbreaking to find out that it ended this way for him.

I’m kinda in a place right now where I’m sad about it, but I feel like I don’t deserve to feel that way, because I wasn’t really his sister. It was just odd circumstances which lead to things being this way. It must be only a fraction of what my sperm donor and my other half-brother must be feeling, having known and loved him, and something that I wouldn’t wish on any family to experience. I hope that they’re both coping with it okay, even though I have no way to say that or offer support.

My view on Sperm Donation in general is complicated, to say the least, but it’s times like these that make me feel sad about the circumstances of my conception. I know that I wouldn’t be here unless they did what they did and that this may seem ungrateful, but sometimes I really hate the other collateral damage that comes along with their deal, such as not being able to know half of my family, and to be honest about how I feel about it all with the people I love without making them feel bad for doing it in the first place. For me, being the product of Sperm Donation has been mostly a source of pain, although I do accept that this does work for some families and that there are probably plenty of donor-concieved people out there who do not have such negative experiences.

I’ve always cared less about meeting the donor than my half-siblings, because he made the choice to help conceive me without being my father. It was his choice, and I try to respect that despite the pain it causes me. Yet I can’t seem to get over the fact that neither I or my donor’s other children ever had a choice about being able to know each other. Maybe they wouldn’t have wanted to know me anyway, but at least for the older one, I can now say that I will never know. He most likely died unaware of my very existence.

I’m mostly glad that my parents decided to be honest with me about how I came into this world from the onset, even though the truth can be brutal sometimes. It was difficult for me to come to terms with back then, and still is to this day. I wonder still if my sperm donor chose to be transparent with his own children about his past. I ponder how many people there are who don’t even know that they are donor-conceived themselves, or that have half-siblings out there that were donor-conceived that think about them sometimes and would want to know them if they could.