Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mother Earth’s Flower Shop

Years ago I participated in the International Infertility Film Festival. A home grown group of bloggers contributing videos posted on YouTube with a common set of hashtags. This was always a favorite posted by Melissa Ford aka of the Stirrup Queens blog that continues today posted under The Towncriers avatar she also used at that time. A fun video not specifically about donor conception but about all families created via ART and adoption. 

Sent from my iPhone

There is More Said the Troll

Just read a fast blog piece over at Scary Mommy where a mom describes her children's story from telling, school pictures that look like sperm to what it's like having donor siblings. She also describes her feelings about it all. Basic stuff. 

The kids are still young so no issues discussed re finding a donor etc. I am getting jaded as I want sometimes to interject. I don't want ever to be that troll commenting on another persons story. But sometimes you do. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

DNA Sample Received

They have received my daughter's DNA sample. Six to eight weeks now before her results will be ready.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Our Goal as Parents to DC Children

The following is a comment I just posted on a donor conception FB group in response to a post that a couple is experiencing conflict where the expecting dad wants to minimize the donors role in many respects: 

“Anyone that has seen my comments know I believe in full disclosure as early as possible in a donor conceived child’s life. The reasons are supported by many studies that the earlier its know the less pain and betrayal if any will exist later. This can’t be a secret to the child as it’s their right to know who they are. 

The donor does not have to be a major focus but at the same time to minimize the donor is to minimize and possible delegitimize half of who the child is. Doing that can seriously create self worth issues etc. I don’t want to create arguments here and I will respect everyone’s views but the goal must always be the best interests of the child. Using DI or DE is a decision we make as parents not one they asked for. They deserve truth in all respects. Our feelings as parents must be secondary to their mental and physical health. As parents I can’t imagine anyone not wanting that as their goal.”

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, September 28, 2018

Sperm Donor Meets Children and Girlfriend Online. Their Children

This should be an interesting read.  

Note one fear that some DI Dads have is that their spouse will developed feelings for their donor. Presumably there is no social non bio dad in this story. 

I will read later and add comments. 

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reactions to Jarring Experiences Linked Article

The article I linked to a few days ago (and below) had me thinking about the many different ways individuals are now learning they are donor conceived or where individuals are discovering that their biological fathers donated sperm years earlier resulting in half siblings they would never have considered to exist.  It also made me think about terminology and relationships between those interviewed and their donors and the parents that raised them.

Tomorrow, Monday, I will pick up from the post office the 23andMe kit my daughter requested I purchase for her.  Her brother and she had previously used the Ancestry dot com kit with their mom.  But Z wanted to now use the same kit / service that their only known half sibling sister had used.  So far their half sister's kit has produced no additional half siblings.  But we want to at least see if the 23andMe database links them together as we expect it should.

The truth is we know of at least one additional half sibling out there.  As I have written in the past the donor did report to the cryobank that he had a biological daughter directly presumably through a marriage.  If this child now pre-teen or teen ever submits her own kit looking to learn about her own genetic make up or ancestry she we would expect would also be linked as a 50% sibling to our sibling group.

I wonder how the donor will react to his child asking to purchase such a kit.  He must follow and see in the news that these genetic kits have resulted in breaking the promise of anonymity.  Will he let his child or children use such kits. Certainly when there are adults he will not be able to control such decisions.  Imagine years from now his daughter with her own children submitting a kit and learning as an adult that she is connected to this group.

There was an argument the other day on the DSR Facebook group about respecting donor anonymity.  By  purchasing the 23andMe kit am I walking down the slippery slope of breaking my legal agreement to respect the anonymity of my children's donor?  Probably, but they did not sign such an agreement.

Getting back to the article. 

There are several stages non bio or social parents go through once they have donor conceived kids.  One such stage or fear is that once the donor is found that he or she will replace the non bio parent in some form in the mind and heart of our child.  Selfishly I admit smiling when Amy who is described in the article beginning states that she does not think of her donor as her dad even though he is obviously her biological father. At least one other individual interviewed viewed the parent that raised them as their dad.  Again one for my side.  As with many issues, terminology becomes important to how you process information.

Amy like my kids did not find out via a fight or my deathbed.  They like her have always known.  But unlike her they don't have the right to initiate contact through their cryobank.  In that they are unlucky and I worry whether this causes them pain, spoken or unspoken. This is my greatest fear.  My own pain or discomfort are truly secondary but none the less also real.

The article also discussed validation.  Validation from the donor recognizing and acknowledging the donor conceived individual And self validation where an individual always felt there was a disconnect from the family or parent that raised them.  Not necessarily in a negative way but just that something felt different or did not match up.  Perhaps personality wise, or hair color, or for whatever reason.   My own daughter, granted she is sometimes a pain the rear end  teen, feels I am a complete nerd and she being so cool it is obvious we are not blood relations.

I think the sections of the article that I found the most painful were the interviews that detailed the secrecy where individuals were not told and it was clear that there was no plan or even intent to ever tell.  These stories were filled with pain and even betrayal.  I and my ex-wife never wanted to cause such pain and its one of the primary reasons we told our kids early.  We have not gone out of our way to tell everyone in the world as it the children's story. Although this blog sort of blows that goal out of the water.

There is truly so much more I can react to in the article but I think I need to stop for now.  Please read the article and let me know your reactions.

All Super Heroes Should Know Their Origin Story

As seen on the Facebook feed for DonorChildren:

" #DonorChildren member Chloe13, Chloe Elizabeth, #DonorConceived adult goes to the street in #Melbourne #Australia to ask people about #DonorConception.  Fantastic!! #RUDC"

I have seen other videos by one of the two young women in the video, Chloe Elizabeth, and they are very good.  Many of the videos post by members of the DonorChildren community are very good as many of the individuals are quite articulate in their feelings and thoughts.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Best Book re Explaining Donor Conception to a Child

It's been many years since my teens were little and my kids have "known" since they were 2 and newborn that they were donor conceived. It has always been a part of their conscious story of who they are. Books like this helped explain what they knew but were too young to understand.

As they grow into adults they will have many questions, some of which I have answers for, and many I will not be able to answer for them.

Books like this though helped them to take first steps to processing it all. Parents should ask themselves many questions before they start a donor conception journey but books like this are a must have if you do.

It's not published anymore and it's rarely on eBay and other book resellers but worth finding. These days it might be on line as a pdf for all I know.

Jarring Experiences ...

The number of individual stories out there is unreal. There are points where I feel reading them is overwhelming. Yet I read so many of them. Sometimes I feel guilt. Sometimes I feel joy living through each.  I often wonder what my teens are thinking. They are at those ages where sharing with their mid 50+ year old dad is not cool.

Here is yet another article describing varied experiences. This one published yesterday. Is it me or are there new articles every week. So many stories so many web sites. The last 16 years it has increased and increased.