Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Father’s Day 2019

A Fathers Day Message.

For those men considering using donor sperm who are worried about whether they will bond with their donor conceived children. For those men with fears that their kids will consider them a fraud.

First off I don't look or think of my kids as my donor conceived children. They are simply my kids. Soon enough they will be young adults. But right now they are both teenagers. You think the terrible twos were an issue? Just wait. I am sort of kidding.

Back to fears. Years ago I wrote an essay talking about fears. It was published in a book called Voices of Donor Conception. In 2007, I published on my blog a YouTube reading of that essay. I look crazy tired in the video. My kids were then 5 and 3 and running me ragged. I still worried about a lot of the fears as they were too little to fully understand their conception story. They knew it but did not fully get it.


With 12 more years of living now under my belt I can very clearly say all of my fears were unfounded. They are now 17 and 15. Yes I may still worry from time to time. But my kids know who dad is. They know they have a donor and he is out there somewhere. They know they have and have met their two known half siblings and yearly spend parts of vacations with one or the other.

I am more settled and so are they. Certainly they have their moments and I know as they get older those moments will turn to deeper introspection as to who they are. Who they come from. And what they may find missing. It won't be easy but I can say they know I will support them and be there for them. That is all I can ask and hope for.

As I have in past blog posts I thank my donor for the gift of these two young people. I no longer fear him. If my kids find him and he is willing I will accept their need to begin a relationship with him if that is their desire. They know I am Dad and I know they believe that. We have gone through too much of day to day life and a divorce and they know how much I love them.


Life is not easy. Parenthood is not easy. Everything takes work. Fears disappear and fade when you are an active loving parent. That does not mean there won't be bumps or that your children will brush aside their need to know more. They won't. Many can't. It's unfair to ask them too. Be present. Be supporting. Listen. Pay attention to their needs. It's amazing that as a parent how much of our happiness is tied to theirs. Knowing that give them the best life you can. Sometimes that just means don't let fears prevent you from being dad or a parent.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019

New Bachelorette Contestant Sperm Donor to 114

If this man does not highlight the need for reform and regulation I don't know what does. 114 lives that have to mentally process that their biological father would do this. Truthfully it's the cryobanks that encouraged him and sold his gametes. Negligent on their part. All 114 through one cryobank? Guessing we will know soon enough.

To tout this accomplishment nationally like this is beyond altruism, should be negligent on the part of the cryobank, and probably narcissistic on the part of this young man.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Then and Now - The Same Pain

On October 22, 2005, in Ontario, Canada, Diane Allen and the Infertility Network, hosted the first donor conception seminar I ever attended. Yesterday, 13 plus years later I heard the same pain from a number of donor conceived individuals.

The issues are the same. Recognition. Rights. Stigma. Ethics of donor conception.

Yesterday, I attended, here in NYC, co-hosted by the Center for Bio-Ethics at NYU and the New York Institute for Philosophy, a seminar titled The Ethics of Donor Conception. I only heard about via Twitter that morning. The first day was a Friday and I walked in at the start of the day two afternoon sessions.

Over the last 14 years the issues are generally the same although the reality and impact are highly polarized partially due to various factors including a now social media centered society where donor conceived individuals can meet and find each other via increasing usage of genetic DNA sites as well as websites and apps connecting individuals. Case law and statutory law over the years has impacted the parentage and legal responsibilities of all family configurations but especially single parent, same sex parent and now also poly and non binary parenting.

The seminar though suggested by a donor conceived individual was organized as an academic exercise for theoretical "natterers" to present papers and conclusions to other academics. But when such seminars are a rare occasion in the USA it attracted a healthy amount of donor conceived adults and young adults. A handful of psychologist and caregivers and I learned one other parent who was there on day one. I was the only non bio parent of DC individuals in the room.

Aside from the presentations and and the perfunctory questions from those academics attending or other presenters what I heard was pain and anger from the donor conceived in the room. Pain as to their loss. Pain as to why their rights are not being recognized and pain at how a few of the presentations could not recognize the real humanity affected.

I will say this that with a good 25-30 plus donor conceived individuals in attendance it became a lesson for the academics as they were schooled by the folks living this stuff.

I only saw two sessions. The first a good review of how parentage laws interact with laws addressing pro creative issues. The case law in this area has for years been driven by cases involving parental separation which is a shame rather than the thoughtful promulgation of neutral and fair statutes. The speaker has been involved in the creation of uniform model statutes then amended as individual states adopt such legislation. I thought interesting.

The second session was a purely academic exercise by an academic discussing whether responsibilities can be transferred vs delegates and it took the long way through various non DC hypotheticals to be applied to donor conception cases and I felt needed to be humanized more. Well intentioned for academics but not for real persons.

I would love to develop a seminar conference that addressed issues from the views and needs of families and individuals living this stuff. Like anything it's making the time.

Overall very happy to attend. It re energized my desire to write. Met some nice people that I would like to follow their activism and contribute where it makes sense to do so.

My main wish is that I can get more parents of kids to attend these kind of seminars so they can interact with adult donor conceived individuals to hear their views and points of concern.

One thing to note is that it's the academics and practicing attorneys with connections to legislatures that can shape the future and reform regulation. There need to be increased partnerships that can design middle of the road uniform legislation that make steps forward. Radical left reform won't sell in conservative state. The ASRM and infertility industry will continue to plod along affecting too many lives without regulation unless the issues are presented thoughtfully making people recognize and see the pain.

As the lead professor stated the press loves the feel good donor conception stories of siblings finding each other and instant connections especially of young children and teens that have not yet dealt with the questions or pain. Pain I saw again 13 years after I first saw it at a small conference, not so unlike this one, but now there is Twitter and Facebook and DNA testing.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

I am still here !

Life as Dad to DI Kids generally is just Life as Dad or Life as Divorced Dad of Teens. We have not focused too much lately on any donor conception discussions in our house. 

Although Z wants to visit her half sibling brother or he come to NYC so they can see a concert together. They seem to connect over music. 

Otherwise all is generally quiet.   More later. I promise. 

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.