Saturday, September 24, 2005

Telling MY Parents About the Half Sibling

Just before returning a call to parents I told my wife I intended to tell my parents about our children's half sibling. I think my wife was a bit surprised at the timing and why I was doing this over the phone. Her response was a muted OK.

My parent's reactions were interesting. One parent's response was essentially why would you complicate your life? I had just explained that contact had been made, that eventually the kids would be told, and further that the kids would also someday meet. I understand this parent's point as now in addition to addressing the concept of donor conception the child will have to process and eventually reconcile that they have half sibling that is not part of their base nuclear family. I think this parent was addressing more my life than the children but the reaction actually applies to both levels.

The other parent's reaction was how did I find this half-sibling, what level of contact was made, and where are they from. As a point of reference we are in NYC and the half sibling is several states away. The donor contributed to a cryobank located in a third state. I provide this info as this parent did not realize that the donor was from outside NYS or how these cryobanks operate. I actually stated that I know this cryobank has relationships with others here in the USA as well as Canada so its quite posible there are others half-siblings out there that did not receive the donor's sperm directly from their base facility. The discusson with the second parent then went to discuss the DSR and how we heard of the DSR from an episode of Oprah.

My wife's reaction to all this was that now she guesses we need to tell her parents. She also asked me why again did we join the DSR and seek out his half sibling. My reaction was that we had agreed when we started DI that there would be no secrets and that any all info available we would provide to the kids (at the apropriate age levels - still researching that one) and that they had a right to know of half siblings if the half sibling is looking as well. Granted contact was made between the parental units from our side and the half sibling's not the kids themselves.

In summary MY parents now know and I am happy about telling them. Not sure what their reaction is when they discuss it without my being there.


Janice said...

I know that was tough for you. I can sense it by the words in your post. As far as complicating your is already complicated in all different ways.....some complications you can control...some you can't....but this is within your control....disclosure to your child is in your control right now too. I have this saying that I try and live by: "Feel the fear and do it anyway." (Actually I think that was the title of a book I read.) You should be proud of yourself...strong did it and you know what? You will never have to tell your parents again....because now they know!

DI_Dad said...

I am actually curious which words gave you the impression that telling my folks was painful? If anything I thought the whole thing amusing as I could have predicted their reactions. If anything the exchange with my mom was actually nice as it did not break down into an argument. Thanks for the continued support. I do really appreciate it.

Janice said...

I didn't think it was necessarily painful, I meant "tough" (as in hard to do) in that anytime a person tells their parent something they've done on which they can be judged, it can take some nerve to make that call. I guess I got the feeling of it being tough when your one parent asked you why you would complicate your life like that. I'm glad it wasn't painful for you and that you know your parents well enough to anticipate their response.

Julia said...

Good for you! I wholeheartedly endorse openness and meeting half sibs has been a positive for me daughter (and me) so far.

Julia, mama to DI conceived daughter age 5 yrs.