Monday, October 03, 2005

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The post title came to mind when I began to wonder if Dads like me really think about these issues (i.e., being a DI Dad) every day? Probably not is the answer. I know I did not until I started this blog. Then the question is have dads asked themselves the tough questions, received their answers, and then have simply moved on?

Certainly books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus among others have proven that most men and most women think and very often act differently. The majority of individuals on discussion groups like Donor Sibling Registry are full of women addressing sibling and personal issues regarding DI. It is to early to see how many men join the new DI Dads Yahoo Discussion Group. The presence of men on these sites is rare if not non-existent. So again why is this? I pose the answer that for the most part men address the issue differently and then for the most part move on. Sure there are expected events that will cause the issue to be re-examined (i.e. telling the child about the DI if that is the decision reached) but for the most part I think men just move onto the actual act of living life currently and being the dad to their kids.

I am not saying at all that women think of this issue all day either. I am just positing a reason why we do not see more men out there adddressing this issue on line. I am also not addressing (nor discounting) the psychological view that some men see the act of not being able to sire a child as a comment on their manhood. I am also not qualified to address this issue beyond my occasional comments.

Furthermore I am not saying there aren’t moments when these dads ponder what would have been different (the electric sheep analogy) had they been able to biologically sire a child. But I just think once the medical bills are done for many, not all, the issue has been addressed (aside from the fact that men are for the most part lousy about discussing their feelings publicly anyhow) and that is why we don’t see more dads out there. Do you agree?


Mary C. said...

I'm a single mom of a DI child and I've been following your blog for a month or so to try to get some insight into the male point of view on this subject. You are right, there appear to be darn few men who are a) verbal enough, b) willing to share, or c) just plain aware of their own feelings on fathering a child conceived through DI.

I think, the underlying question that both men and women face, if they choose to face it at all is "Would my life have been better if I, or my spouse and I, hadn't chosen or needed DI to have a child?"

My daughter is eight years old and has three life altering autoimmune diseases. I realize the specific genes that made her susceptible to these diseases may have come from me, but even if they didn't, I chose this specific donor. So either way, I am responsible in some way for her illness.

I believe my initial feelings of guilt bear similarities to those faced by social (non-biological) fathers. It is only through acknowledging my feelings, analysing them, and then actually finding the one true answer to the underlying question that I have been able to free myself from those damaging feelings.

If my daughter had not gotten those specific snipets of DNA from me, or if I had chosen a husband or some other donor, SHE WOULD BE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CHILD! She might have been healthy, or perhaps not. But she definitely would have a different heart and soul and personality than the child I have always known and loved more than life itself. Would I trade her for some fairy tale ending? Would you?

Bye-bye guilt! I'm very happy it all turned out exactly the way it did.

I hope you, and more men like you, are able to find the answers that will help you see this really is how your life was meant to be.

Mary C.

DI_Dad said...

Thank you and I agree that my kids would not be the same wonderful, beautiful, crazy kids they are now if my DNA was involved and I would not change a thing about them.