Monday, November 28, 2005

Concerns re Donor’s Desire for Contact

My parents watched last Sunday’s live interview on CNN with Wendy and Ryan Kramer regarding the DSR. Besides my parent's views that finding half siblings will only complicate our lives they were concerned with the possibility that the donor would want to make contact with my kids and how that would affect my relationship (emotional and legal) to the kids.

Where the DSR does have about 200 plus donors registered as being interested in making contact with offspring it’s still quite rare and I expect our donor is not interested. That is not say that he has not checked out the Registry to see if he has helped bring any kids into the world. Heck, I’d be curious if I was him. But I don’t expect to learn that a match was made on the DSR between our donor and us. I admit I am hoping this never occurs.

How would I react if this did occur? Shock I guess at first. Would I feel a measure of being threatened? I’d be less than truthful if I said absolutely not. But I know my kids are my kids and I am their daddy so any fears would be softened by that knowledge.

It would certainly bring up the issues sooner to determine what the three year old truly understands. At this point due to the ages of my kids I certainly would allow no contact with my kids but I would inquire as to what if anything the donor is interested in pursuing and I would ask for more detail as to why he did become a donor.

She's Nature....I'm Nuture......

Being a Dad to DI Kids gives additional meaning to comments like:

"they're your kids....."
"he didn't get that from me..."

Sometimes these innocent comments just mean so much more as compared to when they are said by regular parents. Not saying plus or minus but just added meaning. But if I did something wrong saying either of the above to my wife certainly does not get me off whatever hook husbands end up on. As comments go they are fun to say around company who do not know the whole meaning.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Told another friend yesterday….

I think I surprised him a bit. I had called him for legal advice and as a tangent mentioned the DSR article from last Sunday’s NY Times. I guess I thought I had told him about how my kids were conceived. All of my friends are aware that we went through multiple IVF cycles and most assume that is how the kids were conceived. Granted we did nothing to dissuade them of that belief.

Anyhow we started to discuss how the whole process works and the anonymity of the donors etc. I explained how via the DSR works and how we found my children’s half sibling. He could not imagine the whole thing. I have been living with the concept / reality of DI since my son was conceived that sometimes I forget how it sounds when you first hear of it. Pretty wild.

Pink Eye, Conjunctivitis (post # 51)

Today it became official my whole family now has pink eye. This has been the month from hell due to one play date with a kid whose family doctor thought this was not contagious after 24 hours with the antibiotics. I‘d like to slug that doctor.

Too many hours at the eye clinic, washing bedding daily, and trying to get a three year old to stand still for eye drops. And now the kicker the doctors at the clinic prescribed an ointment we are supposed to put on my 17 month old’s lower eye lid twice a day. That will be an experience.

So if you hear the father of a kid who is at your house for a play date say that his kid had pink eye but it’s not contagious, but he is stil taking drops, announce the play date is over, ask them to leave immediately and reschedule by phone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Questions to All Readers of this DI Dad Blog :

I have a few questions for the readers of my blog if you can answer them it would be interesting to see the responses:

(1) Are you considering DI or have used DI to help create your family?
(2) Are you a DI Dad, DI Mom, Birth Mom?
(3) Are you part of (1) a married hetero couple (2) Choice mom (3) LBGT family?
(4) What part of the country are you from?
(5) How did you find my blog?
(6) Have you read the NYTimes article published 11/20 linked to below? What are your thoughts?
(7) Do you think we need a national US based Donor Conception support organization here in the United States?


(8) What questions do you have for me as an open Dad to DI Kids?



Sibling Matches at 1098 at the Donor Sibling Registry

The activity at Wendy and Ryan Kramer's Donor Sibling Registry these last two days since Amy Harmon's front page Sunday New York Times Article has been staggering. As of this evening the total number of matches is now at 1098. That's 88 matches since early Saturday evening when links to the on-line version of the article started being diseminated across the Internet. The activity is amazing when you realize that the site has been active for more than 3 years and this increase is over just the last two days.

Based on e-mails to and posts by Wendy on the DSR Yahoo discussion groups she has been at her PC non-stop (when she isn't at her "real" job) and Wendy deserves our applause and our committment. If you can this holiday season please stop by the main DSR site (linked through the title to this post) and make any donation you can no mater how small. The DSR is purely funded by individuals and truthfully mostly by Wendy through her determination, labor and love.

Again our gratitude and thanks to Wendy and Ryan !

Monday, November 21, 2005

Links to FULL texts of last five Posts of "Life as Dad to Donor Insemination (DI) Kids"

As a workaround to my technical issue here are the links to my last five substantive posts. Note that on these linked pages you will have access to earlier posts as well....

Hopefully this problem will be fixed soon....

Blog Experiencing Unknown Technical Difficulties

I am not sure what happened to my blog this evening. Even after republishing a few times I cannot seem to get the sidebar back which includes my profile, links, archive links, as well as my links to various blog direcories etc. To say I am crushed and confused is an understatement. The only good news is that through Blogger I copied the text of all my postings onto my home computer and will burn to CD later tonight. If I have to replublish under a new URL so be it that would be a problem.

Somehow I must think something happened to my source code but I posted entries two night ago without any issues so I am confused what happened. More later.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moderating Comments to Blog Posts....

Up until this evening I had not wanted to get involved in moderating comments to this blog. At times a number of Marty's comments had been bordering on harrassment but in the past this had all been directed to me. I usually let it go, despite my feelings of being attached personally, as mixed into his barbs were some, I thought, provoking questions worth exploring.

But tonight the barbs were not directed at me but readers of this blog who felt compelled to comment on my posts. And after reading those comments I felt the barbs crossed a line as I invited these readers into my thoughts and I felt I was responsible. Now granted I was not and the individuals being bombarded handled themselves quite well. But I am now considering moderating the comments posted which is a shame. Despite the fact this is a personal web log and not a public public discussion group I have enjoyed the interaction.

Individuals need to learn that their points can be made without harrassment even if they vehemently disagree with the positions being espoused.

NYTimes: 2005Nov20: Hello, I'm Your Sister. Our Father Is Donor 150

Tomorrow's NY Times cover page features an article regarding half siblings finding each other and meeting at various ages. Most if not all of the families referred to and quoted from in the article found each other through the Donor Sibling Registry which this week hit the milestone mark of matching up 1001 half siblings.

It 's a great article for several reasons including the donor conceived individuals desire to connect in whatever form to their biological origins beyond that of the mother. The article never preaches regarding the disconnect that is created via the utilization of DI nor was its intent to do that. The article addresses the connections made via the personal side of the meetings. Most of the meetings discussed involve toddlers through teenagers.

The fact that the NY Times placed this article on the front page is a telling point in my mind that the issue is becomming to be less stigmatized and more open to discussion. Granted the discussions are sometimes quite heated (see the comments to my immediate prior post "Emotional Blackmail....").

I am only hoping that the author, Ms. Harmon, continues this series and at one point address the DI Dads. Her earlier piece published on October 13, 2005 was titled "First Comes the Baby Carriage" and focused on women who chose single motherhood.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Emotional Blackmail....but I'll Pay.....

Within the last week or so, there were several posts to the DSR yahoo group where I learned that the cryobank we used is offering photo packages of the donors including infant photos up to grown up photos (the term adult photos caused email problems for some DSR members - what a world!). These photo packages are being offered for a modest amount (not cheap but when compared to what we paid over time for IVF etc....) when the photos are available for active donors. The costs jump if your donor is currently inactive. The amounts being asked come close to emotional blackmail or extortion but as we live in a consumer nation the amounts are asked for and they'll get it from others and most probably from me.

Now before I discuss the costs or my reasons that I''ll probably pay what they ask I wanted to say that I am confused why the donors would provide these photos. Don't get me wrong I am thrilled that they are doing so but my thoughts were if the donor wanted to chance some kid searching and locating him and then making contact why would you give out your picture to help in that search. And if you are so willing to provide the photo which could lead to you why donate to a cryobank that does not engage in a program that offers the opportunity to disclose hte donor's name when the kids turm 18. Very strange. Maybe they are offering this info now. I'll have to check.

OK, back to the amount being charged. It's a three part fee system. First there is a NON-REFUNABLE charge of $300 so even if they locate the inactive donor and he is not interested in providing lifetime photos the cryobank gets to keep the $300. The cost of the photo package itself for about 5 to 7 photos, near as I can tell, is another $500. On top of that is a $150 processing fee. Now before they'll try to locate the inactive donor they want the money up front. No checks just credit cards or actual currency (money orders, bank checks etc). Now granted if the donor is not interested they'll refund the $650 but you still paid $300 for the chance.

Lastly why I will ending up paying these fees. My wife put it this way. If we were our kids and they knew we had the chance to secure these photos would they be upset if we did not try. We both agreed they would. For al we know the kids will not even want to know any info about the donor but we think if they ask we should have whatever info we have. And for us that is why we'll end up paying despite the fact that it's emotional blackmail.

My wife figures next year we'll hear that the donor's address will be offered for $10Gs. My reaction to that was a pillow thrown at her.

Infertility Affected My Marriage....

Tonight on the Yahoo DI Dads site I posted a message somewhat personal. I thought to copy and paste it here to the blog but decided against it. All I will say is that right from the start of my marriage the infertility infected me and I pulled away from my wife causing her great pain as well as to myself. I could not control that pain.

Tonight my post to the DI Dads asked men like myself if their relationships were / are similarly affected by the infertility. Over the years my wife and I discussed my pain and when we attended therapy as a couple it certanly was discussed but somehow being in the discusion group with men who are going through what I went through brought it all back and I wanted to know, needed to know, if my reactions years ago were normal as defined by men who shared that same pain.

I am assuming the answers I get back will be yes, although I am not sure. Just the asking was somewhat carthartic whatever the replies.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

American Donor Conception - New Organization

I have been discussing the idea of starting a new US based donor conception support organization with several individuals since I have returned from the Toronto Symposium. Many agreed that we need a US based group. I have shared some of my own thoughts about the need in previous posts. Since that point I have reserved the domain name and created a parking page at the site address linked to above.

My goals at this point are not to duplicate the efforts of individuals like Diane Allen of the Infertilty Network by any means but to create a US based portal from which the Donor Conception Community here in the USA can perhaps unite if not in methods or goals but as a community of respect. I would hope that over time we can provide support to the level of the UK based DC Netwok or the Australian Donor Conception Support Group but this is for the future to see.

My first project will be to contact as many of the US based organizations that deal with facets of DC to gauge their interest and to solicit their participation for perhaps authorized intro articles or blurbs that can be posted to the new ADC website.

What are your thoughts on this idea and what would you want to see from such a US based organization? Please let me know either here or via

Update: Why Do I Blog re Being a Dad via Donor Insemination?

My wife asked me this evening why am I fascinated by this topic? Her second question was do I still hurt by it?

I answere the second question first. I told her that for the most part any pain is gone but some small part of me wishes our kids were mine biologically as well. I certainly don't want different kids. If biologically I was able to have kids these two kids would not be here and that would be a loss as they are perfect to me (granted the three year old pushes his luck sometimes).

My purpose at this point I told her is that I wish there was no stigma and that the issue was as open as adoption. I hate the secrets. The term disclosure itself sucks and that is why the term openess is preferred. I want others to feel OK about their decisions and to focus more on raising the kids while at the same time be cognizant of the consequences of these actions. Everyone should be aware that DI creates individuals not just babies and the responsibilities for that individual are more involved than simply creating a baby. I have discussed this in earlier blogs.

At the same time I want to let other dads (and families) see what one man and his family are thinking about so if they are considering DI or are already there they can see my thoughts and then say that was my concern too and it was not such a silly or minor thought after all.

On the flip side I don't expect this blog to solve anyone's issues but if it can be catalyst in any form that's great. But realistically in the end the blog is just a personal web log for me to rant and rave to myself and get my thoughts off my chest.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Why would they change our favorite diapers?

Why is it after you come to rely on a product they decide to "improve" it and then they end up screwing it all up? We've been using Seventh Generation disposable diapers for our kids these last couple of years and became quite dependent on the brand. But then they went and "improved" it and now it just doesn't absorb as much as the brand used to.

If we get two hours out of a single diaper with my daughter we are now thrilled. Granted our goal was not to leave her in a dirty diaper for hours at a time but now every morning her PJs / fleece sleep clothes are soaked through.

I just don't get it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Misdirected Anger ?

My “occasional” misbehaving three year old has a magical ability to bring out my bad temper. I never really thought I could lose my patience so fast but I can as he has proven to me. Sometimes when our son is misbehaving I tend to punish him too much (i.e., the naughty corner) and other times I have grabbed him too hard startling him. These occasions generally result when he is not responding to me when he continues to act in a defiant manner or is just not listening to me when I have told him to stop doing something (like running away from us in a store or at home when he continues to take toys from his sister) or he has not listened to his mother after her asking several times. The occasions that really get my goat involve his sister and he is being annoying just he wants what she is playing with.

I realize he is just being a normal, at times difficult three year old, and I don’t mean to lose my temper or overreact but I sometimes do. I feel terrible when I have scared him by yelling too loud or perhaps squeezed his arm a bit too much when trying to get his attention. I have wondered how much of this is just me (needing to get a handle on myself) or something else. I love these children with all my heart and I never want to do anything to cause them harm but occasionally I just get angry. Am I the only parent to lose it? Most likely not.

I recall the anger I felt when I learned about being infertile. I don’t doubt that some measure of that anger still exists in me. I don’t think any of this anger is coming out when I am dealing with my son but I wonder. DI as a method of dealing with male factor infertility is certainly nothing new but I wonder how many dads underwent any psychotherapy before deciding on DI and addressing the anger that comes along with being told you can not biologically have kids and not have kids at all without help. This topic was addressed within a few posts to the Yahoo DI Dads site but with only a few members joining the discussion it is hard to generalize.

[On a related but separate issue I am beginning to think that prospective DI parents should go through some sort of required home study, similar to potential adoptive parents, before being allowed to commence DI – but that is for another posting.]

Before we were successful we did see a therapist regarding our issues generally dealing with infertility and I know we addressed the anger issue but I don’t recall now how that concluded. My wife has us signed up for some sort of class that focuses on parents and anger and managing our kids without them driving us crazy and our not yelling at them too much. It sounds like a good idea to me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Told My Sister re Half Sibling

Yesterday we were at a family bat mitzvah for the daughter of one of my first cousins. For some reason while there I asked my sister if I had told her about the fact that my kids have a half sibling. Her reply was something like “what?” I guess the answer was no.

Anyhow I described how we found the half sibling via the DSR and then my sister asked how is it possible [that there even are half siblings?] She apparently thought when we used this donor that no one else was allowed or could use him. She probably thought that there were some type of restrictions but I did not pursue that line of thought. I explained further that we did not buy out all his vials and that as long as the supply was available others could purchase the remaining vials.

I then indicated that I knew the half siblings given name and had been in touch with her family even exchanging e-mails and pictures of the kids. She asked if our son had seen the picture to which I said not yet. I don’t think she was totally shocked but I think it was certainly a learning experience.

While this conversation was going on my son, the older of my two, and his cousin of about the same age were having a ball with each other running around the dance floor and chasing after my “toddler” as she crawled around the dance floor herself .

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It’s Standard Time – An Hour More Sleep? Yeah Right.

Whoever said that when the clocks return to Standard Time from Daylight Saving’s Time we get an hour more sleep obviously did not have very young children. Children that used to get up at 6:30 am everyday now wake up at 5:30 am everyday.

If one more person says the children will adjust and you’ll get back into a normal sleep / wake schedule I’ll hit them. My hope is at least they will go to bed earlier to make life easier for my wife but then again it will be harder for me to get home to see them off to bed. Either way it does not work easily.

If your kids are young you know what I am talking about here. If you don't, enjoy your sleep.