Thursday, July 26, 2007

Secrets of a Donor Conception Blogger

I have to admit lately I've been seeing another blog.....or rather writing one.

No she's not another donor conception blog. In fact "she" / it is totally unrelated to donor conception. I decided I needed another venue where I also could be more creative. Not creative like Vee or Max but more along the lines of creating a footprint in the community I live in. It's sort of a travelogue / what's going on here and there type of blog.

It has allowed me to play as opposed to thinking about all this stuff all the time when I am sitting in front of the keyboard. I am not the only blog in my little "town" but I have a niche. The only problem is now I need to catch up on my Harry Potter reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Irish Case of Sperm Donor vs Lesbian Couple

no. 408

First off let's state a few facts as I gleaned them from the various articles about this case. In short this is not a simple case involving an anonymous sperm donor or even a ID-release donor. This is case stemming from a known donor who was involved from the beginning.

The sperm donor was known to the couple and there was a contract between the parties laying out the expectations of the parties even going so far as stating that if the bio mom were to die the sperm donor would have some parental rights as to how the child would be raised. The contract even specified visitation rights. The lawsuits appear to have began after the women began to cut down or stop allowing the sperm donor the right to see the child and after the lesbian couple announced plans for protracted travel out of Ireland with the possibiilty of emigration to Australia.

The court made references to the best interests of the child and that the first years are critical to the development of a bond between "father and son". In this case from what I see this donor was acknlowledged as both father and dad as to both his existence and to his ability to interact with the child. This is not a case where the donor anonymously gave up his sperm to a clinic only to recant his decision and want interaction. This man had that interaction and was the father (beyond the obvious biological connection). Yes he rarely saw the child based on the visitation rights agreed to but all parties acknowledge his connection and right to it in some form.

In my mind this case while involving the use of donor insemination to create this child is nothing more than a custody case between parents. It should only be precedential to similiar fact patterns. I respectfuly disagree with any parties that argue that this case is a precedent that sperm donors are something more than a father biologicaly, defined in its narrowest sense, where these facts don't exist.

Irish Independent Journal, UTV Ireland, UK TimesOnline, USA Today, UK Daily Mail, UK Scotsman

Saturday, July 14, 2007

NY Times : "Your Gamete, Myself" - Donor Egg Stories

no. 407
"Your Gametes, Myself"
Peggy Orenstein
NY TImes Magazine
July 15, 2007

I just found out about this article and plan to read it tonight and add my comments later.
The article can be linked to through this blog's post title.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Canada Supreme Court: Live In Husband = Dad

no. 406

Supreme Court won't hear 'single mother by choice' case

Common-law wife sought sole legal responsibility for child from sperm donor

Janice Tibbetts, CanWest News Service

Published: Friday, July 13, 2007

© The Vancouver Sun 2007


OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada declined Thursday to consider the case of an Alberta mother seeking to absolve her common-law husband of legal parenting responsibilities of a child she conceived through an anonymous sperm donor because her partner didn't want a baby.”

A three-judge panel, by convention, did not give reasons for refusing to grant leave to appeal in the closely watched case of Jane Doe, which has raised questions about parental freedoms when stacked against the rights of the child.

Jane Doe, described in court documents as a Calgary professional with more than 10 years experience, wanted to have a child with her common-law husband John Doe, but he did not. So she sought a sperm donor and the child was born in August 2005.

The couple agreed to write a contract clearing John Doe of any legal responsibility but, before signing the deal, they decided to go to court to see if it was legally sound under Alberta law.”


The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to reject the case effectively upholds a ruling last winter in the Alberta Court of Appeal.

The Alberta court focused on the rights of the child by concluding that John Doe, by choosing to remain in a live-in relationship with the child's mother, could not dodge parental responsibilities toward a child living under the same roof.”


The Doe case has spawned numerous opinion articles in newspapers, some of which condemned the Alberta court for failing to side with single mothers in their quest to be free of state interference in deciding whether to parent on their own.

Andrea Mrozek, a spokeswoman for the Ottawa-based Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, said Thursday she rejects the premise that the case is about the right of couples to make parenting decisions. "I see it as not actually being about single moms as it being about the rights of the child," she said.”


Comments: My first reaction is what kind of marriage is this and how could this man expect to not be looked up to as a father figure to any resulting child especially if living as husband and wife, even if not under the law.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Donor Egg Story - When No Woman is Mother

no. 405
The Nation's Pulse

The American Spectator

Motherless in Maryland -- Roberto de.B's Twins

By James M. Thunder

Published 7/11/2007 12:07:52 AM

I came upon the American Spectator op-ed column yesterday listed above and linked to HERE that examined the Maryland court case In re Roberto d.B. I don't usually read what I refer to as political magazines but when I saw this column, via Google, I was intrigued as I had read about the case earlier this year and posted a link to a news story, see here for that post, but I had not seen much in the way of op-ed pieces about it.
In short the case involves a man who made arrangements for an egg donor to donate to him eggs for the obvious purpose of inseminating them and having a surrogate carry the embryos to term. After the delivery of the resulting twin girls the hospital and state listed the surrogate as the mother. The man, who is listed as the father petitioned the courts to have the surrogate's name removed from the birth certificates and won.
The article made me wonder about situations when gay men arrange for donor egg and surrogates to carry the resulting embryos. How are those birth certificates filed? Who is generally listed as the mother? The egg donor or the surrogate?
Again I am unsure if I agree with all of the writers views but it was an interesting article to read and struck a chord in me regarding the rights of the children born and I wondered how they will react as they grow up with no mother at all listed on their birth certificates.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ABC Primetime Donor Insemination Story - My Reactions

no. 404

"The Name Behind the Number
Child of a Sperm Donor Starts a Web Site to Find His Secret Family"

Below are copies of the two comments I left on the ABC Primetime site in response to the program I watched earlier this evening. Comment One may sound a bit like "what about me" and that was not my intent. I read an email on the Yahoo DI Dads group that ran along similiar lines and and received another from another member which were in line with my own reactions so I wrote it as it came out of my brain. It is what it is.

Comment Two:

On a different note I want to say again congratulations to the Kramers, the DSR and all the donor conceived families that appeared on this program. Like many others as a result of the DSR my own two children now have a half sibling found via the DSR and the relationship that will grown over the years will always be precious to them and for that we thank Ryan and Wendy. Regards.

Comment One:

While I was happy to see Ryan and Anna meet as well as the other three donor kids meet I must admit a good part of the segment left me with a slightly sour taste in my mouth. I am a father to two children conceived by donor insemination. No I am not their donor I am their dad. Constantly through out the piece the reporter indicated that the donor conceived individuals were searching for their fathers as opposed to their donors. Yes I understand that the donors biologically are indeed these individual's fathers and there is strong need for the individuals to connect to who they came from. I know this stuff and understand it as I write and blog about it pretty much every day for the last two years.

What I am referring to is the media's continuing goal to sensationalize this very serious topic. The constant photos of Donor 150, I apologize as I have forgotten his name, as a young man posing as a male model were unneeded. There was nothing in the piece to acknowledge that Anna's dad is raising this young woman and perhaps put aside his own feelings for the benefit of his daughter yet the piece keeps referring to the donor fathers without addressing the other men who might be out there.

Again I write about this stuff each day on my blog. I am also writing as I moderate a discussion group of social fathers, DI Dads, where the reactions to this piece were pretty much along these lines. Anyone that knows me knows the needs of the children and donor conceived adults should come first and for many they will continue to search for their "fathers" as that is their desire and the terminalogy they use but here in this piece the term aws thrown around so much by the narrating reporter that it is no wonder so many heterosexual couples that use DI continue to conceal their use of DI. If you want to help bring DI out into the open and remove stigmas and work towards reform you have to address all members of the donor conception community.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A New Donor Conception Blog from ... the Donor Sibling Registry

no. 403
Until this week the Donor Sibling Registry had three main avenues to engage its membership and the public:
(1) the central DSR website which among other pages included the Registry itself,
(2) the DSR yahoo discussion group for matters involving but not limited to direct sibling and/or donor searches, and
(3) the DSR_Discussion yahoo group for more general DI / DE discussion.
Now a fourth venue has been added: The DSR Blog !
In Wendy Kramer's own words the creation of this blog allows her to create and maintain a "a central DSR area for updates, i.e. upcoming news, policy, DSR logistics, comments on media and the industry, etc.".
So for those of that subscribe to Blogarithm or any other blog tracking service I suggest you add the DSR Blog to your schedule for donor conception related topics.

ABC Primetime 07/10/07 DSR Story On-Line

no. 402
Tonight's segment on Primetime regarding the Donor Sibling Registry already exists online as a print article and can be linked to HERE.
I have not read it yet but will do so later today and post the text to the Annex when I am able.

Monday, July 09, 2007

TV Note: Ryan Kramer of DSR to Meet Half Sibling (Tuesday July 10, 2007)

no. 401

Tomorrow night on Primetime Live [2007 July 10, ABC, 10:00 pm EST] Ryan Kramer who founded the Donor Sibling Registry, with his mother Wendy Kramer, will himself be the focus of one story.

While the DSR has resulted in approximately 3500 matches between half siblings and/or genetic donors this TV story captures on film Ryan's first meeting with his own half sibling Anna. The story segment will also focus on another DSR match (donor and children) connecting in California.

The story of how Anna found Ryan has previously been written about by Wendy Kramer in the May 2007 AFA newsletter and can be linked to HERE in this blog's Annex.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Sperm Donor's Spoken Words Soon to be Written

no. 400

I have been meaning to have the CD Rom recording of the donor's words transcribed for some time now. I had the recording copied onto a micro-cassette tape so that a professional using a tape player made for such a purpopse could easily stop and start the recording. I sent it out earlier this week and am awaiting an e-mail with a full transcription.

I figured having the donor's words on paper would be important if something happened to the CD copies we have or for some reason technology changes and future devices would not play CDs as we know it.

As soon as I receive the transcription I plan on sending a copy down to T's mom so they have it also in their records for T's benefit.


On an administrative note I can't believe this is my 400th post to this blog. I started in Aug 2005 and am soon to hit my two year anniversary this Summer. Pretty wild.

My wife and I again discussed my involvement in this blog and the yahoo group. We talked how she hardly ever thinks about this stuff while I unnaturally think about it too much due to these venues. I'd be curious to see if a psychotherapist would think all this writing is a bad or good thing.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Book Update: DI as Sad Fiction

no. 399

Beginning of Sorrows

by Nancy Merical

From the publisher (per B&N):

"The Beginning of Sorrows: Were these disturbing words, echoing in Jamaliel's nightmare, induced by hormonal changes during pregnancy or prophetic of the future? Conceived through donor insemination, Jamaliel's son, Kenny, at the age of sixteen, discovers a document that causes him to believe he is adopted. Escaping from his estranged father, he finds his situation more chaotic. A mysterious letter hints that his fiancée is actually his sister, and the man verified as his biological father refuses to accept him as his son. When questions arise about the donor's actual identity. Kenny wonders: Will peace ever be mine?"
OK, this sounds incredibly depressing. First off to my knowledge the title is actually a phrase associated with the "end of days" prophecies in the New Testament. That can't be a coincidence considering the depressing tone of this synopsis.
If this doesn't sound like a great argument for early disclosure I don't know what is.
Product Details
ISBN: 0741438941
ISBN-13: 9780741438942
Format: Paperback, 201pp
Publisher: Buy Books on the Web.Com

"She's My Half-Sibling"

no. 398

This morning my son asked to watch the video of he and his sister with T. Has it been 11 months since the only trip we met T and her mom already? I asked who T is to him and he said "she's my half-sibling". No prompting. There was no discussion using that term in the past weeks that I can think of. He just knew.

I then asked him what do he, his sister, and T all share. He said they have a common "onor". [Of course I heard "owner".] I corrected him by stating "donor". He just giggled and repeated "donor".

We try not to let them watch video or too much TV in the morning but this DVD will always be an exception. Which when they get into a pattern of wanting any video can be a problem as they know it.