Monday, September 22, 2008

Trying to Avoid "Feeling Different"

One of the phrases I see a lot in stories about the moment that a donor conceived individual learns the truth of their conception is that they always felt different in some way from the man they always knew as their father. It's a comment that haunts me at times. It's not a comment I have heard from donor conceived individuals that have always known that their dad was not biologically related to them (as my kids "know") but still the comment haunts me.

I am not haunted by the knowledge that I expect my children during some argument we have once they hit their teenage years to say that I am not their real father. I am not haunted by this as I know it will happen and it will be the by-product of their reaching for something to hurt me during a normal parent - teenager argument. It will hurt, yes, but I will know it is as merely the equivalent of just trying to fight back.

But the "different" statement worries me as I wonder if I am subconciousnessly saying or acting in a way that my now young children would ever sense. As a dad I sometimes react too fast. I have said on this blog in earlier posts that I am not as patient a parent as I had expected or hoped to be. At times my son just does not listen and I tend to react, after asking him to do something several times something which he ignores, by stating I will take a favorite toy away (yesterday it was a chess trophy) when the act in question does not deserve such escalation.

On hindsight I wonder if he or his sister will bury these exchanges in their psyche and later interpret them as daddy treated me differently than he would a biological child. I know I am over thinking this but it is something I wonder about. Especially on a day after I have reacted too fast and a six year old now keeps stating that he wants me to throw away his chess trophy and doesn't care about it even after I have apologized and told him how proud I was to see him be presented with it.

I guess I am the one feeling different based on my own shortfalls as a parent.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mandating Central Donor Registries Discussed in Today Show Segment

This past week the issue of donor conception and specifically the issue of mandatory donor registries was addressed. An interesting piece mostly because most news pieces simply focus on the kids searching for the donors and the message of mandating such registries was discussed and featured prominently as opposed to being just thrown out there and not addressed.

UPDATE: 9/22
For the reactions of an adult donor conceived individual to this video link over to "Whose Daughter?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

1929 all over again?

The last three days have been pretty scary. I am watching sizeable chunks of my 401K retirement accounts being eaten away and tomorrow I need to act to stop the losses before it is too late. Years ago I woud have said to myself to just ride it out as there are many years until retirement. If this is as bad as the pundits say I don't think anyone can wait.

Why am I writing this here on a DI related blog? I am not sure. Of the several blogs I maintain, DI and non-DI related, I guess it is here I have spoken the most personally. I grew up in a house where my father changed jobs pretty often as the sales force always got laid off when times were tough and while we never really went without anything there were times when we knew it was months between my dad securing a new job. And you get accustomed to worrying about money.

After all the IVF attempts and other financial miscues we don't have a huge nest egg we can tap into if this market collapses. My job is not tied directly to the financial markets but most people don't realize how tied together everything is and I am a bit stressed right now. My greatest fear, at this moment, would be losing this apartment and not knowing where to go.

Sorry for the non-DI tangent but needed to get his out before I screamed and woke everyone up.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Donor Conception New York

In my quest to find other donor conceived children and families here in the NYC area it was asked of me whether a gathering sponsored by Donor Conception New York would be open to donor conceived adults to which my response was of course that it would be.

While many of my posts have discussed finding families to develop a local network with the concept and focus being the future of my kids the truth is that without that network being comprised of kids and adults from every age (and their families) such a network would lose out on the experiences of its members.

In the short term Donor Conception New York (the blog and yahoo group) are I hope vehicles to start and find new connections and work torwards a gathering or series of gatherings in late 2008 or most likely in 2009 in the NYC area. As to what the long term holds I cannot say as we first must see if the short term can be a reality.

The initial interest was encouraging but trying sustain that interest and find individuals is the greater trick. So if you are donor conceived or part of a donor conceived family here in the NYC area please say hello.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

SNL: Tina Fey and & Amy Poehler

I could not resist. I know this is not donor conception related but this video has had me laughing since last night.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oct 4 Symposium: Putting Ethics At The Core Of Gamete Donation Practice

On Octiber 4, 2008, the Canadian group Infertility Network is sponsoring, in Toronto, an all day seminar titled "Getting it Right - Putting Ethics At The Core Of Gamete Donation Practice". I am attending both as a parent personally and as one of a few parents who will speak about our experiences.

When I was last at a Infertility Network symposium the number of attendees was about even with invited presenters. I encourage anyone who lives nearby to attend as the list of speakers / presenters is quite good. I am concerned as to what I can say as I have spoken my mind on most issues in print and on-line and I am unsure what I can bring to the seminar that is different. Like last time the presence of a DI Dad is an anomaly and interesting one to most people.

As far as speaking on the general topic about ethics, do I feel it was unethical to create two lives separating them from their genetic past?

The attorney in me wants to ask how could it have been unethical if I had no intent to be unethical and did not see the issue from that position when we made the decision to use DI. Grammatically I am not sure I worded that correctly but my point is like many infertile coupdles we were dealing with ourselves first and did not look at the issue from the perspective of the life (lives) we were creating. So perhaps then the answer is we were unethical as igmorance of a moral issue is probably no excuse.

Now that we are past ther act of creation, right or wrong, the next question is are we ethically raising these children in light of their conception story? I believe we are. We decided long ago that we were telling them their storiesas early as we could so we can build upon the story and fill in what blanks we can as time goes on. For us the only ethical issue left to us was solved when we decided to tell and te reaization that the children's interests are greater than ours in this respect.

More later.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Spouses of DI Dads - "New" Yahoo Group

Not sure how I missed this but apparently last year a spouse dealing with her husband's male factor infertility started a Yahoo Discussion Group titled "Spouses of DI_Dads". Her opening post stated the following reason for its creation:

"I have started this group becauseI needed a place to go where I can talk to other spouses who are dealing with the effects of trying to support somebody through the difficult aspect of DI. I have that there are not many groups that are dealing with the every day aspect of DI and the effects that it might have on a marriage.

I hope this group helps people who may be in the same situation as I am and are very confused, scared, and angry about what infertility is doing to their marriage and their future possibility of children."

I wish this "new' group luck as I think it can be a very valuable resource for women in marriages / relationships with men who are experiencing male factor infertility especially since while it is the man who may be infertile or unable to have kids etc it is the woman who has to go through a larger portion of the medical treatments while still trying to cope hereself while they both struggle to process what donor conception is etc.