Sunday, May 24, 2020


How can I expect a child that is not mine to ever bond with me?
I am afraid she will never love me as I am not her real dad?
My parents said if we use donor sperm the child will know I am a fake and hate me?

Post 636 

Almost every man who has considered using donor insemination to start a family has had questions and fears such as these at one point or another.  Even if just for one minute the concern has existed.  The question comes up almost every time a new member joins the DI Dads group either on the Yahoo Discussion Group or the Facebook group.

I will readily admit it was a fear of mine.  I worried about it a lot.

There is an Instagram feed from a new dad Alex called Pursuing Fatherhood that I have recently been following.  He and his wife chose donor insemination to start their family.  He recently published a post asking the viewer if they felt connected to their donor conceived child.  He followed the above image with several photos of himself with his new daughter.  Beautiful photos of them together.

When men ask this question in the group they are generally just beginning their journey addressing their infertility and are grappling with several issues and fears at once.  Usually the grouping is a mix of self doubt, pain, and issues of self worth and manliness.  It’s a hard mix and all interconnected.  

Depending on what stage a man is in,  in his journey,  the answer given to his questions will take hold in different ways.

A man who is still coming to terms with his infertility may take an answer regarding bonding as wishful thinking.  A man who has accepted his diagnosis and who has discussed his feelings and concerns with his partner will be hopeful.  But in the end like any parent to be you just don’t know what will happen and you are simply praying for a healthy kid.

I have found that fathers bonding with their children depends a lot on the father themself.  What kind of person he is.  What is his style.  What are his existing relationships with family, friends, and how he conducts himself in life.

A man that is open and inviting and generally is open usually bonds quicker than a man who is closed off and does not participate in caring and raising of the family children.  It sounds like a cliche but it is generally true that a new father who actively is involved with changing  diapers, helping with feedings, and shares in getting up each night when the baby wakes up will bond quicker than one that actively does not participate or does not want to participate.

For many men parenting does not come easily, for others it does. Bonding by definition requires an attachment or at least a stake in the game.   Most people will admit that any child benefits from an active and involved parent.  Bonding is just that.  Being involved.  Being present.

For many men like Alex they have dreamed of being a parent with their spouse and partner.  They have wanted it and planned and took actions to become a parent.  Sometimes biology does not always work the ways we expected it to.

This post is not an advertisement or endorsement for donor conception.  That is another issue.  This post is about how we bond as humans.  

I had a dad that was a hugger and a kisser.  As kids we saw a man that showed his emotions.  Other dads were not so open.  I had one uncle that scared me as a kid.  He was very gruff but he still loved his kids and they loved him.  Some would say their blood connection bonded them.  I won’t argue that a blood connection is a bond.  But at the same time I have known plenty of bio dads that were not involved / active / participatory parents.

In the end it comes down to the fact that any parent that desires a bond must take actions that create those bonds.  And before actions come desires.  So the advice we give potential dads is simply be involved.  Bonding will usually naturally follow.

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