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Will you tell your children that they were donor conceived?
If so, when?


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#1 coolguy

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:41 AM

I donated sperm a few years ago, and would like to see my children when they turn 18! Of course, that depends on them knowing that they were donor conceived, and also wanting to meet me! But it would be a pretty amazing thing to happen and look forward to it, even though it could be many years away.

Anyway, would you tell your kids? I can understand why couples would or wouldn't tell. My only contribution would be that it could be better to tell your kids than let them find out by themselves, especially as we become more educated about genetics etc.

#2 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:49 AM

Yes I will bring my son up knowing how he was conceived, and when he's old enough show him the information I received from the clinic.   His donor is ID release and I will support him to make contact after he's 18 if he wants to.

#3 coolguy

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:14 AM

Thanks Meggs. What would you do if your son wanted to learn when he was around 14 or so? Do you think you'd like to meet the donor as well? Like do you get curious about them? I must say I'm curious about what the mothers and families of my children are like, in terms of genetic traits and personality.

#4 Cuddlesnkisses

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:26 PM

The donor Im using is from the USA so its unlikely that they would meet.  If I do fall pregnant I wouldn't have any problem with them meeting.

Im going through a fertility clinic so will make a scrap book starting from a picture of the clinic, to embyro, to birth ect  It will be done as a storybook that I can read to them from very early on so that they know from the start that I wanted them very much and that there donor daddy was a kind person who made them possible.

#5 Cuddlesnkisses

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:28 PM

Incidently there is a sibling registery where you can list your donors number and find out if they have siblings.  The donor Im using has siblings through the clinic I am going to.  Im hoping if im successful that any siblings could meet.

#6 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:55 AM

My son is only 3wks old but we will be telling him as soon as soon as he is old enough to understand (maybe around 5). We have used a known donor who is happy for our son to contact him whenever he wishes to.

We are putting him on the donor register and have told immediate family we used a donor.

I have kept all the emails from our donor so that I can show my son how he came to be.

Our donor also said that he would completely understand if our son didnt want to meet him as he doesn't see him as his son, he is DH and my son.

#7 casime

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

Yes, my son will know he is donor conceived.  I've made no secret of it among family, friends or even strangers.  Donor is ID release and if he wanted to meet him I would support that.

I have also made contact with a sibling and we catch up every couple of months.  Both children were born only a few months apart, so will hopefully be able to have a relationship with each other as they grow.  

QUOTE
What would you do if your son wanted to learn when he was around 14 or so? Do you think you'd like to meet the donor as well? Like do you get curious about them? I must say I'm curious about what the mothers and families of my children are like, in terms of genetic traits and personality.


The mother of my childs sibling has made contact through the clinic and he wishes to make contact with her, but they have to go through some counselling sessions first.  At this stage I don't think I would be interested in meeting the donor, although I would be willing to have email communication.  I think that while the children are still young it could be confusing for them to meet their father, but him not have a role in their life.  I do not expect, nor do I want the donor to be a parental figure to my child and I don't want the lines getting blurred.  

If my child wanted to contact the donor when they are only enough to understand the relationships, then I would facilitate that, but I would probably have my child attend some counselling sessions first so they were able to discuss it with a professional before making that decision.

#8 FaithHopeLove

Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

I am currently ttc with an ID release donor through a clinic. If I am blessed enough to have a child I will be completely open about it - close friends and family already know. I would be fully supportive of my child if they wanted to contact the donor and I know there are already other children of this donor out there and would be interested to meet them later on should I be successful.

#9 amylacy

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

My girls were told they were donor conceived from the time they were 2. They knew about this amazing man who gave mummy 'baby magic' to help make them.

I wrote to my donor via the clinic to thank him after the birth of each of my girls.  After the second letter he wrote back to me.  We swapped email addresses and kept in contact that way.  About one year later we met in person.  It was the best thing that could have happened for my girls.  They have a lovely relationship with our donor and his family.  It's not a parental relationship, but more like one of a favourite uncle.

I really hope that you get the opportunity to meet some of the children while they are still young. It is a hard thing for parents to get their head around as they is so much anxiety attached to it.  So many 'what if's'.  It might take a while but eventually people come to understand that you didn't donate to start a family for yourself, but to help someone else start there's.

I really wish you all the best. I have meet countless donors through some public speaking I do on donor conception, and I am always stuck by the similarities between donors in that they are all amazing people.  Warm, personal, engaging and such kind hearted souls.  I love our donor, but there hasn't been one single donor I have met that I wouldn't have been overjoyed to learn was our donor.  I hope that one day you will be able to look into the teary eyes of a recipient mum and have validated for you what a profound impact you have had on someone's life.

Best wishes

Kerrie

#10 coolguy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

That's so sweet cuddlesnkisses! I love that idea.

Congrats on being a new mum, puffsgirl! But why put him on a donor register if he's a known donor?

Amazing stories, casime and amylacy. Casime: How did you get in touch with your child's sibling's mum? What was it like meeting her?

amylacy: What was it like meeting your donor?! I can imagine being really nervous and excited! Thanks for your wishes!

It's lovely everyone is so open about it, I'm surprised that 100% of people so far have/will tell their kids. Interesting points about lines being blurred - I'm curious if that is common - donors getting 'too' involved etc. I'd expect that most donors would respect the boundaries, but at the same time I understand sometimes there might be strong emotions triggered. I'm sure there's research out there about this stuff.

To anyone who doesn't want to tell their kids, would love to hear from you too. This is a judgement free zone!

Coolguy

#11 coolguy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

Very sweet post amylacy. I clearly remember where I was when I found out my sperm had been used to father kids. The first thought that came to my mind was overjoyed new mums who were tremendously grateful. It felt as though I was receiving their thanks through the ether : ) (I should add that I don't believe in that sort of nonsense!). Besides, some mums might not have thought of me at all, which is fair enough. Still, it was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. It was such a simple process, but it has such a positive impact on people's lives.

Another thing I've wondered, is along the lines of 'why did they choose me?'. The donor stocks in Australia were reasonably low, but it's interesting that these mums chose to use my sperm. Is it because they liked the sound of my personality, or did they want my physical traits or abilities for their kids? Or did they try to imagine what I'd be like and if they'd have been interested in me if they were single/straight etc. Does that thought enter the mind at all?  When people make kids with each other the natural way, I'd assume it's mostly based on attraction (though maybe potential mums think hard about what their kids will look/be like? No idea!). So would these mums have become attracted to me if they'd met me when they were younger? (I hope this doesn't sound perverse!! I'm simply asking because it's interesting to consider if we were around in times before IVF etc, would we have found each other attractive and conceived a child?). I'm a huge fan of IVF donation insofar as it's enormously helpful to people. But it's far removed from how kids have been conceived historically - almost as diametrically opposed as possible!. My guess is that attraction has evolved as a pretty good indicator of whether you'll have healthy kids with each other. Have you guys considered this sort of thing? I really hope I haven't offended anyone & hope you get where I'm coming from. Just a funny thing to consider!

Also I was never asked for a photo when I donated. I would have been happy to do that, actually I think it's pretty important! I wonder if the clinics have policies against it or is it just assumed no one would want to provide their photos...

#12 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE (coolguy @ 27/11/2012, 07:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I donated sperm a few years ago, and would like to see my children when they turn 18! Of course, that depends on them knowing that they were donor conceived, and also wanting to meet me! But it would be a pretty amazing thing to happen and look forward to it, even though it could be many years away.

Anyway, would you tell your kids? I can understand why couples would or wouldn't tell. My only contribution would be that it could be better to tell your kids than let them find out by themselves, especially as we become more educated about genetics etc.


Dear Coolguy,

I don't think so. My family specificly requested an anonymous donor and I had to go overseas for the op.  Whilst I believe in being open and honest with my children, my husband is THEIR father. He and his family  would be devastated if I told the children how they were conceived and it would destroy my marriage and break up the family.  They are completely against me telling the children and so I feel torn.

L.

#13 coolguy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for sharing Men3ps.

Putting myself in your husband's shoes, I can definitely relate. I think my first impulse would be the same if I were him. Given that you chose not to tell your kids, did you choose a donor who resembled your hubby and is that why you went o/s?

Just to follow up from my last post: Science has shown that attraction has both objective and subjective qualities. For example most women prefer tall guys with a symmetric face. But some features we like depending on our own genetic make up! The classic example is smell: We're attracted to people with a complementary immune system (major histocompatability complex - MHC) (ie an immune system which fights pathogens that our immune system isn't geared for and vice versa. And the way we can tell about our partners immune system is their smell! Unfortunately this is something I believe no clinic has overcome : ) Or maybe in future donors will supply an odor sample too : )

#14 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (coolguy @ 30/11/2012, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another thing I've wondered, is along the lines of 'why did they choose me?'. The donor stocks in Australia were reasonably low, but it's interesting that these mums chose to use my sperm. Is it because they liked the sound of my personality, or did they want my physical traits or abilities for their kids? Or did they try to imagine what I'd be like and if they'd have been interested in me if they were single/straight etc. Does that thought enter the mind at all?  When people make kids with each other the natural way, I'd assume it's mostly based on attraction (though maybe potential mums think hard about what their kids will look/be like? No idea!). So would these mums have become attracted to me if they'd met me when they were younger? (I hope this doesn't sound perverse!! I'm simply asking because it's interesting to consider if we were around in times before IVF etc, would we have found each other attractive and conceived a child?). I'm a huge fan of IVF donation insofar as it's enormously helpful to people. But it's far removed from how kids have been conceived historically - almost as diametrically opposed as possible!. My guess is that attraction has evolved as a pretty good indicator of whether you'll have healthy kids with each other. Have you guys considered this sort of thing? I really hope I haven't offended anyone & hope you get where I'm coming from. Just a funny thing to consider!

Also I was never asked for a photo when I donated. I would have been happy to do that, actually I think it's pretty important! I wonder if the clinics have policies against it or is it just assumed no one would want to provide their photos...


OP, I was on the waiting list for donor sperm in NSW for almost 2 years. At the time, there were only 20 guys donating (because they couldn't stay anonymous _ children could contact at 18), and one of the guys was crossed off because he had an STD! All the local clinics shared the same donor register at the time.  We waited so, so long to receive the precious gift of man-juice but in the end.. we chose eastern europe to complete my IVF cycle to speed the process up.

I would have loved a photo of the donor as I have wondered the same thing.. (Could I have been attracted to the person if in real life?) Because in the past, before IVF.. it would have come down to the laws of attraction and natural selection.  But then it is not a dating site, it's an IVF clinic, I can understand why its not part of the practice.. but you should be able to get an idea of what physical characteristics you are receiving. I lived in fear for 9 months thinking.. what if I don't bond with my children when they are born? Will they look completely different to how I imagined??

All I received was a brief description of the donor's physical attributes and that the Director had selected the best donor for me!! Talk about leaving it to chance!! LOL.

Anyways, we love our little cuties.. that's what matters.

#15 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:47 AM

.. Yes, Coolguy, I was probably only attracted to my husband because of his smell! LOL.. It is true.. it turns out we are the same blood type.. and both have some similar health issues. Thank god we conceived when we did!

I wish there was more men like you out there in the world that are willing to donate.

Do you know how many children you may have fathered?

I believe there is now a limit, that you may only father 5. I have heard from my former Australian IVF contact that in the past, there may have been one donor dad who fathered 12 children in Queensland! (I don't know if this is actually true).

Most of my male friends would not donate sperm as they are worried about being contacted and having to pay child support. (I think some of them are VERY misinformed!). 3 of them wanted to sleep with me.. but hey - I don't want to break up their families either!  rolleyes.gif  They are idiots.

What inspired you to become a donor in the first place? And what state do you reside?


#16 alwayshappy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

I am really surprised in this day and age that there would be parents who choose not to tell.  I understand the fear and apprehension but secrets like that are likely to end in tears.  Far better to work through the feelings and emotions than push them down.  I'm not surprised you feel conflicted MeN3Ps, what a difficult position to be in - especially if you are starting to feel that disclosure is the best for your children.

Perhaps your husband will come around in time, as he learns more about your children and feels more confident in his role in their life.  I hope so.

#17 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:48 AM


Coolguy, Yes donors should def have to supply an odor sample in the future! LOL

#18 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:56 AM


.. Thanks Alwayshappy.

I hope he comes around. I need to find the right way to tell my children without it destroying our marriage. He and his family are so paranoid about the children finding out but I think it is better to tell them when they are little then it being a big secret and hating us as teenagers when the truth comes out.

I don't know. This is the one major thing that could kill off our otherwise happy marriage and he won't attend genetic counselling or anything like that.

Also my inlaws have a vested interest in our children and would hate me for life if I told the kids. It really is a difficult situation that I have no idea how to address.

As far as we are concerned for now, my husband IS their father and for all intents and purposes.. that is just how we roll..

#19 coolguy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

Yeah tough situation men3ps. I imagine that you must have wanted to have kids and received qualified support from your husband, and felt you had no choice? Oh well, without making that sacrifice, you might not even have kids and be with your husband. I can understand each point of view. My personal view is that openness is better. Is your husband a traditional kind of guy? Has he explained his reasoning? Is it to do with honour? Maybe he doesn't wanna be seen as infertile and that another man impregnated his wife - it could be a bit of a blow to the ego.

Thanks! I agree, more guys should donate. Ha, well, I shouldn't go into specifics on this open forum but I can PM you. I donated because it seemed like a very simple way to make people who were struggling happy parents, and to give the gift of life to the kids themselves. I was wasting lots of sperm everyday in tissues anyway so why not put it to good use : )

#20 librablonde

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

OP, my stepsons are aged 6 and 3 and both understand that they have a donor, not a father. Both boys have the same anon donor. We've read them books and speak about it freely with them and anyone else who may be interested. I don't understand why it should be a secret from the child. I'm in a ss relationship so it's pretty obvious my DP and her X-DP needed donor help to have children biggrin.gif

I've been TTCing for years via IVF with an anon sperm donor. I feel nothing but real love and gratitude towards the man who donated to that IVF clinic. I have no photo of him, just a physical description and a bio that he wrote about himself with health info, his education/work and interests and a blurb about why he wanted to donate. I picked my donor b/c we had similar interests and seemingly similar values, based on what he wrote. His physical attributes meant very little to me when I was choosing. I would have no issue with my future children meeting their donor one day. My DP and I never use the words "father" or "Dad" when referring to the donors, but as I said, I just send my donor love vibes from afar and would be grateful to be able to give him a huge hug myself one day. He is giving us a gift that is immeasurable and priceless and rare. Anyone who donates is an amazing person, IMO.

#21 coolguy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

Thanks for sharing librablonde. It's so interesting to see what it's like from the point of view of the recipient! And it's heartwarming to see these grateful comments!

May I suggest you send a short note thanking the donor? You could send it through the clinic as a one off letter from you to them. Or if you wanted, you could be in contact, maybe they'd even be able to lend you some support (maybe that's crossing the line?!). Anyway, from my point of view, it would be so rewarding hearing a thankyou or something like that. I've had a couple of requests from the clinic for a baby photo and a health related question, but no thanks! Not complaining at all (ok maybe a little lol) but it would really make my day I think : )

BTW best of luck in Jan : )

#22 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

QUOTE (coolguy @ 27/11/2012, 08:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Meggs. What would you do if your son wanted to learn when he was around 14 or so? Do you think you'd like to meet the donor as well? Like do you get curious about them? I must say I'm curious about what the mothers and families of my children are like, in terms of genetic traits and personality.


Well it's ID release so we can't find out the donor's name and contact details until my son is an adult, and the donor and his family are open to that but not necessarily contact with/from a child who might have expectations of a "daddy" relationship.   I wouldn't want to disrupt their lives.  I'll certaily show him all the de-identifed information I got at the clinic as soon as he wants.




#23 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

.. Yes we have discussed it. It IS such a blow to a man's ego to not be able to father his own children! Let alone for anybody else to know about it..

#24 coolguy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 30/11/2012, 11:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well it's ID release so we can't find out the donor's name and contact details until my son is an adult, and the donor and his family are open to that but not necessarily contact with/from a child who might have expectations of a "daddy" relationship.   I wouldn't want to disrupt their lives.  I'll certaily show him all the de-identifed information I got at the clinic as soon as he wants.


What do you think about the idea of asking the clinic for the donor's email? If the donor agrees, I think the clinic will facilitate that, as other posters have mentioned. That way you could potentially meet when your son felt like it.

Speaking personally, I'd love to have a little written correspondence with the recipient families, just to see how everything is going, and maybe see a picture of the family. In terms of meeting, I'd like to do that too - but it all depends on how my partner felt about it. If she was dead against it I'd respect that.

#25 MeN3Ps!

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:04 AM


OP,  I have seen some of your posts in the past. Are you hoping to form relationships with some of the children in the future?  huh.gif  Or do you respect the family's rights to stay anonymous?

In our case, though I do want my children to know the truth, I don't see much point in telling our children how they were conceived as the donor was anonymous to us anyway and we received very little information to begin with.  It is not like he can have a relationship with our family. (Thank gawd too he is overseas!).


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