If you believe that “all kids need is love” then these donor-conceived children should be perfectly happy. But they’re not.
Turns out that even if kids have one or two loving parents, many donor-conceived kids struggle with the reality that they will never know half of their heritage. In addition, the fact that the decision to deny them a relationship with one of their biological parents was intentional– made by the very parent(s) with whom they are living- often leads these kids to feel guilty, angry, ashamed and… commodified.
So, do not continue reading unless you are ready for your “all kids need is love” paradigm to be challenged:
Well, my father is a anonymous sperm donor. If you had asked me a year ago how I felt about him, I would have felt mild curiosity and excitement. I wasn’t really concerned about him at all. But now I miss him like crazy. It sounds weird I know, how can you miss someone you never knew? But I feel it all the same. I’m also furious (and I know this sounds bad) at my mother. How dare she willingly deny me the right to know him? And my half brothers and sisters. I’ve tried talking to her about it but she just gets a face like a smashed plate every time in mention it. Sometimes I really hate her.
34 years ago my mother decided that it was time for her to have a child. With her biological clock ticking and no long term relationship in sight, she turned to an anonymous sperm donor. She probably thought like most women would: “I’ll give my baby enough love for two”. I was indeed a loved baby…but baby must grow… It was only recently That i truly realized that I’ll most probably never know anything about half of my heritage. I love my mother but often I find myself despising her for doing this to me, for being so selfish. I, myself, as a woman approaching the big 3.5, I know what it feels like to truly want a child but NEVER would I knowingly take away a child’s right to have a father and a family. Not only has my mother deprived me from having a father but also sisters, brothers, cousins, grandparents…. https://anonymousus.org/gift-life-gift-solitude/
I’ve only wanted one thing in this life that I have been missing: paternal love. ….All I ever wanted is to be loved by you. The reality is that you were some college aged student who needed money, so you chose to donate. I just want you to know that your selfish actions indeed have consequences. My mother tells me that I’m better off without a father than with a father who doesn’t love me. The issue with that statement is that in the latter situation, at least I would know who my father is, regardless of his love for me. In the first statement, I do not know if my father loves me or not, which causes this tornado of thoughts in my mind, but even worse: I feel like an entire half of my life is missing thanks to my mother’s decision. As much as mother depicts herself as the hero, she may be a villain in disguise. Perhaps, she does not even understand the impact of her selfish deeds. Did she ever think about how this could impact a child? How it keeps her daughter up at night, knowing that there is yet another man in this world who does not love her.
I am 22 years old and I just found out that I was conceived through sperm donation. This information was withheld from me for my entire life until now.I was born into a loving, happy family. My parents have had a strong admirable marriage for nearly 25 years. I never would have imagined that my father was not the biological male who contributed to my existence…However, I have since felt a shameful sadness about this news. In a single day, I went from looking at my appearance without second thought, to looking at a stranger…I feel sad, alone, confused, and lost at times, while other times I feel nothing at all. I am on a roller coaster of emotions and I am not even sure why. I don’t like that I am suddenly grieving a person that I do not know or care to ever know. More importantly, I feel as though I am grieving myself….In addition to not completely understanding why I feel this way, I feel guilty for feeling anything at all. I am afraid to tell my parents how this makes me feel out of the fear that they will misunderstand my confusion and curiosity for something that it isn’t. …I am uncomfortable knowing that this person exists out there (or doesn’t, I don’t know if he has died). I am equally uncomfortable knowing that this person out there knows that he might have genetic offspring in the world that he will never get to meet. I feel weirdly betrayed by this person. It makes me sick to admit that.
I am egg donor conceived. Male. I found out when I was 16… now in my mid 20’s. Years and years later I still wonder and ponder, “who is my REAL Mother”… where is she? Is she even alive? Would she accept me for who I am? My current Mother… well growing up never accepted me… or even really cared to grow a bond with me (favortizes my 3 sisters; yes I’m a Quadruplet). It makes sense why now. There is a massive dIsconnection due to IVF. My relationship with my father has always been the greater of the two. I wish to one day meet her. Talk with her, even if it’s for 5 minutes. You know who you are…. God has blessed my wife & I in being able to have children naturally, and it has been the most wonderful experience so far. I WILL give my children what I never had growing up and still am suffering with. Hurt. Wounds. Depression. Anxiety. And the “unknown” of my identity.
Today I’m overwhelmed with sadness. It is Thanksgiving. I’ve spent the days surrounded by sweet people who love me. My family. The ones who helped raise me. The ones who will claim me. I love them. I’m thankful to be with them. We’re having a lovely time. But I miss my biological dad. I wish I could call him today. I wish I knew him well. I wish I could hug my bio brother, or send a quick, silly text to him. What is he doing today? I look around the room at boys who look just like their daddies. Fathers and children who all have the same smirky giggle. I’ll never sit in the same room with him and know if we walk the same. I didn’t get to grow up reading the books he loves, or hearing his calming voice when I’m tired, or sharing a love for the way his mother, my grandmother, cooks. I cannot ever know these things. In the name of generosity, he gave me away.
My mother told him that she “knew” I was his child. [My dad] literally took that on faith, that “a mother knows”. I believe him, he is a trusting individual and I believe that he believes this to be true. However he had doubts or he would not share this with me at such a critical juncture. My first thoughts were “Are you expletive! kidding me?” Followed by thoughts that I shouldn’t exist, then followed by immense respect for my dad, who is most likely not my bio dad. He coached my baseball teams, taught me everything, was the best dad to me, and my friends that I have ever seen. Much better as a father than I am by leaps and bounds. He did everything for me. I could not look less like him. I look exactly like a male version of my mother. I have come to the realization that although I may want to know, he probably does not want to know, for certain, if I am his or not. He cares, but most likely would be devastated if he found out, like all my medical knowledge (am doctor) suggests that I am not his child. I have decided not to test at this time (somehow, it’s killing me), and upon his passing, reevaluate my desire to know. He told me the donor was a medical student. I am the first in my family, either side, in the medical profession. So many things seem different now, I am still processing, and am trying not to let it throw me off my game as a father myself, or even keep it inside and not tell everyone I know what I have just found out. I feel like running this by everyone I know because it alters my perception of my life so deeply. People have asked me already what is troubling me. I may need professional help to sort this through, and I will seek it out if my current mental state continues.
When my friends talk about their fathers they talk about their first fishing trip together and how he would always bait the hook for him, or when he didn’t like a significant other they brought home. When I talk about my father I don’t have any memories to reminisce on or a specific image that pops into my head, I am just filled with bitterness. Not just because you donated, and not because you did it anonymously, but that fact my single mother wanted it that way. She chose for me to never even have the chance to meet my real father. But I hate feeling this way because, how do I tell my mom she wasn’t enough, that her love doesn’t fill a hole that she created. Every time I even mention my biological father around her, I feel like I am betraying her in some way. But if I never bring you up, no one will. So many people say my mom and I look alike, and I hate hearing that, not because my mom is ugly, but because it just gives her more reason to just sweep you under the rug and ignore you exist. I wish I had the power to ignore you exist, but some nights I just can’t. stop. thinking. No matter how hard I try I just can’t. I try to muffle my cries because I can’t let my mom hear, because it will only hurt her. Then I get angry because I didn’t get any protection in this decision. I was put into this masturbated race without any rights or a voice at all. You get to hide behind your anonymity, and I can’t have my mom seeing that I am angry or sad because I don’t want her to get buyer’s remorse.
Biological connection matters to kids. These children had to discover that the hard way- by missing out on it.
I empathize with these people probably because I had a father who was abusive and so have missed having a dad to trust and respect. But at least I had his family somewhat in my life. What I wonder … I have seen fb post by very bitter ad
I knew these “transactions” existed but never realized the life-long “cause and effect.” The anger, the pain, the emotional rollercoaster, the chronic void of unanswered questions…. So heartbreaking! There definitely needs to be a platform for more awareness and advocacy. This is the reality when society (mankind) restructures the family unit God purposed and designed.
Very sad. Not unlike gay couples creating children for their relationships because they can’t have them naturally. they d
on’t think about the huge negative effects on the child, only about their own selfish desires.
There is a big difference between a known and an anonymous donorr. Known donors can have relationships with their biological children. Just like biological straight parents can choose to be absent from their children’s lives.
As the single mom of a anonymous donor conceived 22 year old daughter, I am currently dealing with the new reality that this man via the new science that dna platforms provides, found my daughter and is now meeting her. I don’t really know how I feel. Except sick to my stomach, yet I want my child to be happy. Yet now my daughter is angrier at me, and I feel like crap. I hate him for intruding after I spent 23 years raising her.
Wow, continue your selfish narrative. Must be tough for you to be so out of control after all of these years. You reap what you sow. She wanted to know the other side of her family. Tough luck.
You reap what you sow. Your daughter is not only your daughter. I am happy that she found her father and that he wants a relationship with her. If you are unselfish, you will be happy too. You are going to be one of many, many, many who will have to deal with what they have done by having children from “anonymous” donors. I am so glad DNA is ripping this secretive conspiracy wide open.
What “family”?! The dude has done NOTHING for that child. Ever. They are not even related legally. You are all awful human beings! Judgmental an evil!
She is literally half her father. Get. Over. Your. Self.
Judging ‘ that man’ as having nothing to offer to her. Interesting perspective.
He offered only half of her literal make up, and possibility of existence.
Ever thought that the outcomes of these donations are Human Beings? Anyone thinking about them?!
Your role as a parent does not change when your daughter meets her bio-dad.
Please don’t feel like he wil take your place. Be happy that your daughter get’s to have the full circle of her genetic knowledge…
I felt like half a person until I found halfsiblings that looked like me (I was raised by a mom and a dad). My parents felt rejected when I started to search for bio family. Now they have met two of my siblings and they know that I am not trying to replace them. I am adding to my family. We do have enough love for all of the people in our lives…
Biology isn’t All that matters. What matters more is love. Just because you’re biologically related to someone doesn’t mean they will love you and treat you with respect. That is not a given.
These days you can learn about your genetic history via DNA sharing sites.
There’s so many children raised by their genetic parents who are unloved and abused.
Spread a message of love for all children. That is a child’s ultimate right – to be nurtured and loved.
That love is important doesn’t cancel that biology is important. People need both to be their best. There is no excuse in intentionally denying a child of its heritage anymore than withholding love.
Finally, that crummy biological family relationships exist does not mean that its ok to withhold biology, and saying a family is loving or will be is never a guarantee. I read a statement somewhere about children being 7-10x more likely to be abused by non biological “parents”/guardians. Know why? Because biology matters.
I can understand where most of them are coming from, they still come off a bit ungrateful. A lot of people don’t have perfect relationships with both parents , and I do think it’s fair to say you wouldn’t even be alive if they hadn’t used a donor. The point in a donor is they don’t want to play a parental role, I know guys that donate for free as a known donor just to give info on them as the child is older, I do think this should be used more, but ultimately it’s their choice. I thought reading this article would change my mind but it didn’t, this only showed the bad stories. I would hope my future child is more grateful than this. I will continue with my donor process.
I did not ask to be a “doner child”. I was lied to 42 years. Found out on my own. Was confused I had 1st cousins on ancestry. Then i was scared…was i a child of rape? Did someone hurt my mom? Did she cheat? Turns out I was crafted in a medical clinic. My bio dad has heart issues, liver issues ….my family did not want me growing up. My dad always acted like I was stupid and unworthy. They def had buyers remorse. The world is an awful place to allow this. ive never cried so much in my life. I guess my bio dad has a great family. I really have No one.
Thank you for sharing some of your story with Us. You are not alone.
I am so sorry you had this experience. I know what is like to lose your own family. It can happen even with your own blood. Focus on your future and having a loving, happy family of your own!
You are a crap human. Gratitude is genuine and spontaneous, or it is nothing. Expecting gratitude because you contributed to their existence is a about as narcissistic as you can get. I hope you never have children and keep in mind that MANY adoptees and donor conceived people would have rather not been made and/or been aborted. No one owes anyone GRATITUDE.
This is precisely my current situation. I am a product of a one night stand. Apparently my bio dad had many. I know this now at 46 as I did ancestry. My mom always told me I was the biggest mistake of her life and she wished she never had me. Well I feel the same. I wish she would have aborted me as my life has been hell and now realizing I wasn’t even conceived with love kind of does something to you inside
I was a donor while in medical school. It may not help with the trauma people are experiencing now but I would like to add a little perspective. For the parents at the time the decisions were being made it was just the two of them in a loving relationship and bringing a third into that love seemed to be all positive with no downside. The medical community was telling most parents to keep it a forever secret because they did not want to risk the knowledge messing with the child’s psyche. They know better than that now. For the medical student putting themselves through school there were many opportunities to help patients or further medical research by donations or being subjects in research projects. Yes it paid, but that just made a small dent in the tuition and did not seem any crazier than the other things being thrown at us, like learning to draw blood or perform surgery.
My personal story, I did not go looking for the five people that I helped bring into the world. I did not think it was my place. Now that they found me I am thrilled. Each one has different things they want out of the relationship and I am happy to be there for them. I did not expect to have the strong feelings for them that I have. For the ones that want to share their lives with me it has been a blessing. I understand the donors who worry that their personal families might get disrupted by making new connections but I found that making a family bigger is a a source of joy. The hard part is the relationship with the parents. They are worried and cautious as to be expected. I am still working out how to be a positive in their children’s lives and at the same time convince them that my presence is not a threat to their own relationships.
It makes me feel sad, as a donor conceived person, to hear people like me suffering because of this. I grew up with the most amazing single mother surrounded by family and friends and never felt that half part of me was missing. I am who I am regardless of my genes. It never bothered me where my genes come from. Actually, I feel the luckiest girl in the whole world for being so wanted an loved by my mum. I share a very close bond with my mum, closer than most of my friends born into traditional families, and she is my best friend. Most of my friends don’t have that connexion with their parents. It pains me to see my mum sad whenever she reads stories about it because many people express negative feelings about it and basically think of mums like mine that are the most selfish people on the planet. My mum is far from that and she deserves better. Traditions are still very strong in people’s minds, they pushes us all to believe that the traditional type of family composed by father, mother and two kids is the only way kids and people in general can thrive and be happy. Well, I happen to live in a different type of family and I have also thrived, I am happy, I am not depressed, in drugs or suicidal, as I have heard from people. I am just a normal person, like everybody else born into a traditional family. I have always known I was donor conceived and it is a relief for me that my donor is anonymous, I don’t have to think whether I want to meet him or not, or about half siblings. If I want to know about my medical history, DNA tests are available nowadays and they can tell me accurately whether I am at risk of developing something or not.
I wouldn’t change a bit my life but I wish people didn’t look down on us or despise us for being in a different kind of family unit, I wish my mum wasn’t branded as selfish for using a donor, and I wish mothers day and fathers day didn’t exist at schools and society in general. It makes feel people who doesn’t conform to traditions a bit weird. How about a family day instead? This way all kind of families would be included and nobody would feel different or apart. These are honestly the only things that make me feel sad about all of it.
It’s fascinating how people can rationalize insanity. Because people know one adoptee, one donor conceived person who is “fine”, or “totally happy and successful”, they need to find it all fine and see it worth tolerating, if not protecting, as part of culture.
But, I see it all very much like this gal I knew who survived a house fire in her early adult years. She was horribly burned. In the hospital for months. Almost died. But, she lived, and she claims the whole experience changed her life for the better at this point, 20 years later.
So, because she and a few other people live through physically destructive otherwise deadly and traumatic experiences and feel renewed and better for it, should we regularly go and intentionally set people’s homes on fire in the middle of the night, or should we not light them up in the first place? That’s tough I guess because if we don’t, we could deny a few folks epiphanies and improved perspective on life, right?
Stop making children to intentionally deprive them of a critical component of their identity!!!