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.