My biological father sold his sperm when he was in medical school. He was told what a wonderful, altruistic act he was doing, and praised for being so generous to a poor, infertile family. He was also promised anonymity. My parents bought that sperm and a doctor used it to inseminate my mother. I’m the child of a stranger, who altruistically sold me, his biological daughter, to a family he would never meet. He signed away his rights to be a father to me, and my parents gladly bought the gift that would give them a child. They were ecstatically happy when my mother became pregnant, but no one considered how I would feel about the transaction that took place, how I would feel about having no right to a relationship with my biological father, no access to my paternal family, not even medical information.
Now it is my turn to speak. I hate my conception.
How can anyone sell a person? Sure, at that point it was just sperm, but it was sperm being sold with the intention of becoming a child. Why is it legal for a doctor to allow a child to be created with the purpose of being cut off from biological family to make the recipient parents happy? The process commodifies real human beings.
I’ve been involved in the state foster care system for about two decades, a system which encourages keeping families together and tries to support keeping children with their blood relatives unless there is a severe safety issue. Children thrive best with their biological families, even when those families need extra help, something our government recognizes within the foster system. Unfortunately, I was born as the result of a profit-driven medical clinic selling parental rights without regard for what is best for the end product, the child produced.
There aren’t any laws or even suggested best practices for my situation. Anonymous arrangements sell best, are least complicated, so here I am, the daughter of my mother and a stranger she hoped never to meet, being raised by a man who had enough money to purchase my existence. My birth certificate is false, listing the father who raised me, a man I’m not related to, not giving any indication that there was another party involved in my conception. It would have been completely legal for the parents who raised me never to tell me the truth, to lie to me about my origins and allow me to believe that I had accurate family medical history.
My father who raised me died when I was a teenager, before I knew the big lie. I loved him to pieces. He was the rock who held our family together. I wish so much that I could know his feelings about my conception. I remember many times as a child when his friends would jokingly say something to the effect of, “She can’t really be yours, you ugly old dog. She’s too pretty.” I was always embarrassed and looking for an escape. I wish I’d watched his face. I wonder if that gutted him? If I’d have known, I would have hugged him and told him that I’ll always be his.
In the confusion and grief that followed his death, my mother decided to tell me the truth about my conception. She had no qualms about having kept such a big secret from me my whole life, as it protected a fact that was extremely embarrassing to her… The father who raised me was sterile. She told me they had used donor sperm and that she thought I already knew how different I was from the rest of the family.
My world fell apart. I spent several days under a blanket in bed, crying hysterically. When I was able to regain my composure, as I was going about my morning routine I caught sight of myself in the mirror and came to the realization that I had no idea who I was anymore. The nose I thought had come from my dad wasn’t his. That round nose that I thought connected me to family was suddenly hideous. The shape of my fingers, so similar to my dad’s, now looked alien and terrifying. There were several years in my mid twenties when I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror without bursting into tears, so I avoided mirrors.
I don’t know how to express with words how distressing it is to have half of your identity ripped away in a moment like that. You know there are some types of grief that everyone feels in life, death of loved ones, betrayed friendships, goals that cannot be achieved, but I had no idea that something could happen that would disrupt the identity I had created for myself like that. There isn’t a handbook on how to rebuild your sense of self when you discover that your non-identifiable father sold you. Of course I had questions for my mom about who he was, but the arrangement had been anonymous and the only information I had was that he might have been a med school student or resident at the time. I called the clinic where I was conceived to try to figure out something about myself, my family health history, my genetic heritage, even just a physical description. The office manager said all the records over 10 years old had been destroyed. Why would there be no system to keep those records? What 10 year old is going to ask for paternal health information? Those records, especially the health related ones, should be kept for much, much longer than 10 years.
My situation grieved me deeply, and so I spent money to go to a counselor to help me sort through my feelings. Alas, the counselors I saw hadn’t dealt much with persons who have been conceived apart from biological family the way I had, and they told me that I got to choose who my “real” father was. I guess they thought it would be comforting to me to have the power to choose, but their comments made me feel like I must not love the dad who raised me enough for his love to be enough to quell the hurt in my heart. I was at a painful dead end with no place to turn for more information, so I gave up. It hurt too much to keep thinking about my new reality, so I buried it as deeply as I could and threw myself into raising a family of my own, one that was biologically related to me. I knew I could do better for my own children. I knew that both of their parents would love them, and that I wouldn’t ever lie to them. I’m so averse to lying that I was never able to play the Santa or Tooth Fairy game with them. The pain, the grief kept coming back in little waves, in places where I least expected it. At family reunions where I wasn’t really one of them. During holiday gatherings where little girls looked just like their daddies. I still didn’t know who I was, who my family was, and it hurt.
Ten years later commercial DNA testing was finally starting to look promising, and was now affordable enough for me to get my hands on. My sweet husband encouraged me to go ahead and purchase an Ancestry DNA test. The results came back confirming that I was not related to the dad who raised me. My closest matches were 4th cousins, too far away to make any quick determinations. But I was determined, and I spent 4-5 hours per evening over the next 6 months comparing the public family trees of those 4th cousins until one night I figured out a single couple from the 1800’s who was repeated in several of those distant trees. I built their family tree, with all 20 of their children and their descendants, down to present day. I looked for someone who was in that tree who had also attended medical school in the city where I was conceived.
Eventually I found a possibility. I looked for a photo of him on social media and saw an older version of my son’s face staring back at me. My adorable son whose features no one could ever quite place. I had finally found the other half of me. The tears this time were tears of joy.
How does the daughter of a man who sold his sperm anonymously reach out to her biological father without making him angry or scaring him away? It took an enormous amount of courage on my part. I had been told by several people that I should just leave him alone, as contacting him would “ruin his life.” That did nothing for my self worth, to think that perhaps just hearing from me, his daughter, could possibly ruin his life. But I did have to consider his feelings and try to approach him respectfully. It would be his choice if he wanted to ignore me, or file a restraining order against me, or to tell me that he’d never donated and that I should get lost, or to be kind and share family medical history, or to accept me as his own. He’s my biological father, and because of the way I was conceived any of these situations could be expected. Should I call him, write him at home or work, show up at his door, or make an appointment at his office? Which way would he be most likely to communicate with me?
It took me months to write and rewrite a letter, and then work up the courage to mail it. In the end he was shocked, but kind. He never expected to hear from one of his donated kids. He never expected any of our parents to tell us at all. I empathize with his situation as well. It isn’t something he ever told his own family, and he didn’t want them to find out.
My biological father was able to give me that missing family medical history. There are genetic diseases that are passed along to children who will never be able to piece together exactly why they are sick, or who won’t be screened for the right cancers in time to help. I’ve heard people say that you can simply have your doctor run a genetic screen for diseases, but in my case my biological father had a disease with no symptoms that I never would have been screened for. Only a health history of my paternal family was able to show me where my own health issue was coming from. It turns out a lot can change in 40 years, and even if the clinic had kept the records for me to find, they no longer would have been accurate. A big shock for was that his grandmother died of breast cancer at a very young age, and so now I know that’s something I need to be screened for earlier than is routine. I suppose I assumed that a clinic probably wouldn’t use the sperm of someone with a family history of an aggressive form of cancer.
Receiving information about my biological family has been bittersweet, the joy of getting to know more about them mixed with the sadness that my bio father not willing to let me get to know that family. I’m hopeful that one day, if I continue to be respectful and kind to him, that he’ll change his mind and I’ll get the chance to have a relationship with my siblings and grandparents. It would mean the world to me. I was also shocked to find out what a huge number of donor conceived half siblings I probably have living near me. At least 20, maybe over 50. It is painful to know that I likely won’t ever even know most of their names, let alone get to meet them. They are unlikely to have been told they were donor conceived. I love them and miss them without even knowing them. I’m grateful that I didn’t accidentally marry one of them, and I worry that my own children will accidentally enter into a romantic relationship with one of their many (hundreds, maybe?) of cousins. They won’t know they are related without DNA testing. Can you imagine having to screen dates for potentially being your unknown cousin? What if cousins do end up together, and they figure that out via DNA, and the date’s parent (my sibling) doesn’t know he/she is donor conceived? It makes me nervous to think about the complexity of it all for my children.
We, the donor conceived, are being denied some pretty basic human rights. We are commodified, existing only because our biological parent was willing to sell genetic material in order to make someone else a parent. We aren’t given access to information about who our biological parent is, with clinics protecting the anonymity of their donors over the rights of the children produced. We are at the mercy of the adults who created us as to whether they even tell us that we aren’t biologically related to them. We are denied medical family histories, histories that might one day save our lives, as well as genealogical histories that would help us piece together our identities. We live in a time when it is possible to track down our missing families, if we know they are missing, but when donors have been promised anonymity our contact may not be welcome. It seems incredibly irresponsible on the part of the fertility industry to give any illusions to donors in this day and age that they might be able to maintain anonymity, perhaps even dishonest.
Donor conception has caused this donor conceived person enough grief that I actively speak out against any donor conception to friends considering this route as a way to solve their own infertility grief. It doesn’t resolve the grief, but rather passes that pain on to the next generation by denying them access to their missing biological family. I would encourage people not to use any donor conception, but rather to open homes to parent the hundreds of children waiting in the foster system whose parental rights have been terminated or to find other ways to navigate through infertility grief.
If donor conception must be allowed to continue to give parents the children they desire, then anonymous donation should be more carefully scrutinized and seen for the illusion that it is. There is no more anonymity with commercial DNA testing, and it should not be offered as an option either for donors or recipient parents. I can imagine it is only a matter of time before that matter ends up in a courtroom when someone like me finds a biological parent who was told they would never be found. There should be no states with laws allowing anonymous donors when the donors can be found.
Furthermore, anonymity causes pain and identity confusion for the children produced. Medical records on the donors should be kept current and easily available for the lifetime of the child produced. Finally, birth certificates should be updated to keep up with reproductive technology. There should be space for both legal and biological parents on birth certificates, in order to be accurate and to allow donor conceived people to know their true origins. Australia, a country which is miles ahead of the US when it comes to rights of the donor conceived, provides a birth certificate with an asterisk, and the asterisk indicates that an addendum is on file, containing the full name of any donors involved in a person’s conception.
Excellent article, thanks.
I have often wondered about the dangers for those conceived by sperm/egg donors. You have given great clarity to a serious issue. Thank you for advocating on behalf of donor conceived children.
I actually think the article was quite selfish. Sperm donors do not make a parent…Its those people that looked after you your whole life – without whom you will not even exist…
Be grateful that you had a good sperm donor and then good mum and dad to look after you.
Very easy for you to judge someone when you are not on their shoes isnt it?
Jess on September 10, 2018 at 12:59 am
“I actually think the article was quite selfish. ” No selfish is deciding that it’s OK to give some of your sons and daughters away often in exchange for compensation. Selfish is paying to have the father of your child abandon her. Selfish is pretending that your husband is your child’s father when he’s not. Selfish is pretending that your child is someone entirely different than who they actually are because you would prefer them to be the child of your spouse than of some strange man you never met. That is selfish. Expecting her father to behave like a father is legally required to behave in all other instances is not selfish.
“Sperm donors do not make a parent” No, sperm donors, who are people, don’t make a parent, they make children and people who make children are parents by default. Fathers who were sperm donors promise to abandon their sons and daughters at birth so someone else can pretend to be the father of their children.
“Its those people that looked after you your whole life” If that were true people would not become parents at the moment of birth prior to actually looking after a kid for its whole life, they’d become parents on their kid’s 18th birthday, but only if they’d done a good job according to the person they looked after.
“Sperm donors do not make a parent. Its those people”…”without whom you will not even exist…”
Well that’s pretty much her point her Father is one of the two people who conceived her and without him she would not even exist – he created her, she’s his daughter, she’s a sister to his other sons and daughters. He’s her family. She’s been shut out by him because he’s so worried about what his other kids will think of him for abandoning their sister that he won’t even introduce her to them. That’s selfish. He thinks he has a right to control the flow of information truth in his family but he does not have the right to censor communication between his offspring. She should just make herself known to her siblings this is not fair to them and not fair to her to make her lie to them about her existence.
“Be grateful that you had a good sperm donor and then good mum and dad to look after you.”Be grateful that her father took money to abandon her and is so ashamed of his cavalier behavior he perpetuates it by keeping his kids from getting to know one another? Be grateful that her mother and stepfather only agreed to raise her if they could pretend that she was their child together and not the child of some other man? Be grateful that her father did not have to pay child support like millions of other fathers who are not living with their kids? She can be grateful to be alive and be mad about something that happened to her while alive, people do that all the time. Being rejected by her father is a reasonable thing to feel sad about and write about and bring light to in a public forum to educate others. Please allow yourself to be educated.
For the record a sperm donor with offspring absolutely meets the definition of parent and father. It appears that you are making up your own private definitions for the word parent, which is just a way of lying, and not taking responsibility for it.
par·ent | \ ˈper-ənt \
Definition of parent (Entry 1 of 2)
1a : one that begets or brings forth offspring
just became parents of twins
b : a person who brings up and cares for another
fa·ther | \ ˈfä-t͟hər \
Definition of father (Entry 1 of 2)
1a(1) : a male parent
(2) : a man who has begotten a child
also : a male animal who has sired an offspring”
Wow. I think you’ve missed the ENTIRE point! The author is grieving and distraught over the selfishness of her parents!
I think articles like this are absolutely necessary to show that playing God isn’t right. It cause pain and damages the family.
The possibility alone of half siblings unwittingly marrying and producing offspring meets the bare minimum of why the facts around conception must be documented and disclosed.
It is easy to pass judgment arising from sentimentality re the definition of a “true parent” when one doesn’t have a stake in the facts and consequences of heredity. The simple fact remains, the importance of growing up in the truth far outweighs all other considerations, especially the ego driven desires of nonbiological birth certificate parents to perpetuate a ruse at the peril of an innocent child.
I am also donor conceived through egg sharing and donor sperm. I have a single mother and no absolutely none of my real relatives. When I was in school I had to put up with questions like ‘is your dad dead?’, ‘did your parents split up?’, and one person even asked ‘is he in prison?’. I will never know or have a father, and I am in a situation that very few people have even heard of. Is it really selfish to wish that you weren’t donor conceived?
No, I don’t think it is selfish to wish you weren’t donor-conceived. We all wish about things we want or don’t want. We all wish that the sad things we experience never happened. I grew up without a father. I don’t know when my mother left him. I learned as an adult that he was abusive to her. She never said anything bad about him, but I came to my own conclusion that he had mental issues. I rarely saw him. We moved away when I was 11, and I saw him twice after that. He died when I was 21, and the grief I felt was because there had never been a relationship and never would be. Anyone who has experienced this knows the profound impact it has on a young life. I never felt normal. I knew he didn’t love me or my brother. I had a fear of being left that lasted into my 30s. I had no relatives in this country. I never met his family, though I learned as an adult that I probably had siblings since had been married previously. My mother’s family was in England, and I only met them a few times. I worked through all of the emotional turmoil after I became a Christian. There are five questions that we all think about in one way or another:
1) Who am I? (Identity)
2) Where did I come from? (origin)
3) Why am I here? (purpose)
4) How should I live? (morality)
4) What is my eternal destiny?
I hope you find peace and overcome the pain of the past.
I find your lack of empathy disturbing. Not knowing where you come from is exceedingly painful. Telling someone to “be grateful” is neither kind nor helpful.
I think you’re missing the point. She wanted to know not only for the emotional aspect, but also due to medical history that is critical to her own health and biological children. It’s important to know and quite frankly, unless you are personally in a situation like this, you shouldn’t be judging her decisions.
Our so called progressive culture needs to seriously catch up with the most basic rights of children to know who they are.Identity matters.
Thank you for sharing your heart and life. This is an issue I would not have considered from a child’s view. How important it is to know who you are and how very impactful it is in so many areas of life. Thank you for opening my eyes.
I am so sorry for this injustice and how it hurt you. Thanks for reminding the world that children have rights.
May I ask if the author of this piece has adopted? I mean if it’s so easy and those who are infertile should just adopt the kids that fertile people refuse to I would have to assume you’ve stepped up.
You have obviously never tried to adopt. It is not easy!! The orphanages of “Annie” fame are long gone. White newborns are so hard to come by because of the acceptance of Single Parenting and abortions. We tried that route only to find that the very reason that made me infertile made me ineligible to adopt a newborn through conventional channels. We ended up adopting older children that we love dearly, but we missed the first three to five years of their lives. The first newborn in our home was a grandchild. If sperm donation was an option for us we would have jumped at the chance!
you could have got a newborn of any other color quite easily :/
Faye, I hear you… Unfortunately there are those in the world that haven’t matured enough to know that sperms and eggs don’t make parents, love does…It takes less than 10 minutes to extract and egg and less than that to donate a sperm…but it takes thousands of hours of nurturing to become a parent…
For those people claiming that their world was shattered because their “Biological” dad would not let them see his real children and family, they just need counselling to learn to accept those that truly love them – their real family – the mum and and that raised them…
I just feel sites like these and some of the stories in websites like these provide people with an excuse to feel sorry for themselves.
I just feel for the real parents of these people – parents who raised them, spent many sleepless nights looking after them.
Biology provides a person with their physical characteristics…But who you really are is something only you can create – BIOLOGY is not to blame for it. Who you are comes from within you, not by knowing your sperm donor and calling him your “dad”. Sure, to fulfill your curiosity, do find out who donated the sperm that created you, but that does not make the sperm donor your Father….
I hope one day people mature and understand that sperms and eggs dont make you, but love and nurturing does.
“I hope one day people mature and understand that sperms and eggs dont make you, but love and nurturing does.”
Sperm and eggs do make people, it’s true. Two people can sit in a room with tons of love and understanding and never make a person together. When two people reproduce together they become the parents of the person they created with their sperm and egg. I know what you mean though, you think raising another person’s son or daughter can turn a person into a parent. Its an undisputed fact that reproduction turns people into parents. If you want to believe that people can also become parents by calling themselves parents and doing things parents are supposed to do, that’s fine, but it does not negate the fact that a person who reproduces is a parent by default. It’s really forceful and violating to have someone do a bunch of stuff for you when your helpless and then expect you to just go along with their belief that they are your real parent because of their investment. Their investment does not change who you are as a person, and frankly the fact that they expect to have the title of parent in exchange for their efforts is not loving at all its selfish.
I’m the author and yes I have stepped up. I don’t see children in foster care as a burden to be pushed off on the infertile like you do. I see them as precious souls who need a loving home, and it is my joy to serve them. I never said it was easy (you are in for a rude awakening if you think any type of parenting is easy, and no methods of conception guarantee a healthy infant ) but it is worth it. For me, and those in my close community, it is about providing a great home when a child who needs one, not about getting a white newborn so that adult wants will be fulfilled. Obviously for you it isn’t about meeting anyone’s wants but your own.
Faye, you’ve read through articles like this, vulnerable stories that express pain, and you still would choose to put a child through that sort of pain so that you could have a white newborn? That isn’t a very loving parental decision. Donor conception takes the pain of infertility and pushes it back a generation so that the kids you wanted so badly bear the pain with (or instead of) you. It is sad that you would “jump at the chance” to cause pain for your kids.
Your story sounds like mine!
“I would encourage people not to use any donor conception, but rather to open homes to parent the hundreds of children waiting in the foster system whose parental rights have been terminated or to find other ways to navigate through infertility grief. ” Don’t encourage people to adopt from foster care. Encourage them to be foster carers but adoption destroys the adopted person’s legal rights and connection to their own family just the same as yours has been destroyed. Adoption always violates the legal rights of the adopted person.
So have you adopted from Foster Care or have you not? You didn’t really explain that part.
And I never said the children in Foster Care were a burden. I just think it’s wrong to always assume and ask those unable to have kids to adopt those children. If it’s truly about the kids then it should be about finding parents that are able to meet the needs of those kids not just any parents.
Child welfare has nothing to do with infertility and I wish people like yourself would stop connecting the two.
No one is telling the infertile people that it is their job to adopt!
You and Ellie seem to agree that it is about finding a home that serves a child who needs one, not about a parent going out and choosing the child they want. You’ve both said that. The needs of the child should come first always.
Sometimes children in the foster system need a home without other children in it because of their previous experiences. Which means finding a family with no other children at home, who either have already raised their children or who don’t have children, by choice or because of infertility.
On the flip side, my husband is infertile. We had choices. We could choose to remain childless. We could purchase sperm and choose to purposefully separate the child we create from biological family, our wishes fulfilled by causing trauma for a child. Or we could open our home to children who already exist and need homes, either through traditional adoption or foster-to-adopt.
We are glad adopting from foster care was suggested to us. We thought it would be a long wait but it wasn’t. Our children are not children that “fertile people refused.” Why would you even suggest such a thing? Are you infertile? Please don’t adopt if you feel that way about adopted children, and don’t assume that anyone is asking you specifically to do so, infertile or not!! No one wants someone with your worldview to adopt! You would hurt a child from a broken background so badly with your intolerance! It seems you’ve missed the point of this article, and this whole website, in your rage.
Yes, I am infertile and no we didn’t go down the path of adopting, Fostering or sperm donation. It wasn’t a choice we ended up childless it’s just what ended up being. I’m glad that you have choices that seem to have worked out for your family. We didn’t have those options available.
My point to Ellie is that infertility has nothing to do with child welfare. You never hear people tell those couples thinking of starting their family to adopt rather than procreate. Why should infertile people be held to a different standard as fertile people? Basically you’re telling the kids that they can just have the defective infertile people who can’t have kids of their own. Seems wrong to do that to kids who deserve better.
I recognize where Ellie is coming from (though having never been through it could never fully understand). She makes a strong argument of things people need to consider about third party reproduction to have a child from a potential child’s perspective. But that has nothing to do with adopting the children that Ellie and other Fertile people aren’t adopting. No one is asking Ellie and others to find solutions for our challenges any more so than she is looking for our solutions for their challenges.
My advice to Ellie and others trying to make the case against third party reproduction is to make it about the fallout of third party reproduction not what an infertile couple should do instead especially if they haven’t gone through infertility themselves. “Encouraging” us to open our homes to kids in Foster Care is laying the guilt trip on us the way she and other donor conceived people are told to be grateful they’re alive.
thank you Ellie!! many years ago, as a kid in junior high , I became extremely concerned about the ethics and implications of sperm/egg donation. a lot of what you have gone through are things I recall talking to my ostentatious about as possible horrible repercussions of the new technology. this is heartbreaking to hear how that process has affected you. but you have been so brave and strong and are using your voice to educate people about this. I find it hard to believe sometimes that things like this just become accepted and jumped right into by our culture without proper research and ethical treatment. I truly hope that the positive changes you listed at the end of your article can be implemented. Also I agree with you that there are so many children’s akready here needing families and people should be better educated as to how adoption and fostering can be options as well. All the best to you on your journey.
I would assume that you have either adopted or fostered with so many children needing families that you seem to be concerned about.
Hi congratulations on finding your family. I am a free search angel for separated families like yours with parents absent due to gamete donor agreements. I build out family trees of peoples cousins just like you did to locate missing mothers and fathers. I’ll say this you don’t owe it to him or anyone else not to contact your siblings and other relatives. He won’t find your loyalty so endeering that he will one day reward you by introducing you to them and saying get to know one another with his blessing. If you have waited more than a year for a promised introduction or if he has flat out said no then I know this is hell on your self esteem. It’s not just parents who were donors that sometimes react this way when their sons or daughters find them. It happens sometimes to adopted people or to people whose parents were unmarried as yours were. It does not happen often in family searches in general which is good news for those searching not to get discouraged and bittersweet for you. It’s time to regain your self esteem by hearing that you need to forget about the donor conceived label that represses your rights and just grasp that all you are is a normal person whose father was absent and did not raise you. That’s the truth. Know that it’s not normal or acceptable for people to react to the existence of their own offspring by feeling they need to hide them. That’s a shallow person who has shitty interpersonal relationships with those offspring he raised and with his spouse. He’s embarassed of what they will think of him for being willing to not raise some of his kids. It’s not you he’s embarassed of its his own shallow behavior what will people think of him as a person for not raising you and what will they think of him for hiding you once he knew about you? He’s probably not such a hot roll model to your siblings that he raised. I always contact siblings first if I have the option to get it over with. The average person cares if they have a sibling or a first cousin niece or grandchild regardless of what their relative who was the absent parent thinks. If your brother was say a drug addict dead beat who ran out on a pregnant girlfriend and wanted nothing to do with his kid would you reject his kid your nephew if he called to introduce himself? No you’d say look my brother is a shithead but welcome to your disfunctional family. My mother was 65 when I fiund her family. She and her sister were hidden from one another due to their parents shame over iligitimate child being born while my grandfather was married to my moms sisters mother. Her sister died 6 months before I found moms family. My mom took over as grandma for her sisters kids. My cousins did not care less about the shame of infidelity my moms their aunt. My mother had 20 wonderful years knowing them and going to weddings before she died last year but she never met a sister who would have loved to know her because of their parents stupid shame problems. Contact your siblings
Cousins grandparents and other relatives and say hello. Introduce yourself explain that your father is not interested in having a relationship with you because he was an anonymous donor. Explain that he declined to introduce you to your paternal relatives but you know it’s their right to at least know you exist for health reasons and so your kids one day don’t date their kids. You should not become party to the shame and secrecy that you were subjected to. Now you know a secret and you are hiding it from your siblings for their own good. Your now keeping secrets from your sisters and brothers. Tell them your biggest dream come true would be to be a good sister to them and to have your kids grow up knowing their cousins in a joyous and happy way. Tell them that your father loves them and is scared their family will fall apart if they knew you existed but you know having a sister who loves them won’t destroy their family and normal people don’t react to good news by hating anyone. You are not bad news. Say your fully prepared for them not to want to know you but they should know you exist and that there are likely many many more siblings living in the area and that for the health of the entire family it would be good if you all kept up. Let his shame be his shame. He can’t control the other members of his family not even if he made those family members. Yes he might get mad and no he may never embrace you as his own child but there’s at least a chance that you’ll form relationships with the rest of your relatives. As I said it’s rare to find a parent who does this when contacted by their kid. But it’s not rare in those situations for that kid to go on to have meaningful relationships with the rest of the family despite the parents dissapproval. I would love to have you speak to some in your position who did have the courage to disobey the parents mandate not to contact siblings who found that their siblings did not give a damn about their parents wishes they like having a sister or brother who loves them. Gather your self esteem up and don’t hide yourself from your family know that you are good news. Your a winning lottery ticket there is no bad time to tell them that they have an awesome sibling or cousin or niece. That’s how you’d react that’s how normal people react. Free yourself and your kids don’t be donor conceived any more your just a daughter he did not raise.
Also fostering is way better than adoption because they get to keep their name and unaltered birth certificate that keeps them legally recognized as related to all their family members. They all still have a right to obtain one another’s birth marriage and death certificates. They can claim a disabled sibling as their dependent on a tax return or sponsor a sibling for citizenship or take time off work to attend a relatives funeral. These are rights lost to people in open adoption because their birth certificates are changed. The only good thing about adoption is they vet the circumstances for relinquishing parental control and vet the suitability of those wishing to adopt. That does not occur in black market adoption and black market step parent adoption. The whole donor thing is just black market step parent adoption. Write the wrong name on the birth certificate to skip all that bothersome background checking and truth recording.
Fostering is a good short term solution but it doesn’t help the kids who need long term familial care beyond 18. It’s basically legalized babysitting. The Foster Parents are not family. They have no connection or legit recognized relationship no more so than a Nanny. Some kids do need that but others need a family. That’s where Adoption comes in.
Loads of adults who were adopted out of foster care are now saying they wish they hadn’t been adopted, but would rather have had a legal guardianship. On the other hand, there are plenty where were glad to be adopted. I disagree that foster parents are not family. We foster and still maintain relationships with 50+ kids who came through our home. Some come back and stay again when they need it. They are family for us, even if they were never adopted.
You seem like the foster troll there, G. According to you infertile people shouldn’t be recruited to foster or adopt, and no one should be allowed to speak about it unless they fostered or adopted, and if they have only fostered but never adopted then their experiences don’t matter because they were leaving undesirable children for the infertile, but if they did adopt they also shouldn’t recommend that others adopt. Reading through your comments across multiple articles you don’t follow a consistent side in any of this but rather just appear to be here to argue that everyone else is wrong. Why are you hating on foster and adoptive parents so much? Have you fostered or adopted? Were you in foster care and treated badly by adults?
You bring up a good point that everyone is different in what their needs are. It doesn’t appear that there is a one size fits all approach. I guess the best course of action is to treat each case individually on what is best for that individual.
Maybe I’m looking at things simplistically but with Fostering the adults and children have no blood or legal connection. They aren’t recognized in any way as having a familial relationship in law or genealogy.
I just believe that we shouldn’t push fostering or adopting on infertile couples only. Those who are fertile who have children are not treated to the same standards when it comes to being pushed into adopting or fostering. To me we shouldn’t just look to push any adults into adopting or Fostering by rather those that are the best fit for these children. In these cases quality (people like yourself) is more important than quantity.
Our fostering agency targets recruiting families more than childless couples, though sometimes kids need to be placed in families with no other children. There are significantly more fertile families represented in our group than infertile. At the same time it would seems ridiculous to completely avoid telling infertile couples about the need in our area for more foster families if they want badly to be a parent. Are you thinking that advertising is heavier for infertile couples than for other types of families? Do you think it is wrong in general to mention fostering or adoption as options to infertile families because they might think they are being singled out?
As someone who is infertile I can’t tell you the number of times the response to me opening up has been to adopt. Though not the intention it makes me feel like I’m a bad or selfish person for not Fostering or Adopting. Why should we be held to a different standard than fertile couples when it comes to Fostering or Adopting?
When someone mentions they’re unable to have children they aren’t looking for you to solve their problems by pushing Fostering or Adopting on them. Instead just hear them out. Almost always they’ve investigated Adopting or Fostering they don’t need anyone pushing it on them.
IMO Fostering/Adopting agencies should be targeting adults that are the right fit for these kids not just any adults. Infertility has nothing to do with child welfare so I don’t think agencies should market or target them.
Sometimes the adults who are the best fit for the children in care ARE infertile couples, though. Fostering agencies are not targeting infertile couples only, but casting a wide net looking for people who can lovingly and responsibly care for these children. Again, sometimes the best choice is a couple who is unable to have biological children as they won’t have biological children in their homes to compete with the foster child. Are you saying an agency or peer foster family should not ever dare speak to someone who is infertile?
No one is holding infertile couples to a different standard. You take offense at ANYONE, even a foster parent or adoptive parent talking about fostering or adoption in front of you, even if it isn’t specifically directed at you. You’ve decided that foster parents are out to make you feel guilty rather than to share their own stories. I’d suggest working through your own feelings with a counselor rather than trolling Them Before Us telling all the foster and adoptive parents that they aren’t doing enough and that they aren’t good enough. What good do you think you are doing spouting anger at people who are serving the kids that you don’t want or value?
“What good do you think you are doing spouting anger at people who are serving the kids that you don’t want or value?“
See this right here is the guilt trip people like yourself throw on infertile couples who don’t end up Fostering. Why aren’t couples who are fertile held to the same standard?
Despite your attitude those infertile couples who don’t adopt or Foster the kids Fertile Couples don’t either the reality is in some cases we are disqualified from Fostering / Adopting or we don’t have the personality or living situation to be the Guardian or Parent these kids need. Is it really fair to those kids to hand them a Guardian or Parent who isn’t a fit for the needs they have?
I do understand that for some kids in the system being the only child in homes they are placed in is important. But that doesn’t mean you should just target infertile couples. Targeting childless couples I get but infertile couples who have gone through loss a lot of times are not a good fit for these kids.
My suggestion would be to target childless couples or couples whose kids are older and out of the house not just infertile couples.
Why are you telling foster parents that they aren’t doing a good job, and adoptive parents that they aren’t doing a good job in these threads? What is your message?
Legalized babysitting? As far as I know all babysitting is legal and I’ve never heard of illegal babysitting. Bottom line is that a contract may make two people legal family without those two people!e bonding. I mean marriage is consented to by both individuals entering into the contract where as adoption is not entered into consentually by 1/3 or 1/2 the participants. So if half of all marriages stand the test of time and the people!e who entered into the contract feel bonded then you got to figure half or 1/3 that amount actually feels bodended like family to the people who adopted them. How would you feel if that legal relationship was forced on you?
That’s fine just realize that the role of Fosters is to provide. They are not family and are under no obligation to provide the emotional support or treated like family to those kids. I respect that for you biology is what makes up a family. Just realize there are consequences for that will leave lots of kids in the dark without recognized familial support and the harm that will cause in society.
“legalized babysitting” You mean ‘glorified’ babysitting, because all babysitting is legal. Um yes its babysitting on steroids because its day in day out until they can return to their family. If they never can return to their family then the foster carer is providing stability for as long as needed. What’s good about it is that there is no replacement of the person’s family in order to receive care. They don’t need new families they just need care while they are children. They may form lifelong bonds through being cared for you never know. Also nothing is stopping the foster carer from adding the kid to their will.
Ellie, I am curious…what was your relationship with your real father…I mean the one that raised you.
Technically he is her mother’s husband and should not have been listed on her birth certificate as her father but was because he and her mom lied. So she has a falsified medical vital record. Her real father that meets the definition of father and who should have been named on her birth certificate may not be a stellar guy but he’s her father.
Do you think you can just earn the title of father over someone else’s kid by doing the job their father should be doing?
We don’t get a say in who our parents are its just a fact that they are our parents if we are their offspring. But we do get a say in who is our friend or lover and get a say in when we wish to enter other legally binding relationships with people like marriage or forming a business partnership. If you live with a room mate sharing living expenses and that room mate went around telling everyone they were your spouse and even falsified a marriage certificate as proof – are they really your spouse? How would you feel if you were forced into a legally binding relationship with someone because they acted how spouses act and falsified documents to prove their case? If it was just a marriage you could divorce them (even though you never agreed to marry them in the first place), but if the forced relationship is with someone pretending to be your father, they won’t let you change your birth certificate. Wanting to be someone’s parent and doing the job of parent should not give people the right to force a false reality on a person who was not even aware what they were giving up when they accepted that person’s ‘loving care’.
This was insightful and thank you for sharing…I have thought of the options for childbearing since I am a woman in my early 30’s and I am also wanting to adopt.
The only hesitation I would have about donor or adoption is how my adopted or donor child would feel.
I always said I would let my child know early—also just as the article confirms, it makes a difference to at least know who the biological parents are.
To have biological children is really just to use my fertility while I have it, which I think is a gift.
It seems selfish to only think of having kids as making yourself useful…Yet, funny because, some people think it’s selfish NOT to bear kids especially if you’re a woman.
One thing makes me lean to adoption: that there will always be less parents than kids.
Adding to the final sentence therefore—-more parents are needed.
Thanks for sharing. Whatever deal the clinic made with your BF is not your problem. You have the right to reach out to siblings with or without your BF’s permission/blessing. They have a right to know you as well. If your BF feels no obligation to you, the reverse may also be true, and you’d not be violating any agreement by going around him.
My story is here: https://youtu.be/jCOu9mLBJEI
the sperm donor did not sell a person, he sold his seed. A seed is not a person. It only becomes a person when united with the egg. I personally do not think that this girl is thinking rightly about this.
Also, what if she had been the product of rape? Many women are raped and a child is conceived and that would be even harder to deal with. Lots of hard situations in life and tough decisions are made. I hope this young lady is honoring her mother and honoring her adoptive father who raised her as the scriptures command. God is the one who gives life and that is something to be celebrated and thankful for. A root of bitterness can spring up in such situations, I have seen this with my biological father who was adopted, he was bitter about it his whole life, felt like his bio mom and dad abandoned him and he never got over it. Not a good place to be.